Despite a dislocated left index finger, Portland star Damian Lillard will play on Saturday night when the Blazers meet the Lakers in a key Game 3 in their first-round 2020 NBA Playoffs series at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando, Fla. Lillard, who was named the MVP of the seeding games in the bubble, left Game 2 with the finger injury in the third quarter. Los Angeles won that game, 111-88, to even the series at 1-1.
On Friday Portland coach Terry Stotts said Lillard would play in Game 3. Tip-off for the game is at 8:30 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Los Angeles as a 7.5-point favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points expected, is 224.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Blazers odds. Before making any Blazers vs. Lakers picks, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn't missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Blazers spread: Los Angeles -7.5
- Lakers vs. Blazers over-under: 224.5 points
- Lakers vs. Blazers money line: Los Angeles -345, Portland +285
- LAL: Anthony Davis leads team in scoring (23.3 points per game) since the restart
- POR: Damian Lillard is averaging 36.6 points per game since the restart
Why the Lakers can cover
Los Angeles is playing elite, championship-level defense. In the two games against the Blazers, the Lakers are allowing just 94.5 points per 100 possessions. That's the best defensive efficiency among the 16 teams in the playoffs and eight points per game better than the second-best defensive team. Portland's 88 points in Game 2 was the team's fewest this season.
In addition, the Blazers have no answer for Davis. Guarded primarily by the overmatched Wenyen Gabriel, Davis went off for 31 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes on Thursday. He became just the fifth player in the shot-clock era to have that many points and rebounds in those minutes in a playoff game.
Why the Blazers can cover
The return of Jusuf Nurkic has elevated Portland since the NBA restart. The Bosnian Beast missed all of the regular season with a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula until returning to play in the eight seeding games. Since his return he has averaged 17.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game and helped the Blazers average 122.5 points per 100 possessions in the seeding games, the best offensive efficiency of the 22 teams in the bubble.
Also, though Los Angeles blew out Portland on Thursday, the Lakers offense remains a work in progress. Since the restart, Los Angeles is averaging just 105.5 points per game, which ranks 21st of the 22 teams that made the bubble. The Lakers also are shooting just 29.6 percent on 3-pointers in Orlando, the worst of the 22 teams.
How to make Lakers vs. Blazers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with Davis scoring just 28 points, three fewer than he scored on Thursday, and Lillard falling short of his season-long average. The model also says one side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Trail Blazers vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Trail Blazers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.