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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Preview

Tuesday night features a Western Conference showdown when the New Orleans Pelicans (17-22) take on the Portland Trail Blazers (22-16). Portland will play host to this one at the Moda Center, with tipoff scheduled for 10:00 pm ET.

New Orleans, currently ranked 11th in the West, comes into this one on a bit of a roll, having won back-to-back games. In their latest victory Sunday, they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 135-115. In the win, the Pelicans had three players with 20 or more points, led by Zion Williamson with 27.

Despite losing their last game, 114-112, to the Timberwolves, the Trail Blazers have moved up to 6th in the Western Conference standings. Their record is tied with the 5th seeded Denver Nuggets, so Portland will look to add to their win column. They will get a big boost as CJ McCollum is expected to return for this one.

In terms of the moneyline, this is basically a toss-up as both teams come in at -108. The Trail Blazers get the slight edge in the spread, though, as they are currently favored at -1.

By The Numbers

These are two of the best scoring teams in the league. New Orleans currently ranks 5th in the NBA, averaging 115.7 points per game. Portland comes in just a few spots behind at 8th averaging 114.9 points per game.

As good as they are offensively, they are both equally as bad defensively. Portland ranks 25th in scoring defense, allowing 115.4 points per game. New Orleans ranks 27th, allowing 115.5 points per game.

Pelicans Trying To Make Run At Playoffs

Currently, 3.5 games separate the Pelicans from the 8th seed in the West, but New Orleans has the talent to make a run. After losing their first game after the All-Star break, the Pelicans have won two in a row and will look to their young stars to keep them on track.

Leading the way for New Orleans are forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. For Williamson, he has averaged 25.5 points on 61.9% shooting this season. He is also averaging seven rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

Equally as impressive has been Brandon Ingram. He is averaging 23.7 points while also adding 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

Other contributors for the Pelicans include Lonzo Ball (14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.3 steals), Eric Bledsoe (11.8 points, 3.9 rebounds), and Steven Adams (8.3 points, 9.2 rebounds).

Portland Welcomes Back Reinforcements

The Portland Trail Blazers have had two major injuries affect their starting rotation in guard CJ McCollum and center Jusuf Nurkic. On Tuesday, they will get one of the two back.

After almost two months out with a fractured left foot, CJ McCollum will be returning to the lineup for the Blazers. This will be a huge boost to the lineup as he was solid prior to the injury. In 13 games, he is averaging 26.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, five assists, and 1.3 steals.

Of course, guard Damian Lillard has led the way for Portland. He is averaging 29.9 points on 44.6% shooting. He is also averaging 4.4 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and one steal.

Also, in the absence of Nurkic, Enes Kanter has played really well, averaging 12 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

Taking Portland To Win And Cover

I already liked Portland at home, where they are 11-7 this season. Adding McCollum back into the mix, I really like them to win on Tuesday. Granted, after two months off, he will likely be a little rusty, but he doesn’t have to be elite, he just needs to take some of the pressure off of Lillard.

While you can never discount the high-flying Pelicans, for my money, I am taking Portland at -1.

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