LA LAKERS vs PORTLAND 10/18/2018 Odds, Picks & Preview

The LA LAKERS and the PORTLAND will both be gunning for a victory on 10/18/2018 at 10:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS vs PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
When: 10:30 PM  ET, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

ROT TEAM PS OU ML
505 LA LAKERS -3 (-110) 222 (-110) 135
-155
506 PORTLAND

TV: 10:35 PM
LINE: -3
PREDICTION: PORTLAND , LA LAKERS

Oddsmakers currently have the PORTLAND listed as -3 point favorites versus the LA LAKERS, while the game’s total is sitting at 222.

LeBron James makes his highly anticipated team debut when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday in the season opener for both teams. James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract as a free agent last July and will look to help boost the fortunes of the once-proud franchise.

James has played in the NBA Finals in each of the past eight seasons but it seems highly improbable that the Lakers – with five straight losing seasons – can fashion a turnaround that includes getting past the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. “We can only focus on what we can do to get better every day as the Lakers franchise,” James told reporters, “and hopefully someday we can put ourselves in a position where we can compete for a championship as Golden State has done for the last few years.” The first task facing Los Angeles is figuring out how to beat the Trail Blazers, who have won the past 15 meetings and figure to be a playoff team again this season. “It’s going to be a challenging season because of the nature of the Western Conference,” Portland coach Terry Stotts told reporters. “But I like our team, I like our players. We’ve done a lot of good things in the past.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE LAKERS (2017-18: 35-47): Los Angeles signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo and center JaVale McGee to add some veteran presence into the starting lineup and perhaps shorten the time period it takes to win. One young building block expected to take a step forward this season is Brandon Ingram, the small forward who was the No. 2 pick in 2016 and averaged 16.1 points last season. “This is the year for him,” James recently said in a television interview. “I believe in him. I know what his abilities are just being around him for these first few weeks. Every big shot we needed, every play we needed, he made down the stretch, and I love seeing his growth.”

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (2017-18: 49-33): Portland is looking to make the postseason for the sixth straight season but there still is a sense of regret over last season’s poor showing, when the New Orleans Pelicans recorded a four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round. “I don’t see how we could be complacent about anything,” star point guard Damian Lillard told reporters. “I think it’s a level of comfort with each other. We’ve been teammates for a few years now we know each other pretty well so I think there is comfort. But I don’t think we’re in a position to be complacent.” Lillard has averaged more than 25 points per game in three straight seasons while sidekick CJ McCollum has topped 20 in three consecutive campaigns.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Trail Blazers won last season’s three meetings by an average of 3.7 points.

2. Los Angeles PG Lonzo Ball begins his second season as a backup to Rondo.

3. Portland SF Maurice Harkless (knee) is questionable for the opener.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 119, Lakers 111

Tony’s Pick TEAM
PORTLAND -155

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