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Thunder – Trailblazers

Thunder Blazers Game 3 handicapping

The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to avoid going 0-3 down in the series when they host the Portland Trailblazers on Friday night.

The Thunder (6th seed) were favored to beat the Blazers in this series, despite having a lower seeding. However, OKC lost the first two games mainly due to atrocious shooting from the three point line. OKC shot 15% from deep in Game 1 and 18% in Game 2. Those percentages are absolutely horrific and it`s actually a surprise that the Thunder managed to keep Game 1 close, before losing by 20 points in Game 2.

The Blazers (3rd seed) suffered a huge blow before the playoffs, as their third best player Nurkic went down with a season ending injury. Nevertheless, Kanter has done a pretty solid job in his place, and the Blazers find themselves up 2-0 in this series. They will try to win one of the next two games in OKC, which would almost guarantee them a place in the next round.

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Team news: There are no new injuries for either team. Portland’s Nurkic continues to be the only relevant absentee for either side.

The Blazers edged Game 1 and looked very dominant in Game 2, so at the moment they are the team on a high in this series. However, that could change in this Game 3 in OKC.

The difference in this series has been made simply by shooting so far. The Thunder have been disastrous from deep and midrange, while the Blazers have been solid overall and exceptional from deep. In fact, looking at the shooting percentages, you would have expected the Blazers to win both games by 25+ points.

The Thunder are a better defensive and rebounding team, so if the shots are falling at a relatively equal rate, they will beat the Blazers. Will they fall today? They definitely should after two atrocious nights, especially at home, where role players are known to always play better and shoot better.

I can see OKC coming out with crazy intensity tonight in a must win game in front of an electric fanbase, one of the best in the NBA. Look for Russell Westbrook to have a big night after being outplayed by rival Damien Lillard in the first two games, and getting a ton of criticism for it.

If the three finally starts falling for OKC, the Blazers might quickly find themselves overwhelmed and overmatched. I`m taking Thunder to cover the -8 (asian) handicap here. I have to say I was hopping for a lower line, but the -8 should be within OKC’s reach as well. It`s just that I absolutely wouldn`t recommend more than 7-8 units on this particular handicap. Personally, I`ll go with 8. Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder – Portland Trailblazers 120 – 100.

Pick: Thunder -8
Odds: 1.97 @ Sbobet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 7.76
Event date: 20 April

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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