Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers finishes off a dunk

Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs Series Betting Free Pick

Lobbing up a 2014 NBA playoff series betting free pick on the upcoming saga between the vaunted San Antonio Spurs and the upstart Portland Trail Blazers is a contrast between two lesser evils.

On one hand, you have a San Antonio team that just went 1-6 ATS in their seven game series against the Dallas Mavericks. On the other, you have a Portland team that was fortunate enough to play against a Rockets squad that paid zero attention to defense. By the way, Portland has gone 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games.

Obviously, that makes the San Antonio Spurs the easy take in playoff series betting free picks. Most of it is because I can’t imagine what Portland’s going to look like against a well coached team that can actually play defense. Another reason is that the oddsmakers have made San Antonio heavy favorites to rampage the first game, giving the hosts a -6.5 point handicap.

Beyond that, the oddsmakers have favored San Antonio to clean up this series in five games and offered a +180 payout if that happens. The exact series price on the Spurs is 4 games (+600), 5 games (+180), 6 games (+400) and 7 games (+350). Those are all reasonable odds to leverage in series betting free picks, even though I prefer the five game option.

As for Portland, all of their odds are in the thousands except for a series win in six games which is valued at +800. The oddsmakers are giving them almost no, reasonable chance of toppling the Spurs and are daring you to take them to win. There’s a lot of likable components on this Portland team, but nothing about their makeup suggests that they can sneak past Popovich’s well-oiled juggernaut.

Everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – leans heavily in San Antonio’s favor, which is why they’re a glaringly obvious series betting free pick for most handicappers like me. Experience, coaching, star players, veterans, depth, two-way play, clutch performances and more are all in San Antonio’s corner by a landslide.

Eventually, predicting this series before it starts remains difficult because we just don’t know how Portland will perform against a championship caliber team that plays two-way ball. Houston was a mess on defense, and barely cognoscente enough on offence to put together meaningful plays.

Updated 2014 NBA Championship Odds

Miami 7-5 2-1
San Antonio 5-2 10-1
Oklahoma City 7-2 9-2
Indiana 6-1 10-1
L.A. Clippers 7-1 12-1
Brooklyn 25-1 12-1
Portland 28-1 80-1
Washington 35-1 125-1

I just think that San Antonio plays a version of basketball that Portland can’t compete with. This isn’t a run-and-gun team. This is a Spurs team that wears you down on every possession. The only reason they struggled against Dallas is because Rick Carlisle is a freaking lineup genius . Portland’s Terry Slotts is a decent coach, but he’s in way over his head. So are his players.

Lillard and Aldridge are fine talents, but they’re going up against two living legends who are amongst the very best to ever play their positions. Yes, I will stand by Tony Parker in that regard. Don’t want to believe me? Fine. Watch him against Damian Lillard and when you go against my series betting free pick you’ll know what regret tastes like.

Blazers vs. Spurs Series Betting Free Pick: Spurs in 5 +180

Posted in NBA