Portland Blazers vs. New Orleans Hornets Preview and Pick

Portland Trailblazers (25-16) +6 , 190 at New Orleans Hornets (28-12), 8 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com

A couple of Western Conference division leaders clash when the New Orleans Hornets take on the Portland Trailblazers Wednesday night in the Big Easy.

Online Sportsbooks list New Orleans as a 6 1/2-point home favorite for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 190. Also, the Hornets are listed at around -290 on the moneylines, with Portland getting +245 as road underdogs.

After winning in Atlanta in overtime Monday 111-109, thanks to 62 points from the bench, Portland is 3-3 on its current seven-game road trip. So going into Wednesday’s play, the Blazers lead the Northwest Division by a half-game over the second-place Denver Nuggets.

Meanwhile, the Hornets have won five games in a row (by an average of 21 points) and 13 of their last 15 after beating Milwaukee Monday 106-92. So heading into Wednesday’s action, New Orleans leads the Southwest Division by a game over the second-place Dallas Mavericks.

Portland has won two of three games with the Hornets already this season, and took two of three from New Orleans last season. The o/u is 3-3 in those last six meetings in this series, which have averaged 186 total points. And the totals would be 2-4 in those last six games between these two teams had they all been Wednesday’s o/u of 190.

But despite losing two of three to the Blazers this season, the Hornets have outshot Portland 45% to 44% in those three games and out-rebounded them by a collective 137-111 margin.

This season, both these teams have been very kind to their financial backers. The Blazers are 26-15 against the spread, 8-13 straight up but 11-10 vs. the numbers on the road, while New Orleans is 25-14 ATS, 13-7 SU and 11-9 against the spread at home.

Statistically speaking, the Hornets rank 6th in the league in point differential at +5.5 per game, while Portland ranks 15th at +1.4.

Portland is shooting 46% from the field as a team this season, 40% from 3-point range (which ranks 2nd in the league) and 77% from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, New Orleans is shooting 46% from the floor, 38% from long range and 78% from the line.

Defensively, the Blazers are holding opponents to 44% FG shooting, the Hornets 45%. But while New Orleans ranks 11th in rebounding at +1.1 per game, Portland ranks 22nd at -1.3 per game.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Hornets 4th at 95.5, the Blazers 15th at 91.6. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 2.8.

The o/u is a collective 34-46 in Portland and New Orleans games this season. Blazers games are averaging 193 total points, Hornets games 192 points.

Zman’s Pick: Portland +6.5.