There is simply no margin for error at this point. The Los Angeles Lakers have to come good against Portland on Wednesday if they want to expect to make the NBA playoffs in 2013.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers – Wednesday, April 10
Why Los Angeles Will Win
When people pursue a sports betting play, they have to look at the whole picture in a given matchup and not get sucked into certain trends that might not mean anything when a game begins. Even football betting gurus who possess minimal knowledge of professional basketball could tell you that while the Lakers are 2-4 in their last six road games, with their wins coming against lowly Minnesota and a subpar Sacramento squad, they still should be able to match up well against the Trail Blazers. Portland played without Nicolas Batum this past Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks, and with the Trail Blazers completely out of the playoff chase, it is highly doubtful that Portland would want to re-active him before the end of the regular season. Shutting him down would be the much more prudent move. The Lakers, on the other hand, are getting back Metta World Peace before the end of the playoffs, well ahead of schedule. Los Angeles doesn’t need the man formerly known as Ron Artest to be great; just 12 minutes of solid perimeter defense would give the Lakers a real boost in this game. Portland, at the end of the day, has just two players who command a lot of respect from opponents: Damian Lillard at the point and LaMarcus Aldridge in the low post. As long as Los Angeles can prevent the rest of the Blazers from scoring, it should be in good shape on a night when it simply must win.
Why Portland Will Win
No NCAA football betting expert would deny the contention that Portland has a very good chance in this contest. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you will see that the Lakers are a wobbly road team right now, having won only twice away from home in the past few weeks. Los Angeles just doesn’t have the same bounce that it generates on its home floor. Consider that the Lakers beat the surging Memphis Grizzlies at home on Friday, April 5. The Lakers played with noticeable energy and carried a high effort level from the opening tip to the final horn. This extra measure of vigor was missing on Sunday in a listless and decisive 14-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers are fighting themselves and their aging bodies near the end of the season. Moreover, in this contest, the Lake Show will be playing in the Pacific Northwest one night after playing a home game. The dreaded back end of a back-to-back set, staged on the road and not at home, could very well bit the Lakers in the back. They might not be able to keep up with Damian Lillard, who has been really good against the Lakers this season.
Who Will Win?
This figures to be a close game, but the Lakers should be able to contain Portland, especially since Nicolas Batum is not likely to do much… if he even plays at all, which is highly questionable at the very least.
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NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers