Suns vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+5.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via <!–FanDuel–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
We’re officially in the swing of things as we head into the first NBA weekend. Each team has gotten a chance to get on the court, and the hot takes are flying already:
EMBIID SPACE JAM’D?!
DEROZAN MVP SZN 2.0?!
We know all five of those takes to be definitively true, but today we’re here to talk about the Suns and Trail Blazers and find you an edge to bet Friday night’s late-night home opener for the Blazers, so let’s get right to it.
Public Backing Suns After Wild Comeback
The Suns snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in their season opener, coming back from down as much as 22 points to beat their newly-found rivals in Dallas by a final score of 107-105.
Devin Booker unsurprisingly led the way from the Suns with 28 points and nine assists for the game, but it was Damion Lee of all people who was the hero down the stretch. Stephen Curry’s brother-in-law hit what proved to be the game winner with under 10 seconds to go before a deep Luka Doncic 3-point attempt went begging at the buzzer.
It was a big win for the Suns who famously got stomped by those same Mavericks back in May to end their season. Especially after going down early, Phoenix did well to shake off all that is swirling around them and focus on the court for the win.
So can they make it 2-0?
This line opened up at Suns -3, which felt like an absolute trap. The Suns are fresh off a 64-win season, while the Blazers are a team that most see as play-in fodder. It was such a tasty line that I actually avoided it out of “Admiral Ackbar — It’s a Trap” fear.
However, the line has indeed steadily moved towards the Suns. In the Action Network app, you can see this is a result both of Phoenix taking nearly all the money (92% of the bets and 90% of the money), as well as sharp action coming in on the Suns. As a result, the line is as high as -5.5 at BetMGM.
Clearly folks are believers in the Suns, who are mostly healthy (Landry Shamet, a potential rotation piece, is questionable), going into Portland and ruining the Blazers’ home opener.
Trail Blazers Small-Ball Lineup Could Be a Weapon
The Trail Blazers also come into Friday’s game 1-0. The Blazers went into Sacramento on Wednesday night and used a strong small-ball lineup to end the game on a 14-4 run and secure victory.
Damian Lillard had 20 points in his first action since last December, but it took him 18 shots to do so, notably going 1-8 from deep. However, Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons, and Josh Hart helped pick up the slack, each tallying between 19 and 22 points in a very balanced Portland attack.
As noted, though, the Blazers also seemed to unlock a potentially interesting lineup late in the win, with Justice Winslow closing the game with the four others mentioned so far (Lillard, Simons, Hart, and Grant). It’s a lineup that leaves Grant (6-foot-8, 210 pounds) as the nominal center, but it was able to do plenty of damage against the Kings late on Wednesday.
I’ll be very curious to see how often Chauncey Billups deploys this lineup throughout the season because it has the potential to be a very fun lineup at the right time and place.
It also plays into how I am looking at betting this game. When the line opened at +3, I was definitely interested in the Suns. However, as the number has grown and grown, I am getting more interested in the Portland side.
This is a team that most people feel is in the play-in tier because of a lack of depth over the course of a long season, but with the team healthy as of now (they are missing only Gary Payton II, who will be an admittedly key part of the rotation), this is a talented team. They will also be getting their home opener boost Friday in a Moda Center that is always electric.
They also have this fresh new lineup that could give Deandre Ayton some trouble, and Josh Hart is a solid wing to be able to put on Booker to at least contain him somewhat.
This will be an excellent early season test of whether the Blazers — if they stay healthy — can be a team closer to the top six, or if they need full health just to get into the play-in mix even.
Suns-Trail Blazers Pick
With all that in mind, as I said I am slightly leaning towards the Blazers in this game. I will advise bettors to wait, however. I think this line could potentially get to +6.5, at which point I would feel even better (of course) and will play it in the app at the point as well.
Since that’s only a lean, I’ll add another play: Deandre Ayton under 27.5 points plus rebounds at DraftKings. There are a few points here. One, I will be targeting Ayton rebound unders in general under I get a feel for if he’s fully engaged with this team. There’s a lot of smoke around his signing and how the relationship with the team is — rebounds are the exact spot to suffer if that’s the case.
Jusuf Nurkic, his opponent of Friday, is also one of the best rebounding bigs in the league, and can easily get Ayton into foul trouble as well. Finally, it feels like Billups is really going to like this new toy he found in the small ball lineup he closed Wednesday’s win with.
It grabbed all the headlines, and if he does go to that lineup intermittently throughout the game, I just can’t see Ayton sticking on the court long to run with them.
There is a bit of risk in this bet because if he does stick on the court for those minutes, he could absolutely vacuum the boards, but Phoenix has plenty of option to go small as well, so I see Monty Williams countering back by sending Ayton to the bench.
As such, this is also a lean, which for me is a half-unit play.
Lean: Portland Trail Blazers +5.5 (Wait it out and bump it up if it gets to 6.5 or higher)
Lean: Deandre Ayton under 27.5 points plus rebounds (-115)
NBA article plays: 2-0 (93.5 percent ROI on a minuscule sample of course)
NBA Action Network App plays: 22-11-2 (34.8 percent ROI on also a pretty small sample to be honest, but we’ll be tracking this all year for transparency)