Portland Trail Blazers vs Sacramento Kings.
Stadium: Moda Center, Portland.
Portland and Sacramento will play in one of the last games of the second game of the 2021/22 NBA Championship. The Trail Blazers are led by Chauncey Billups from this season, while the Kings continue under Luke Walton. Who will get off to a winning start? Let’s pick a few bets on the upcoming encounter at once.
Will Portland break the deadlock?
There’s no other way to describe the team’s state at the end of Terry Stotts’ tenure as head coach. The Western Conference finalist of the 2018/19 season had infamously ended their playoff journey in the first round in the next two. The Trail Blazers didn’t have much of a chance against the Lakers or a dead Denver in the postseason. Overall, though, Stotts’ tenure can be described as successful. In 9 seasons, the team only missed the playoffs one time - in the coach’s very first year.
Chauncey Billups will now manage Lillard and company, who helped Tyrone Liu at the Clippers last season and has no head coaching experience. The changes to the roster in the offseason were spotty as the backbone remained the same. Lillard, McCollum, Nurkic, Covington, and Norman Powell are almost a solid starting five for the new season. The new bench players are Cody Zeller, Tony Snell, Marquese Chriss, Quinn Cook, and Larry Nance, Jr.
Are Sacramento capable of making a shot?
Luke Walton’s team seems to have everything they need to compete for a playoff spot successfully. However, Sacramento lost their chances in the postseason long before the end of the regular season, updating their record of the 15th straight season without a playoff berth.
What should we expect from the Kings in the new season? As always, absolutely anything, except for relegation, although they have a better chance with a wild-card format. Sacramento strengthened their offensive line in the offseason by signing centres Tristan Thompson and Alex Len. Also worth noting is the arrival of another talented guard, Davion Mitchell from Baylor College, NCAA champion and the 9th pick of the 2021 draft.
Expert Betting Tips
The upcoming game will feature some of the worst defences in the league in recent years. Chauncey Billups is unlikely to have managed any dramatic changes to this component of the game in one preseason, especially as his squad is almost the same as Terry Stotts’. Luke Walton has proven time and again that he can’t build a quality defense, which, by the way, is why LeBron dismissed him as a Lakers coach in his time.
As for the outcome, it is worth considering Portland’s negative handicap. Lillard with Nurkic and McCollum are more credible than Haliburton with Hield, Fox, and a droopy Harrison Barnes.
- Total Over 230 for 1.71;
- Handicap 1 (-5) for 1.95;
- W1 and Total Over 230.5 for 3.00.