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The Portland Trail Blazers have been in playoff mode ever since the 2019-20 NBA season resumed in the bubble. Conversely, the Los Angeles Lakers have been in cruise control, and both methods of play continued in the opener of their Western Conference first-round series. The top-seeded Lakers attempt to raise their game when they face the No. 8 Trail Blazers in Game 2 on Thursday in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Tip-off at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Fla. is set for 9 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite, while the over-under is 228.5 in the latest Blazers vs. Lakers odds. Before making any Lakers vs. Blazers picks, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn’t missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Trail Blazers. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Trail Blazers vs. Lakers:

  • Lakers vs. Blazers spread: Lakers -6.5
  • Lakers vs. Blazers over-under: 228.5 points
  • Lakers vs. Blazers money line: Lakers -275, Blazers +235
  • POR: The Blazers were held under 101 points in Game 1 for the time in 16 contests 
  • LAL: The Lakers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games 

Why the Blazers can cover

Damian Lillard has been one of the main reasons Portland has thrived in the bubble. The 30-year-old point guard has scored at least 30 points in seven of the Trail Blazers’ 10 games since the season resumed, pouring in an astounding total of 219 over his last five contests (43.8 average). Lillard has been dangerous from long distance of late, sinking at least five 3-pointers in six of his last nine games.

Portland’s regular-season leader in points (30) and assists (eight), Lillard has raised his game when facing the Lakers as he’s averaged 35.5 points in four overall meetings in 2019-20. The Trail Blazers, who at 35-39 were one of three teams to qualify for this postseason with a sub-.500 record, went 13-for-34 overall from beyond the arc in Monday’s 100-93 triumph. Jusuf Nurkic, who made his season debut in the bubble after breaking his leg late last campaign, has recorded three straight double-doubles after notching 16 points and 15 rebounds in the series opener.

Why the Lakers can cover 

Los Angeles’ unsuccessful attempt at its first playoff win since the 2012 conference semifinals was no fault of LeBron James, who held up his end. The three-time NBA champion registered the 24th postseason triple-double of his career in Game 1 as he combined with Anthony Davis to produce more than 50 percent of the Lakers’ 93 points. James poured in 23 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while dishing out a playoff career-high 16 assists — a total he bested just once during the 2019-20 season.

Davis led Los Angeles on Tuesday with 28 points and added 11 boards but left room for improvement, as he entered the game with averages of 30.5 and 12.7 in 13 postseason contests. The Lakers will expect better performances from others in Game 2 as the rest of the team combined to go 17-for-53 from the floor and the bench recorded only 20 points, including 14 by Kyle Kuzma. The club could receive a spark from a different source as Rajon Rondo may make his first appearance in the bubble after undergoing surgery on his fractured left thumb.

How to make Lakers vs. Blazers picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total with Lillard and Kuzma among the players who fall short of their season-long scoring averages in the simulations. It also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Blazers vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Blazers 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.

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