They are two of the teams that have really captured the attention of pro basketball bettors this season. From one of them it was expected, since they have been to the Finals as recently as two seasons ago and have the league’s scoring leader, who is considered one of the great players in the game. Frankly, the other team has taken a lot of people by surprise.
When the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, it’s going to be a battle that might go a long way toward determining the top team in the Western Conference, although VietBet patrons are well aware that it is a lengthy season.
Game time at the Chesapeake Energy Arena is set for 8:05 PM ET. Oklahoma City currently has the best record in the league at 25-5 straight-up, and they are 17-13 against the basketball pointspread. Portland is 24-7 straight-up, but the Blazers have dropped six straight games in the NBA odds to bring their mark in that regard to 18-13. The Trail Blazers have also played their last nine games over the total.
The Thunder (+700 to win the title in the VietBet pro basketball betting futures) is in a bit more of an unfortunate position than it was a week ago. That’s because they have to once again move forward without Russell Westbrook (21.3 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds per game), their explosive point guard, who will be sitting out until after the All-Star break as he had surgery to reduce the swelling in his right knee.
This is the third surgery for Westbrook the last eight months; he was knocked out of the NBA playoffs last May, then had another procedure before the season and came back earlier than expected. Basketball bettors know that in some ways, Oklahoma City is in a better position to deal with this than it was during the post-season, as Reggie Jackson (out of Boston College) proved to be a pretty good floor leader who could also score; in fact, his per-48-minute totals are 23.9 points and 6.5 assists. But whereas OKC had James Harden a couple of seasons ago and Kevin Martin last year (now going great guns for Minnesota) playing the off-guard role with substantial scoring off the bench, that is not necessarily the case right now. They do think that Jeremy Lamb (10 ppg) might be a good candidate for that; he had 22 against Houston two nights ago.
But VietBet customers know that when it comes down to it, there is most likely additional reliance upon Kevin Durant, who is going to be equal to most tasks. Most people look upon him as primarily a scorer (and he does lead the NBA with 28.5 points a game), but Durant is proficient in a lot of things, and he can pick up some of the slack left by Westbrook, who was a score-first point guard, to say the least.
The Blazers (6-1 as an underdog in pro basketball betting), who are in their second season under head coach Terry Stotts, took some lumps last year but broke in quite a few youngsters, and they are experiencing the benefits of all that. Of course, the leader of the pack is last year’s rookie of the year in the NBA, point guard Damian Lillard, who came from the relative obscurity of Weber State but made himself well-known very quickly. He averages 21.4 points and 5.8 assists per game.
There is some very serious talk about MVP consideration for power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, which is heady stuff for a player who was passed up at least a couple of times for All-Star recognition, despite being deserving, before breaking through with nods in each of the last two seasons. As someone who can consistently get 20 points and ten rebounds every night (he’s averaging 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds, respectively), Aldridge is a rock that the Blazers have built upon, and they have outstanding complementary players in Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum in the lineup.
This great start does not necessarily mean it’s going to be a great finish, and perhaps the Blazer faithful, not to mention NBA bettors, may have been reminded that they still have a distance to go with the results from three nights ago, when the Miami Heat, playing without LeBron James, came to the Rose Garden and posted a 108-107 win. Then the Blazers turned around and lost to the New Orleans Pelicans last night (110-108) despite 29 points from Lillard, in a game where they really extended themselves.
For those who like to follow the totals in pro basketball betting, this game should be an interesting one to handicap; Portland averages 108.6 points per contest, while Oklahoma City’s average is 106.1.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.