Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Brooklyn Nets are second in the Atlantic division one game behind the first-place Philadelphia 76ers. Brooklyn defeated the Washington Wizards 113-106 on Sunday night with Kyrie Irving scoring 28 points and James Harden scoring 26. Brooklyn has won seven of the last eight and 15 of its last 17. The Nets continue to play well even though leading scorer Kevin Durant remains sidelined with a hamstring issue and no date has been set for his return.

Portland was defeated by the Dallas Mavericks 132-92 on Sunday and following the embarrassing loss, Portland dropped to 25-17. The Trail Blazers are tied for second place in the Northwest division with the Denver Nuggets but are 5 ½ games behind the first place Utah Jazz. The Portland loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Trailblazers. Portland shot just 38.2% overall and 22.0% from long distance and the Trail Blazers were outrebounded by an astonishing 62-38 margin.

Offense Makes Nets Tick

Brooklyn’s defense does not show up or disappears at times, but the Nets offense can always be counted on. Brooklyn is scoring an average of 120.2 points per game which leads the NBA. The Nets are shooting 50.0% overall and 39.9% from beyond the three-point arc. Leading scorer Kevin Durant remains sidelined but Kyrie Irving and James Harden are more than doing their share as Irving is averaging 28.1 points per game and Harden is averaging 25.4 points. Irving is shooting 52.0% overall and Harden is shooting 47.7% overall. Harden is also the dish-leader for Brooklyn with a team-high 11.3 assists per game. Brooklyn averages 26.7 assists per game and turns the ball over at a rate of 13.6 times per contest for a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Brooklyn is only average on the boards for NBA standards with a team average of 43.8 rebounds (17th in NBA) per game with 35.1 on a defensive end and 8.7 off the offensive glass. Harden is also the leader in rebounding with an average of 8.8 boards per contest. Brooklyn averages 6.6 steals in 5.3 block shots per game with Irving the leader in steals with an average of 1.2 per game and DeAndre Jordan the leader in blocked shots per game with an average of 1.3 while only playing an average of 23.1 minutes per game. The Nets are 26th in the NBA in points allowed with an average of 115.2 points per game.

Poor defense Hurts Portland

Portland is allowing an average of 115.5 points per game which is 27th in the NBA. Opponents are shooting 48.0% against Portland’s defense which puts Portland 28th in the NBA and from beyond the arc opponents are averaging 37.8% shooting which is 25th. Portland averages 43.5 rebounds with 33.0 on the defensive end and 10.5 off the offensive glass. The leading rebounder is Enes Kanter with an average of 11.5 boards per contest. Portland averages 7.1 steals and 5.0 blocked shots per game with Robert Covington leading in steals with an average of 1.6 per game and in blocked shots with an average of 1.2 per game.

Portland’s offense is averaging exactly one point less than its defense allows as the Trail Blazers are scoring an average of 114.5 points per game which is 10th in the NBA. Damian Lillard is averaging 30.3 points per game to lead Portland and is second in the NBA behind only Bradley Beal. The second-leading scorer for Portland is CJ McCollum with an average of 24.3 points per game. Lillard is also the leader in assists with an average of 7.6 per game. Portland averages 19.9 assists per game and 11.1 turnovers per contest for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8. The Trail Blazers are shooting only 44.5% overall and 38.0% from long distance.

Injury Report: Zach Collins is out until late May and Jusuf Nurkic is out until mid April

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Brooklyn is first in the NBA in scoring with an average of 120.2 points per game and although the Nets defense is well down the ladder in the NBA rankings at 26th, it is one better than Portland at 27. Brooklyn has two of its three superstars in the lineup as Kyrie Irving and James Harden are carrying the offensive load for the Nets averaging a combined 53.5 points per game. Portland will want to come back strong from a humiliating 40-point loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, but will find it an uphill battle against the offense of juggernaut of the Nets. Portland has failed to cover the spread in four of the last five at home against Brooklyn and in five of the last six overall against the Nets. Brooklyn on the other hand has covered the spread in eight of its last nine on the road.

Brooklyn Nets +1.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

This will be the first meeting between these two this season but both Brooklyn and Portland are in the top 10 in scoring and Brooklyn is 26th in points allowed and Portland is one worse at 27th. The total has finished over in seven of Portland’s last 10 games against Brooklyn and in seven of the Trail Blazers last nine games against a team from the Atlantic division.

OVER 236.5