Nets vs. Trail Blazers Betting Preview: How to Hedge Thursday's Star Matchup

Jim Turvey previews Thursday night's NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers and offers up a betting pick.

Nets vs. Trail Blazers Odds

Nets Odds +2
Trail Blazers Odds -2
Over/Under 220
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Oh boy.

If you are a fan of NBA drama, the Brooklyn Nets never fail to disappoint.

In fact, let’s get right to their team section because there’s just so much to say.

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Brooklyn Nets

After a few games under Jacque Vaughn, when it looked like the team might have turned a bit of a corner and might be a hard-working, good-defense upstart, the Nets came out and gave up 153 (!) points in a regulation loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

That was two nights after giving up 116 in a loss to the Lakers, which is almost as bad as giving up 150 to a normal team. (I troll, but it was indeed the Lakers second-highest total in regulation this season.)

Those two losses led to a Kevin Durant quote that you have undoubtedly seen by now, which plays a bit fast and loose with the phrase “not disrespect.”

There are also Ben Simmons memes, fake quotes and real quotes that sound like fake quotes flying around the Twittersphere. After a brief week in which there was calm in Brooklyn, it appears we are back to LOLNets.

Portland Trail Blazers

Now, for the Blazers, let’s shift the focus back to what’s actually going on in this matchup on the court.

The Blazers have continued to run a little hot when it comes to their luck. They don’t profile as the best team in the West, but, as has been noted in previous previews, this is not a full paper tiger.

This team looks like a legitimate playoff team if it stays healthy. Speaking of which, they have had Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons together in four of the past five games, and have also won four of their past five (not the same four). Gary Payton II remains sidelined, but otherwise, only Justise Winslow is questionable for Thursday’s matchup.

And, at least on paper, the Blazers have the pieces to give the Nets trouble.

The Nets have an ability to go small with Nic Claxton as an elite defensive center despite his lack of size (and no matter what Durant says about him!). However, the Blazers can easily counter with fast, but strong small-ball units, with either Jerami Grant or Winslow taking Claxton in cross-coverage.

The Blazers, unsurprisingly, rank third in three-point field goal percentage, a weak spot for the Nets, who rank 28th in three-point field goal defense.

Nets-Trail Blazers Pick

To be perfectly honest, this feels like a really funky game. Just go back to any Nets game this season and try to lay out the eventual game script the day before — they are betting Kryptonite. However, because of that, I want to make things a little fun and lean into the chaos.

The Blazers, despite their success, have been slow starters this season. They have a -4.4 net rating in the first half, compared to +8.9 (second in the league to only the Cleveland Cavaliers) in the second half. On the flip side, the Nets, despite their flailing, have posted a +4.4 net rating in the first half before falling all the way to -5.5 in the second half.

So, in a game in which chaos seems to be on the menu, let’s do it. A Brooklyn first half/Portland full time moneyline parlay should pay somewhere around +500 (you can find the prop at FanDuel, or just can create it as a Same Game Parlay). Obviously these are negatively correlated, so I wouldn’t recommend a play like this often, but if you want to make a fun bet, this is your shot.

I’ll also add a lean toward the Portland spread if you prefer your picks more down the line.

Picks: Brooklyn first half/Portland full time moneyline parlay (quarter unit at +500 or better) | Portland -2 (play to -3 at half a unit)

NBA Article Plays: 13-11-1 (8.4% ROI) | NBA Action Network App Plays: 123-129-5 (2.9% ROI)