NBA Playoffs: Greg Frank has odds and picks for Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) is pressured by Sacramento Kings' Alex Len (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Kevin C. Cox | Pool via Associated Press

NBA Playoffs: Greg Frank has odds and picks for Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Lakers

Trail Blazers @ Lakers tips off at 9 pm EDT

Trail Blazers (+6.5) @ Lakers (233)

Game time: 9 pm EDT

Pick: Lakers -6.5

Do not succumb to recency bias when handicapping this game. Sure, Damian Lillard was one of the top stories of the seeding games in the NBA bubble. But let’s remember why that is. After getting to the Western Conference Finals last season, Portland had to fight, scratch and claw its way to the eight seed in the West this year. The Lakers on the other hand were a dominant regular season team prior to the suspension of the season. They didn’t need to do much in the seeding games to secure the top seed in the West and now that they’ve got it, we’re expecting the purple and gold to open the playoffs with a bang. The Trail Blazers are sure to be a trendy underdog pick. We suggested giving the Sixers series price a look at 3-1 or longer yesterday. Portland was shorter than Philadelphia to win its first round series at just about every sportsbook. While our suggestion of buying low on the Sixers might not prove to be profitable, we’re fairly certain the market has overreacted to the Trail Blazers run in the bubble. Favorites went 4-0 against the spread yesterday in the first day of the NBA Playoffs. Top seeds were ready to go and certainly came with postseason intensity. After watching that and the Blazers become the top story in the NBA, the Lakers are ready to send a message today.

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