Last Updated: 2018-08-23
The Portland Trail Blazers had a remarkable 2017-2018 regular season, finishing third in the Western Conference with a 49-33 record (28-13 at home, -20 on the road), and winning the Southwest Division title with one win ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz. However, in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers were easily beaten by the New Orleans Pelicans in four games which was a massive disappointment for the fans, while it was the second consecutive first-round sweep for the Blazers.
The 2018-19 NBA season is getting closer and all futures and season props for the Portland Trail Blazers are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from the Blazers this year.
Portland Trail Blazers Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 42: Over -105; Under -115
To Win the Northwest Division at +675
To Win the Western Conference at +6800
To Win the NBA Championship at +9000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES +125, NO -175 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Portland Trail Blazers Player Movement
Draft: Anfernee Simons (No. 24 Pick), Gary Trent Jr. (No. 37 Pick)
Added: Seth Curry (free agency, Dallas Mavericks), Nik Stauskas (free agency, Brooklyn Nets)
Lost: Ed Davis (signed with Brooklyn Nets), Shabazz Napier (signed with Brooklyn Nets), Pat Connaughton (signed with Milwaukee Bucks), Georgios Papagiannis (waived)
Unrestricted Free Agent: C.J. Wilcox
The Blazers selected the 19-year old shooting guard Anfernee Simons with the 24th overall pick at the 2018 NBA Draft, and it was an interesting decision to pick up the guy who spent the year at IMG Academy instead of playing in the NCAA. Simons is a promising shooter and a great athlete who can push the tempo and run in the open floor but will certainly need some time to get used to an NBA basketball. Has a decent defensive potential, although it’s another area where he needs to improve if he wants to play on a regular basis.
Gary Trent Jr. was selected with the 37th overall pick, and the 19-year old freshman from Duke will be another reinforcement at the Blazers’ backcourt. In his only season with the Blue Devils, Trent Jr. was the third leading scorer, averaging 14.5 points per game on 41.5% shooting from the field and 40.2% from beyond the arc. Gary is an excellent spot-up shooter but will need to work on his defense as it’s his biggest vulnerability.
The Blazers lost the playmaker Shabazz Napier who played 20.7 minutes per game last season, averaging 8.7 points and 2.0 assists as a backup for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. As a replacement for Napier, the Blazers acquired Seth Curry who missed the whole 2017-18 season due to a tibia injury, while two seasons ago, he averaged 12.8 points and 2.7 assists in 70 games for the Dallas Mavericks.
Portland Trail Blazers 2018-19 Roster
Damian Lillard was the Blazers’ leader in the last few years, but it seems like the 28-year old point guard is not happy in Portland anymore, so there’s plenty of rumors about his future and a potential trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. Reportedly, Lillard would like to join LeBron James and play in a larger market, while the New York Knicks are also interested in Damian’s services. Last year, Lillard averaged 26.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists while shooting 43.9% from the field and 36.1% from downtown in 36.6 minutes per game. However, the lack of the post-season success is what racks the Blazers who were bounced out of the first round for two years in a row, each time in four games.
C.J. McCollum is another guy with the uncertain future in the team who can pay the bill for the Blazers’ poor performance in the post-season. McCollum is a sharp-shooter with a deadly range, and in the last three seasons, he was the second scoring option for the Blazers, playing alongside Damian Lillard. These two guys make one of the best backcourts in the league, particularly at the offensive end, so many teams would like to acquire McCollum. Last year, he averaged 21.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on a 44.3% shooting from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc.
Jusuf Nurkic should be the third scoring option for the Blazers, and the 23-year old big man made a significant improvement in his game since arrived from the Denver Nuggets last year. In the 2017-18 season, Nurkic played 79 games for the Blazers, averaging 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on a 50.5% shooting from the field. Nurkic is a powerful guy with a good technique for a big man who can make a lot of damage inside the paint, while his high energy is essential for the Blazers.
The 25-year old wing Maurice Harkless will be a starting small forward, as Harkless is a great defender, probably the best one in the Blazers’ roster. Maurice sparks everyone to work hard on defense, but on the other side, his offensive skills are quite limited. Last year, Harkless averaged 6.5 points on 49.5% shooting from the field, playing in 59 games during the regular season. He will battle Evan Turner for the place in the starting lineup, and Turner is another excellent defender who also struggles at the offensive end. In 79 games last year, Turner averaged 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 44.7% from the field. Al-Farouq Aminu will start at power forward, as the 27-year old wing is a versatile member of the Blazers’ starting lineup. He played 69 games last year, recording 9.3 points and 7.6 rebounds, doing a solid job on both ends of the court.
Players Under Contract:
Damian Lillard (PG), Seth Curry (PG), Wade Baldwin IV (PG)
C.J. McCollum (SG), Nik Stauskas (SG), Gary Trent Jr. (SG), Anfernee Simons (SG)
Maurice Harkless (SF), Evan Turner (SF), Jake Layman (SF)
Al-Farouq Aminu (PF), Meyers Leonard (PF)
Jusuf Nurkic (C), Zach Collins (C), Caleb Swanigan (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Portland Trail Blazers could have a turbulent season with all trade rumors around, so the bookmakers are pretty sure that the Blazers will struggle to replicate the success from the previous season when they won the Northwest Division. According to Bet365 Sportsbook, the Blazers are +125 favorites to earn the playoff spot, while they are huge underdogs to retain the division title with the odds at +675. Interestingly, all other four teams in the Northwest Division are stronger favorites to win the title than the Blazers.
Although the Blazers won 49 games in the last term, the bookies set the line on the win total at 42 games. The competition in the Western Conference is stiffer than ever, as LeBron James joined the Lakers, so it’s hard to tell whether the Blazers are capable of making another strong run. They should be somewhere around 43 wins, but I will go with the under, as I think the Blazers will fail to make it to the Playoffs and could make some changes in their roster during the season.
The Pick: Under 42 (-115)
Prediction: 11th in the Western Conference
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