NBA Playoff Predictions – Is It “Elimination Day” For Thunder?

NBA Playoffs best sportsbook odds and predictions

Critics were expecting that the Portland Trail Blazers might be operating short of capacity without Jusuf Nurkic. The fact of the matter is that they’ve recovered quite nicely from his absence. Is it a matter of one guy out-coaching the other? That might be the case, as Portland carries a 3-1 lead in games into Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It tips off at 10:35 PM ET at the Moda Center.

What is the story of this series? Well, for the most part, it is the inability of OKC’s stars to make shots. Russell Westbrook was 5-for-20 in the Game 2 loss, then after 32 points in Game 3, he bricked again, with a 5-for-21 outing in the Thunder’s Game 4 defeat. So what we have is a team that is trying to avoid elimination, on the road.

Let’s take a look at the pro basketball odds on Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs at BetAnySports:

Trail Blazers vs. Thunder NBA Betting Game 5 Odds:

Team SP/RL TOTAL ML
Thunder +4 (-110) 221 (-110)  +145
Trailblazers -4 (-110) 221 (-110) -165
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If you notice, you don’t see -110 anywhere there. That is because the numbers include something called “reduced juice.”  It is the absolute best deal you can possibly get at a sportsbook, because it continues to save you money and bring you closer to being profitable, since you are not laying the “11-to-10.” 

Betting Oklahoma City Thunder

It may have been a little different had Paul George been completely healthy. Don’t misunderstand; he has done well, grabbing rebounds and playing defense. He got to the line the other night, making twelve of 14 at the charity stripe. But he has not shot all that well from the field. The OKC lineup is different than some others because there are only two lethal people who are part of it. And with George nursing a sore shoulder, the Portland staff knew that if they could force Westbrook into tough spots to take a shot, they’d be in good shape.

What happens with some players is that they are going to shoot, no matter what. George admitted as much after Game 1. He was asked what the solution was for the poor shooting OKC exhibited. And he said “keep shooting.” And that’s what happens. The Blazers know there are areas on the floor where Westbrook and George like to shoot from, and they simply program their defensive game plan to move them toward those places.

This is not necessarily anything new for Westbrook, as opponents have forced a lot of poor shooting nights out of him through the years in the playoffs. It’s the responsibility of the opposing coach to counter-strike. And Billy Donovan has not done that sufficiently enough. In three of the four games, OKC’s Offensive Rating has been under 100.

Betting Portland Trail Blazers

Meanwhile, the Blazers had been running their system of pin-downs and flare screens best with Nurkic at the center spot, because he was so good at facilitating that. But they haven’t seemed to miss a beat. Not that Portland has necessarily been on fire. The Blazers were just 41% from the field in Game 4. But they made 22 of 23 at the free throw line. And thus far the high-scoring duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum hasn’t imploded.

Fundamentally, we have to afford Portland the edge. And we’ve had some success moving “under” the total. We don’t see any reason to move off that.


Nowhere will you get a better deal than at BetAnySports. That’s where they give you a chance to do better than the usual -110 and save some bucks. This gets you closer to being profitable. It’s called “reduced juice,” and you can get it right on the website………….. There’s plenty of real-time action available with Live Betting Ultra as well………. Deposits are a snap; just use a Visa card, person-to-person transfers (like Western Union) or the virtual currency of Bitcoin, which is fast and easy with their automated system, and NEVER incurs a transaction fee!