The Portland Trail Blazers are on the verge of falling out of contention in the crowded Western Conference. Going 5-13 since mid-December dropped Portland from No. 6 in the West to No. 12. Losing Monday to the Atlanta Hawks could put the Blazers behind the Los Angeles Lakers, furthering their woes as the trade deadline approaches.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Hawks-Blazers matchup on January 30.
Hawks vs Trail Blazers best odds
Hawks vs Trail Blazers picks and predictions
Past failures don't automatically lead to more struggles, but things are getting so ugly in Portland that it's hard to expect anything but more awfulness. The Blazers have ranked No. 25 in team defensive rating since Dec. 18, per statmuse.com. The Hawks have ranked No. 17.
Portland scores plenty, largely thanks to Damian Lillard putting together one of his best stretches, a high bar to clear on its own. The Blazers rank No. 9 in team offensive rating since their spiral began (Atlanta comes in at No. 13.)
The Blazers are narrow 2-point favorites on Monday because of that offense and home-court advantage. The Hawks also fell at Los Angeles two nights ago after cutting a double-digit deficit to four points in the closing minutes. Four of Atlanta’s starters played at least 34 minutes.
Two of those four starters are 25 years old (John Collins and De’Andre Hunter), while Trae Young is 24, and Dejounte Murray is 26. How tired will they be two days after that game? And is Portland favored as a nod to Hollywood's nightlife?
That might be part of the reasoning, even with the team's efficient offense.
Not even Lillard at his most prolific has been enough for the Blazers lately. He's scored 30-plus points 11 times over 18 games. Portland has gone 4-7 in those contests, including 2-2 when he records 40 points.
But Hunter and Murray weren't patrolling the perimeter for those opponents. Asking Lillard to outduel those two is a lot.
It's more likely that Atlanta wins outright. The odds may disagree, but falling to the Clippers in the Hawks' current form is hardly a setback. Atlanta has won six of its last nine, including going 2-1 outright as an underdog.
The headlines may focus on the traffic in jam in the Western Conference. But the play-in mix out East is rather tight too. The Hawks are 1.5 games behind the New York Knicks to host the first play-in game, and only 2.5 games away from getting out of the play-in entirely. Wins are vital.
How important is winning for Portland right now? The trade deadline is looming, a franchise that was already questionably constructed is clearly struggling, and the players know changes are surely coming.
Let’s trust the young Hawks didn't party too hard in Los Angeles on Saturday night and are ready to take advantage of a stumbling Blazers squad.
My best bet: Hawks ML (+110 at FanDuel)
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Hawks vs Trail Blazers spread analysis
This spread has hardly moved since opening at -2.5 late Sunday night. It dropped to -2 in the morning and remained steady.
That means the game should be devoid of the load management and rest days, which have been occurring often around the NBA recently.
The Blazers have been favored by three points or fewer three times since Dec. 18, going 0-3 against the spread and 0-3 straight up. They've also gone 2-5 ATS and 2-5 straight up when favorites of five-plus points. Portland cannot be trusted in close games, even with Lillard.
Hawks vs Trail Blazers Over/Under analysis
The total dropped a touch after opening at 236.5 early Monday morning, briefly falling to 235.5 before rebounding to 237 by lunchtime.
Despite the Blazers’ wretched defensive showings of late and worthwhile offense, the Over has cashed in only six of the 18 games during the team's fall from playoff contention.
Hawks vs Trail Blazers betting trend to know
The Blazers are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games when playing on one day of rest. Find more NBA betting trends for Hawks vs. Trail Blazers.
Hawks vs Trail Blazers game info
|Location:||Moda Center, Portland, OR|
|Date:||Monday, January 30, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|