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Wagering Preview: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers
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After once trailing in the series, the Los Angeles Lakers will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4. The Blazers blitzed the Lakers and pulled out an impressive win in the series opener, but the Lakers bounced back and won Games 2 and 3. The Lakers defense has been extremely impressive in this series, holding Portland — one of the league’s highest scoring teams — to 100 points or fewer in two of the first three contests. 

There is no shortage of star power on display in this series, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis have carried the Lakers to an early lead in the series, while Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony have put up major points for Portland. Here’s everything you need to know about Game 4 between the Lakers and Blazers. 

Viewing information

  • Date: Monday, Aug. 24 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: TNT
  • Odds: Lakers -7 | Over/Under: 225.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)

Storylines

Lakers: The Blazers are far from your average No. 8 seed. Had Portland been at full health throughout the regular season it would have likely finished much higher in the standings. Although it might be a bit frustrating for the Lakers to secure the top seed in the conference only to face off against a team that is much better than a typical low seed, it will also serve as an extremely good warm-up for them. The Blazers have tested the Lakers, and in turn helped them prepare for future rounds against tougher teams. Of course, the Lakers can’t overlook Portland as they still have to close out the series, but with LeBron James on the roster that doesn’t seem like something that they need to worry about. James has never lost a first-round playoff series in his entire career, and he won’t want it to happen for the first time in his 17-year career. 

Trail Blazers: The Blazers will go as far as Lillard can take them. Sure, he has some help in CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, but ultimately the Blazers go as Dame goes. If he is able to have a massive game on Monday night, the Blazers could potentially tie the series up at two games apiece. If not, they will likely find themselves in a 3-1 hole. Portland’s task in this series has been a bit tougher without Zach Collins, who is out for the rest of the season following ankle surgery. Against a team as big as the Lakers, Portland could use all the size it has, and Collins certainly would have played a major role for the team in the series. 

Prediction

The Blazers were the hottest team in the bubble heading into postseason play, and they used that momentum to pull off an upset in Game 1. Since then, though, the Lakers have bounced back and used their dominant defense to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Now that the Lakers appear to have found their stride, and with LeBron revving up his postseason play, it’s tough to pick against the Lakers in this one. Pick: Lakers -7

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