Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics (-4.5, 216.5 o/u)
Two hot teams will go at it tonight when the Portland Trail Blazers (33-28, 14-16 Away) visit TD Garden in Boston to face the Celtics (36-25, 20-10 Home) as part of the NBA’s Wednesday lineup (7:30 PM Eastern).
Both teams enter on a three-game winning streak; however, Portland’s recent momentum stretches back even farther. The Blazers have won nine of the last ten, only losing to the Houston Rockets after being up by 21 points.
Portland’s last three outings were all visits to Eastern Conference opponents, taking down the Chicago Bulls (103-95), Indiana Pacers (111-102), and most recently the New York Knicks (104-85) last night. The victory over New York saw point guard Damian Lillard get his seventh 30-plus-point game over the team’s last eight contests.
Lillard has his team averaging 103.6 points per game this season, eighth-best in the NBA. The Blazers will be facing a Celtics squad that connects at an even higher clip, though, pouring in over 106 PPG (fourth in the league).
The Boston offense hasn’t exactly been on fire, of late, but the defense has stepped it up in the last two wins over Miami (101-89) and Utah (100-95). The Celtics now sit third in the East, a game and a half ahead of fourth-place Miami, but 5.5 back of second-place Toronto.
Though the East is the much weaker conference again this year, Boston has a 5-2 mark against the Blazers and their ilk from the Northwest Division. That includes a narrow 90-89 win in January, the last time these teams met. Boston covered as seven-point road dogs in that one.
That said, the Trail Blazers are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games, 4-0 ATS in their last four games as an underdog, and 8-2 ATS in their last ten games, overall. I’ll roll with the slightly hotter Blazers to cover.
(Photo credit: nikk_la (Flickr: K26A0442) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)