The 5-12 Portland TrailBlazers are set to take on the 6-12 Chicago Bulls in an inter-conference matchup. These two teams met twice last year, with the Blazers taking both contests. However, that was the version of this team that made it to the Western Conference Finals last season. This 5-12 squad is not that team. This should be an interesting contest on many fronts, but most notably due to the small point spread, and to see Damian Lillard face off against Zach LaVine coming off the best game of his career. Hassan Whiteside is day-to-day for the Blazers, if it is announced that he will be available for this contest, there will likely be an immediate adjustment to the consensus point spread.
- Opening Lines: The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -1 on the Portland TrailBlazers. The consensus over/under total opened at 227.5 points. The point spread has held steady at -1. The over/under total has also held steady at 227.5.
- Current Line: Portland -1
- O/U: 227.5
- Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
- Start Time: 8:00 PM EST, Monday, November 25th
- Last Meeting: Portland defeated Chicago 118-98 – March 27, 2019
The Portland Trail Blazers are currently at a ‘fire your coach’ level 5-12 on the season. Injuries, of course, have something to do with the team’s record, but sitting seven games under .500 at any point of the season is an embarrassing feat for a team that had designs on making it to the NBA Finals in a Western Conference without super team Golden State to stand in their way. Instead, it looks like the Blazers have to start fighting for their playoff lives just 17 games into the season. The West is not getting any easier, and new teams have emerged with legitimate playoff hopes. At 5-12, with a .294 winning percentage, the Blazers have the second-worst record in the entire Western Conference.
The Chicago Bulls are 6-12 on the season but feel very differently about their sub .500 record than the Blazers do. While the Bulls may have hoped they were good enough to make the playoffs this season, they are painfully aware that they do not have the talent to be a legitimate threat to make it out of the first round even if they did. They have an exciting young core of Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Zach LaVine to which they added one of the top point guards in the 2019 NBA Draft in Coby White. Their time may not be now, but if they can keep their core together and add a final piece (which they thought they were getting with Otto Porter Jr.), they could quickly find themselves in the mix in the Eastern Conference.
- Over is 4-0-1 in the last five contests between these two teams.
- Portland is 5-0 ATS in their last five contests against Chicago.
- The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 contests between these two teams.
- The road team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight contests between these two teams.
- Portland is 7-9 ATS on the season.
- Portland is 6-6 on the road this season.
- Chicago is 7-10 ATS on the season.
- Chicago is 4-5 ATS at home this season.
- Portland is 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 contests against the Central division.
- Portland is 15-6-2 ATS in their last 23 contests against the Eastern Conference.
- Portland is 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 contests.
- Portland is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five Monday contests.
- Portland is 2-6 ATS in their last eight road contests.
- Chicago is 8-20 ATS in their last 28 contests against the Northwest division.
- Chicago is 1-4 ATS in their last five contests.
- Chicago is 8-22 ATS in their last 30 home contests.
- Chicago is 5-16 in their last 21 Monday contests.
- Chicago is 5-5 ATS in their last 10 contests.
- Over is 4-0-1 in Portland’s last five contests against teams with losing records.
- Over is 4-1 in Portland’s last five contests following a loss ATS.
- Over is 7-0 in Portland’s last seven Monday contests.
- Over is 20-8-2 in Portland’s last 30 contests against the Eastern Conference.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Chicago’s last six contests.
- Over is 5-2 in Chicago’s last seven contests.
- Over is 13-3-1 in Chicago’s last 17 contests against the Northwest division.
- Over is 5-2 in Chicago’s last seven contests following a loss ATS.
Zach LaVine over 2.5 three-pointers made (+120)
Zach LaVine should be given the green light from deep after hitting 13 three-pointers on Saturday. LaVine is shooting .402 from deep and now has a somewhat misleading average of 2.9 threes per game. He has cleared the posted total in nine of his 17 contests. Playing against Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will afford LaVine all the space he needs to launch threes at will. This is an interesting line that takes on more intrigue after LaVine’s recent performance.
The early bettors and sharps are not buying the 2.5 number, and have pushed the juice on the under all the way up to -152. LaVine has hit the over in five of his eight road contests this season but was averaging just 2.42 on the road before his outburst against Charlotte. FanDuel could quickly make an adjustment to this line based on the juice, so this may be a prop to monitor in the hopes that the book pushes the number back to two. If the juice on the over starts to fall, lock it in. Otherwise, keep your eye on the line up until game time before laying your action.
There is no reason for the Trail Blazers to continue to struggle now that Damian Lillard is back in the lineup. Carmelo Anthony will have to be worked into a complementary role now that Lillard is back, but losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers erroneously suggests that the Blazers may just be a horrid road team. Their loss to the Golden State Warriors, also on the road, seems to confirm this suspicion. Portland is painfully aware that the thread to their season is quickly unraveling, hence the desperation move to sign Carmelo Anthony off the street. The Bulls, while they have some talent and can pull out a victory, are still a young team that is about a year away from taking the next step. The smart money is on the Blazers to pick up the victory in this contest. Portland, despite appearances, has picked up four of their five wins on the road this season. They are the better team in this contest and are playing with just a -1 point spread. This is by no means a smash play, but a one-unit lay on a day where line shading took over the majority of Monday’s NBA slate, Portland is the smart play.