New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers

NBA: 10:30 PM EST

April 17, 2018

Tuesday night’s action will conclude with Game 2 between the Portland Trailblazers and New Orleans Pelicans. The visitors came into the Moda Center in Game 1 and surprised Portland by stealing a low-scoring game 97-95.

The most notable storyline from Saturday’s series opener was the poor shooting performance by the Blazers’ most dynamic players: guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The backcourt combined for 37 points on just 13-41 (31%) from the field. Kudos to anyone that followed our tip from Game 1, as the 192 combined points fell well short from Vegas’ predicted total of 215.5.

I’m very optimistic that Portland will even the series on Tuesday night, as they managed to stay within reach of the Pels despite a dismal shooting performance from their guards. Anthony Davis posted a very impressive stat line of 35 points and 14 rebounds, and it’s hard to project The Brow contributing much more to a New Orleans side that failed to reach 100 points total despite his incredible effort. Jrue Holiday chipped in an important 21 from the point guard position, but the Pelicans’ offensive production is very unsteady outside of those two guys. This is a team that desperately needs a third option, and will dearly miss injured center DeMarcus Cousins.

According to Kevin Pelton of ESPN, Portland’s qSQ (quantified shot quality) of 54.9% was the highest of any team in Game 1 of the postseason, and yet they managed just 95 points and took a loss. That advanced shooting metric means that the Blazers were getting high-quality shots (both in terms of shooting place and nearby defenders), but they just wouldn’t fall. I expect Terry Stotts to stick to his scheme from Game 1, and see largely better results from a Blazers team that may have shown some nerves early in an uncharacteristic performance. Give me Portland to even this up at 1-1.

Our Free Betting Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -6.5

Connor Woods

Connor has been an avid athlete, sports fan, and pro capper for several years now. He graduated from the University of Alabama and supports the Crimson Tide in addition to four major teams in Chicago: the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls. One of his passions is visiting MLB stadiums - he's currently seen a game in 17 of the 30 active parks.

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