- The Trail Blazers’ title odds continue to fluctuate during their deep playoff run
- Portland is trying to even up its series with Golden State in Game 2
- Is there any value in betting the Blazers to win the NBA Championship?
Three of the final four teams remaining in the NBA playoffs were expected to be there.
And then there are the Portland Trail Blazers, in the conference finals for the first time since 2000.
The betting ebbs and flows for their NBA Championship odds took another swing in the long direction after getting crushed in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
2019 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||2019 NBA Championship Odds at BetOnline|
|Golden State Warriors||-175|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+3300|
* Odds taken 05/16/19
After trailing Denver 3-2 in the last round, the Blazers were a distant +6200 to win the title. After that win, those odds shortened to +3200. Gutting out a grueling Game 7 on the road against the Nuggets saw their average odds shoot all the way to +1300.
They’re back down again after taking a hard L in the opener – a game in which the Warriors were without Kevin Durant.
Is there any value in those long odds for the Trail Blazers?
Can Portland’s Total Team Effort Return?
Of the teams remaining in the playoffs, the Blazers ranked second in fewest turnovers per game at 13. That number ballooned to 21 in Game 1, and the Warriors turned those into 31 points.
As well, Portland’s bench, which was a major factor in the series win over Denver, was outplayed by a more experienced, but less-talented group of reserves from Golden State.
Jordan Bell did a great job at making himself available to Jerebko. He then immediately attacked and found the open Quinn Cook for a corner 3 (this was early in the 4th when the game was still close and the Warriors needed the bench to produce) pic.twitter.com/dMw0YOBcZ0
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 15, 2019
Against Denver, the Blazers bench enjoyed a +9 point differential per game in the series. Against the Dubs, they were -12, and their second unit let the dam break on a 79-73 deficit, expanding to double digits and essentially putting the game on ice.
— Tercer Equipo NBA (@NBATercerEquipo) May 15, 2019
If they are able to clean that up, Portland should make this a tighter game and series, especially considering Durant will miss Game 2.
Lillard, McCollum Have Takeover Ability
Defense is important, and it’s been well documented that Portland will need to clean up their schemes, particularly on Steph Curry, who went supernova on them with a 9-for-15 performance from three-point range and a game-high 36 points.
Steph Curry goes for 36, 6, and 7, incuding 9 threes to lead Golden State to a Game 1 victory in the Western Conference Finals. pic.twitter.com/wWrxx8wAK8
— Rich (@richwongstagram) May 15, 2019
But that won’t matter if Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum don’t play well. When they’re cooking, like they have been for much of the postseason, averaging over 53 points a game combined, Portland looks like a team that can ride their two stars to a title.
One thing to watch out for in tonight’s #Warriors and #Trailblazers Game 2 is the turnovers. Portland had 21 turnovers in Game 1 with Damian Lillard & CJ McCollumn accounting for 10 of them. GS had only 14 TO’s in contrast to 30 assists. It’ll be a short series if that continues.
— Brendan Abban (@AbbanBrendan) May 16, 2019
When they go 11-for-31 from the field for 36 points, including 3-for-10 from beyond the arc and 10 turnovers like they did in the opener, the team won’t win a game this series.
What’s the Best Bet to Make Here?
We’ve seen the Warriors go into lulls in their two previous rounds, so Portland isn’t out of it yet. So the odds are enticing. But can the Blazers beat the Warriors four times in six games?
If you believe they can, there’s excellent value here.
For my money, this is a Golden State title run that can’t be stopped. They’re the safe bet, and the winning one.
Pick: Golden State Warriors (-175)