New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trailblazers Pick

February 21, 10:30 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Portland +3

The Portland Trailblazers (25-31) and New Orleans Pelicans (23-32) will square off in Rip City for a Western Conference clash on Friday, February 21st, 2020, with a scheduled tip-off time of 10:30 PM ET. The Pelicans have held the upper hand in this series as of late as they have won and covered the last three meetings against Portland. The Trailblazers and Pelicans met earlier this month in The Big Easy, where New Orleans marched onto a 138-117 win to cover easily as a three-point favorite.

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trailblazers Key Injury Concerns

Heading into the first game back from the All-Star Break, the most significant loss will easily be felt by Portland, who will be without the services of their franchise player, Point Guard Damian Lillard. Lillard is recovering from a groin injury and is due back in early March.

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New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trailblazers Overview

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans stepped into the All-Star Break on a loss when they fell at home, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. Closing as a 3.5-point home favorite, New Orleans was defeated outright by a score of 123-118, snapping a three-game win and cover streak heading into the contest.

Portland Trailblazers

The Trailblazers limped into the All-Star Break, dropping their previous two before the February hiatus. Most recently, Portland was defeated on the road in Music City when it fell to the Memphis Grizzlies by a score of 111-104. The Blazers were unable to come in under the number as a 3.5-point underdog.

Reasons to Avoid New Orleans

The Pelicans are both 5-1 ATS in their last six road games and in their previous six stints as favorite. By this narrative alone, New Orleans is in position to be overvalued, albeit they are road chalk in this scenario. This is especially disconcerting, considering the Pelicans operate at a -4.3 margin on the road, season-to-date. On the flip-side, Portland plays winning basketball in Rip City with a 15-11 SU home record and a +2.2 margin on their own hardwood.

Reasons to Back Portland

Portland will approach this game with a sense of urgency as they are still very much set on making a push to the playoffs, trailing eighth-seed Memphis by four games. A win here in what has to be construed as a manageable match-up inches Portland ever closer to striking distance, and I have to like the Blazers' motivation to make them a live dog in this spot. Moreover, the match-up of Portland's eighth-ranked scoring offense (113.4 points per game) against New Orleans' 28th-ranked scoring defense (117.3 points per contest) makes Portland a juicy play here with points.

Pelicans at Trailblazers Prediction

I know that the Blazers will be without Dame, but this line here wreaks of trouble if one were to lay the points. In light of New Orleans pretty much dominating this series and being kind to takers as of late, the 'Cans are laying the same amount of points to Portland even without their best player? I am not biting. At the end of the day, New Orleans has had its woes on the road (12-15 SU in away games), and the Pelicans are known for their robust home court presence. Both of these narratives will be instrumental in the outcome. I’ll pass on the bucket and play Rip City outright on the Money Line.

Free Pick: 
Take Portland +130 (Money Line)