Trail Blazers vs. Nets Predictions, Odds, Preview

Apr. 30, 2021
by Jonathan Willis
NBA Expert

Although Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden have all missed significant stretches this season, the Brooklyn Nets are in position to have home court advantage in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Brooklyn is 1.5 games up on Philadelphia for the No. 1 seed after winning four straight games. The Nets want to keep it rolling, but they have a tough test on Friday as they must host the Portland Trail Blazers despite playing in Indiana on Thursday night.

Trail Blazers vs. Nets Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Trail Blazers vs. Nets

Line Movements

Subject to Change

  • Spread: Pick-em
  • Money-Line: Brooklyn -110, Portland -110
  • Total: 240.5

The Nets return home with no rest on Friday night as they seek the season sweep of the Trail Blazers. (AP)

Trail Blazers vs. Nets Current Form-Last Game

Brooklyn seemingly simulated the first third of the regular season. The Nets were 14-12 on February 9, but they have been superb since that point. They are 29-8 in their last 37 games to surpass Philadelphia and Milwaukee as the team to beat in the East.

They have the second-best home record in the NBA this season. The Nets are 25-7 in the Barclays Center, and they haven’t lost at home since April 10. Their most recent home loss was back on February 27 against Dallas.

Brooklyn's win over Indiana last night was their fourth in a row. Durant led the way with 42 points on 16 of 24 shooting and had 10 assists as both Irving and Harden sat out due to injuries. Alize Johnson was the unsung hero off the bench with 20 points and a whopping 21 rebounds.

It hasn’t been a good month for the Trail Blazers. They are 5-10 in April, and none of their wins have come against teams with better records. They lost five straight games in the span of eight days last week, losing four of those tilts at home.

However, they have bounced back on this recent road trip with victories over Indiana and Memphis on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Carmelo Anthony came off the bench to score 18 points and finish with a +27 plus/minus in a 130-109 victory over Memphis on Wednesday.

Anthony is on his last legs, but he has proven that he can still provide valuable minutes off the bench from time to time. C.J. McCollum was Portland’s leading scorer on the evening with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

Trail Blazers vs. Nets Head-to-Head

  • Mar. 31, 2021 - Nets 116 at Trail Blazers 112, Brooklyn +2, Under 232

Portland fell 116-112 at home to Brooklyn in the only previous meeting between these teams this season. Harden was the only one of the Big Three in the game for the Nets, and he went 7-of-24 from the floor and 0-of-7 from beyond the arc.

However, he doled out 17 assists and Joe Harris came up big for Brooklyn. McCollum and Damian Lillard both had rough nights from the floor, combining to go 10-36 in the loss.

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Portland Trail Blazers Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 34-28 SU, 31-31 ATS, 33-29 OU
  • Road: 18-12 SU, 18-12 ATS, 18-12 OU

Guard play defines Portland. The Trail Blazers lean on their backcourt more than almost any other team in the league, asking Lillard and McCollum to constantly create opportunities for both themselves and their teammates.

Lillard and McCollum have both been playing well this season. Lillard leads the Trail Blazers with 28.2 PPG and 7.4 APG. He gets to the line more than almost any other player in the league, and he is making 37.3% of his threes despite taking almost 11 triples per game.

McCollum has been a little more efficient from the floor than his teammate. He is averaging 23.3 PPG with 4.8 APG, while making 39.5% of his treys.

The Trail Blazers recently had Jusuf Nurkic return from injury, and they are hoping that Nurkic and Enes Kanter can give them some sort of inside presence.

Portland ranks dead last in the league in points in the paint per game (38.4 PPG), and opponents are scoring 10 more points in the paint than the Trail Blazers. Nurkic and Kanter are both double-double players, but their defense has not been good.

While the perimeter defense is league average, the interior defense is one of the worst in the league. Opposing teams are making 54.7% of their twos against the Blazers, so look for the Nets to continually push the ball inside to their big men.

Brooklyn Nets Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 43-20 SU, 33-30 ATS, 37-26 OU
  • Road: 25-7 SU, 16-16 ATS, 18-14 OU

Brooklyn is now the odds-on favorite to win the Eastern Conference according to the futures odds. This team’s performance without having all three members of its super team fully healthy has quieted a lot of the pessimists, and the role players have performed well.

Harden will certainly miss this game due to his lingering hamstring injury, and Irving is a question mark after sitting out Thursday night’s victory over Indiana due to a sore groin.

Irving seemingly injured his groin against Toronto on Tuesday as he had a poor shooting night to finish with just nine points. He is averaging 26.9 PPG with 6.4 APG this season, so his presence or absence will have a noticeable impact on the line.

Durant has only played 26 games, but he appears to be in postseason form. He is averaging 27.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 5.1 APG on the year, and he is knocking down 54.7% of his field goals and 47.1% of his threes.

Although he is 32 years old and in his 14th season, there aren’t many tougher players to guard in the NBA than Durant.

The Nets own the best offense in the league. They are second in the NBA in scoring offense (118.7 PPG), and they lead the league in effective field goal percentage, shooting percentage, and two-point percentage.

Their three-point shooting has improved as the season has gone on too, making this team tough to beat in the playoffs.

Key Injuries

Portland Trail Blazers

  • PF Zach Collins: Foot - Out

Brooklyn Nets

  • PG Kyrie Irving: Groin - Questionable
  • SF Kevin Durant: Rest - Doubtful
  • SG James Harden: Hamstring - Out
  • PG Bruce Brown: Knee - Out
  • PF Nicolas Claxton: Quarantine - Out

Trail Blazers vs. Nets Prediction

Even without Irving, the Blazers are a bad matchup for the Nets. Brooklyn will pick up its fifth straight victory despite the tired legs.

Score Prediction: Nets 121, Trail Blazers 110
Best Bet: Brooklyn