Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – NBA, May 7, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| May 7, 2021 11:16 am PDT

The Lakers head to Portland tonight to meet with the Trail Blazers in this crunch-time Western Conference matchup. Nothing can separate these two teams as they come into tonight’s game with identical records. Although they both sit third in their respected Divisions and have no chance of catching the leaders, the prize on offer tonight is moving into the last automatic playoff spot in the west.

This is a fixture the Lakers have enjoyed in recent years, having won five of their previous six meetings. The last of which was back in February when LA won a low-scoring affair. Both teams came into that matchup in poor form, and only the Lakers can say the same this time around.

Regardless of their poor form, they will be confident of picking up a win tonight as they have beaten the Trail Blazers on their previous five visits to Portland.

Given their dominance of this fixture, it is no surprise to see that the Lakers have averaged seven more points per game than Portland over their last ten encounters. The Lakers tend to start these games fast, so look for more of the same here tonight. They have also dominated the rebounding department against the Trail Blazers.

Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Odds

Lakers +6-110
Trail Blazers -6-110
Lakers To Win+230
Trail Blazers To Win-255
Over 221 Points-110
Under 221 Points -110

Although the Lakers aren’t playing great now, I didn’t expect the spread to be this big. However, there may be more value in making a play in the points betting as the total set here looks to below.

The Lakers have a dreadful record of 4-15 as underdogs this season but reduced to 2-10 when you focus on their games against teams in the Western Conference.

Latest on the Lakers

The Lakers are playing terribly at present, having only won two of their previous nine games. Before their defeat against their city rivals, the Clippers, they had gone on a run of picking up a win and losing the next three on two occasions. They will be hoping the run doesn’t continue tonight as it could mean another loss here and a step closer to the pre-playoff tournament.

Their record on the road has been decent, having won 19 and lost 14 of their 33 road trips this season. However, they have only picked up one win from their last five away fixtures, which came against the struggling Magic. They shot much better that night, scoring at 54% from the field goal range. However, this probably reflects more on Orlando’s lack of capabilities.

Here are the latest betting trends for Los Angeles:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have lost four of their previous five matches.
SU The Lakers have only won one of their last five games.
ATS LA is 9-4 in their previous 13 matches against Portland.
ATS They haven’t won any of their last five games on the road.
ATS The Lakers have won on each of their previous five visits to Portland.8
SU LA has only won one of their last six games against teams from the west coast.
Total Five of their previous seven matches against teams based in the Northwest Division have gone under the betting total.

Despite scoring 47% from the field goal range, the Lakers have a weak offense this season. But they haven’t been able to replicate that shooting from the free-throw line as they have one of the worst success rates in the league. This suggests they haven’t been great at shooting under pressure.

Also, uncharacteristically for a Lakers team, they are making a high number of turnovers this season. This has come from getting desperate at times in their matches and forcing the issue when things aren’t going their way.

However, their defense has been impeccable as they have conceded only 106-points per game on average. This is the product of a fantastic blocking game this season.

Much has been made about the Lakers’ injury concerns at present, and to be fair, it’s hard to ignore. Tonight they will miss James, Dudley, Schroder, and Horton-Tucker, while Davis is questionable after picking up an injury against the Clippers.

Latest on the Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have all the momentum heading into this one after winning five of their previous six matches. Their only defeat during that run came in a poor performance against the Hawks, where they lost all four quarters of the game. However, their offense has been on fire during these games as they have posted scores of 133, 130, 128, 129, 114, and 141.

Their form at home has been indifferent, and they have a split record of 16 wins and 16 defeats from their 32 games played in Portland. This will be their primary concern heading into tonight’s game, as they have lost their previous six games at the Moda Center.

Here are the latest betting trends for Portland:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Trail Blazers have won five of their previous six matches.
Total Five of their last seven games against the Lakers have gone under the betting total.
SU They have only won one of their previous five matches against Western Conference opposition.
Total Only one of their last five games against teams in the Pacific Division has failed to go over the points total.
Total The total has gone over in 11 of their previous 16 matches played in May.

In complete contrast to tonight’s opponents, the Trail Blazers have a low field goal percentage but have a fantastic offense. They haven’t been quite as good attacking at the home season and have averaged a point fewer per game. Although only small, this could make all the difference in a match between two closely matched teams.

Another contrasting factor is the Trail Blazers shooting from the free-throw line, which is far superior to that of the Lakers this season. However, perhaps the most telling factor will be Portland’s superb offensive rebounding, as this is an area they have been dominated in by the Lakers in the last.

The last contrast between these two is in the number of turnovers they are making. Although the Trail Blazers don’t make many assists as they prefer to run the ball, it means they don’t give the ball away easily and have made the lowest number of turnovers in the league.

Actually, I have one more for you, the Lakers will miss their star player LeBron James, but the Trail Blazers have theirs in Damian Lillard. Lillard loves playing against the Lakers too. It seems to bring out the best in him as he has averaged 33-points per game against them. To add to that, they also have C. J. McCollum in their ranks, and he has been deadly from the three-point range this season.

Here he is showing us what he does best.

Their defense has been poor. They have struggled to cover their opponents, especially in and around the key where they have allowed their opponents to score at will.

The Trail Blazers will miss Collins, who is out for the season, but they hope to have Powell back tonight, who is battling back from a knee injury.

Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Pick

Although these two teams have identical records, they are on opposite ends of the scale right now, and the Trail Blazers should pick up the win here. Their playing much better than the Lakers, and they match up pretty well with them all over the court. However, I still think the spread looks big, and therefore the safer play is on over the points total.

The Trail Blazers’ last ten games have produced totals bigger than the one set here, and I see this game the following suit.

Pick
  • Over 221 Points
    -110

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