Update: The Blazers have left Portland and this game is set to be played. However, Jerami Grant and Damian Lillard have been ruled out due to rest, because the All-Star break was apparently not enough for them. Portland will now need Shaedon Sharpe and Nassir Little will take on bigger roles in this game. The Kings are now 11-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the total has moved to 236.5. We’ll take the Kings against the spread, but we’ll go under on the total as Portland is significantly undermanned.
Update: The Blazers have not departed from Portland yet due to a massive snowstorm in the Pacific Northwest area, so there’s a chance this game gets postponed. For now, you can enjoy Damian Lillard dropping bars from the tarmac. Warning: NSFW Language.
"Shooters in the locker room like we the f*****g Wizards"— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 23, 2023
Damian Lillard freestyled over "Tomorrow 2" while the Blazers were stuck in a blizzard pic.twitter.com/uoRPXF5aNs
The NBA returns from the All-Star break with a nine-game slate on Thursday night, featuring the Portland Trail Blazers (28-30) facing the Sacramento Kings (32-25) at Golden 1 Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET and will mark the second meeting between these two teams since the season opener. Back in October, Portland walked away with a 115-108 win on the road.
For the Trail Blazers, Jerami Grant is available coming out of concussion protocol while both Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic remain out for Thursday’s contest. Sacramento has a relatively clean injury report, with Malik Monk probable to return after missing the last two contests with an ankle injury.
The Kings are 5.5-point home favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook and the point total sits at 239.5. Sacramento is a -215 moneyline favorite while Portland is a +185 road underdog.
Trail Blazers vs. Kings, 10 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Kings -5.5
Sacramento may be just 14-14-1 versus the spread when playing at Golden 1 Center, but I like its chances in this matchup given that Portland will be undermanned. The absence of Simons and Nurkic should allow De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis to make easy work in the pick-and-roll, and it’s hard to believe Damian Lillard can win this matchup on his shoulders alone. The Trail Blazers have a .500 ATS mark on the road so while the Blazers may keep it close throughout, in the end, Sacramento should get the home win and cover.
Over/Under: Over 239.5
This matchup features two of the more susceptible teams in the league on defense, as they both rank in the bottom-15 in points allowed. The Trail Blazers give up an average of 115.0 PPG while the Kings rank 23rd with 117.2 PPG surrendered. Portland should have fits in hoping to contain Sacramento’s top-ranked scoring offense, but given that the Kings cannot replicate the same success on the opposite end of the court, I expect a high-scoring affair to ensue. 18 of the Kings’ 29 home games this season has finished over, and expect another one to be added at the conclusion of Thursday night’s contest.