Our Staff’s Favorite Picks Including Nets vs. Trail Blazers & Kings vs. Lakers (April 30)

The weekend is officially here, so let’s get it started on the right foot with some NBA betting.

Brandon Anderson and Raheem Palmer broke down their two favorite picks for the day, including one on Nets vs. Trail Blazers and one for Lakers vs. Kings.

Check out both picks, complete with a full betting breakdown below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Trail Blazers -2.5
8 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: It feels like the Blazers might have escaped the worst of it.

Portland had lost 10-of-13 and looked like it was spiraling toward an ugly season exit before turning things around with back-to-back 21-point wins over the Pacers and Grizzlies, two teams fighting to stay on the edge of the playoff race, just like the Blazers.

Portland had just lost two in a row to Memphis before dominating these games on back-to-back nights, and four of its previous six games had come down to the final possession, with only one of them turning into a win. It looked like Dame Time might finally have struck midnight. But now, perhaps, the Blazers have new life.

And they may have quite the stroke of luck Friday night with the vaunted Nets on the schedule.

James Harden is out, and Kevin Durant is listed as doubtful and unlikely to play. Kyrie Irving is also questionable, so it’s entirely possible that the Nets could be missing all three of their stars. That would leave a team of Joe Harris, Jeff Green, and Blake Griffin, and you have to believe a relatively healthy Blazers team should be able to take care of a game like that with ease.

It’s not that this game doesn’t matter to Brooklyn. The Nets are still trying to get the 1-seed. But even if Kyrie plays, the Blazers still have the better point guard and the better supporting cast.

I have to trust the Blazers to get the win, and I’ll grab this at -2.5 before the Nets stars are announced out and the line rises further.

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings

Lakers -8
10:30 p.m. ET

Raheem Palmer: Both of these teams come off games in which they were downright embarrassed by the opposition, with the Sacramento Kings losing by 49 in a 154-105 loss to the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers losing, 116-107, to the Washington Wizards.

Unlike the Kings, the Lakers are actually a legitimate championship contender.

The Kings are missing both De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes for this game, which really puts them at a disadvantage against a Lakers team that is still second in Defensive Rating, allowing opposing teams to score just 107.7 points per 100 possessions in their nongarbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.

The Kings are scoring 116.6 points per 100 possessions with Barnes on the floor vs. 109.6 with him off the floor (+7.0). They were also scoring 115.4 points per 100 possessions with Fox on the floor vs. 112.7 with him off (+2.7).

Although they could remain competitive with one missing, they’re really going to struggle without both, as it’s asking a lot of the team to replace two of their top three scorers in addition to their best playmaker in Fox and their best wing in Barnes.

The loss of Barnes, in particular, really hurts a Kings defense that is already dead last in Defensive Rating (119.4) in their non-garbage time minutes.

With Barnes on the floor, they’re giving up an Offensive Rating of 117.7. With Barnes off the floor, they’re giving up an Offensive Rating of 123.5 (-5.8), so I have trouble believing they’ll have any chance of stopping this Lakers team that already beat a full-strength version of the Kings, 115-94, without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

In that game, the Lakers put up an Offensive Rating of 115, and I think we could see a similar or even better result tonight.

The Kings come off a game in which they gave up 154 points to the Jazz, along with an Offensive Rating of a whopping 153.5 without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, so the Lakers can name their score here. Giving up 1.53 points per possession is almost like the opposing team scoring two points every trip up the floor.

The Lakers are back home for a three-game homestand against the Kings, Raptors and Nuggets as they hope to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

Look for them to kick off the homestand with a big win. I’ll lay the eight points here.

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