The Portland Trail Blazers will have their backs to the wall as they will be without leading scorer Damian Lillard on Saturday when they meet the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Lillard, who averages 30 points, suffered a right knee strain and has been ruled out as the Lakers go for the series clincher. Los Angeles has fared well against Western Conference foes this season, going 39-11, including the postseason. The Lakers won two of three regular-season meetings with the Blazers this season. The game from AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles leads the all-time regular-season series 122-108, and is 35-17 in the postseason against Portland, including a 9-2 edge in series wins. Los Angeles is the 13-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Blazers odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 223. Before making any Blazers vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 59-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. It’s also 7-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Blazers spread: Lakers -13
- Lakers vs. Blazers over-under: 223 points
- Lakers vs. Blazers money line: Blazers +700, Lakers -1100
- POR: Was third in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 37.7
- LA: G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot a career-best 38.5 percent from 3-point range this season
Why the Lakers can cover
Los Angeles was red hot in Game 4, connecting on 56.3 percent of its field goals, including 43.6 percent from 3-point range. It was their best performance from the field since shooting 57.7 percent in a playoff game in 2010 against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers’ 135 points were their highest postseason total since scoring 141 against Boston in 1987. The 80 first-half points matched that total in any half for only the fourth time in Los Angeles’ playoff history and first since scoring 82 in the first half against Denver in 1987.
Besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team’s two best scorers, the Lakers also got a solid performance off the bench from forward Kyle Kuzma, who poured in 18 points on Tuesday. Kuzma has scored in double figures in seven of his last 10 games, including 14 points in Game 1. Kuzma averaged 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in three games against the Trail Blazers this season. He is averaging 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in nine career games vs. Portland.
Why the Blazers can cover
Despite that, Los Angeles isn’t a lock to cover the Blazers vs. Lakers spread. That’s because Portland has been hot since the restart, going 8-5, including 6-2 during the seeding round. Lillard may be out, but the Trail Blazers still have some pop in their lineup starting with guard CJ McCollum. He poured in 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Game 3 and averaged 22.2 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game this season, including 17.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in three games vs. the Lakers.
Center Jusuf Nurkic recorded a double-double in Game 4 with 20 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes. In nine career playoff games, Nurkic is averaging 11.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. He has come to play during the postseason. In Game 1, he had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first quarter, making him the first player to have a double-double in the first quarter of a playoff game since Shaquille O’Neal did it in 2001.
How to make Lakers vs. Blazers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total. In fact, it says Portland’s Hassan Whiteside will score three fewer points than his average, while Kuzma will score nearly a point less than his average. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Lakers vs. Blazers? And which side of the spread cashes almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Blazers vs. Lakers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.