The Oklahoma City Thunder began the 2019 NBA playoffs as the only lower-seeded team favored to win a first-round series. After just two games, OKC finds itself in a virtual must-win situation.

The Portland Trail Blazers maintained their home-court advantage by defeating Oklahoma City in the first two games of this series. The Thunder will host the Blazers at home in Game 3 Friday night, and if Damian Lillard leads Portland to another victory, Oklahoma City can pretty much say goodbye to their hopes of making a deep postseason run.

Lillard is the NBA's most overlooked star, and the Blazers were the most overlooked top team of the regular season. Portland earned the No.3 seed in the Western Conference for a second straight year, finishing ahead of the Houston Rockets, whom everyone seems to think is the greatest threat to the Golden State Warriors.

After winning a close series opener, the Blazers blew the Thunder out in Game 2. Lillard and CJ McCollum give Portland one of the NBA's best backcourts, and they've been way too much for Oklahoma City.

In order for the Thunder to beat the Blazers four times, Oklahoma City either needs Russell Westbrook to be the best guard in this series or Paul George to play at the MVP level he reached in the first half of the season. Neither of those things happened in Portland.

Maybe Oklahoma City's stars will raise their game when they return home. Following an awful shooting performance in Game 1, George was much better in Game 2 with 27 points on better than 50 percent shooting. Westbrook has filled the stat sheet, per usual, but he's only made one of his 10 three-point attempts.

The latest betting line suggests that the Thunder will get back on track, at least for one night. Oklahoma City is laying 7.5 points, according to OddsShark, and the total is 221.5.

It's often said that role players perform better at home. The Thunder could sure use more production from a player like Jerami Grant, who has scored just 13 total points while missing all eight of his three-point attempts this series. Starting point guard Terrance Ferguson has scored just 10 points on 12 shots to go along with three assists.

The Blazers are one of the best home teams in the NBA. They're not nearly as good on the road, where they went just 21-20 in the regular season. The Thunder have five more home wins than road wins.

Oklahoma City is the best bet to win straight up Friday, but it wouldn't be shocking to see Portland pull off the upset. We saw Anthony Davis carry the New Orleans Pelicans in a first-round sweep of the Blazers last year. With some help, Lillard might be good enough to do the same against a flawed Thunder team.

But it's not time to give up on the Thunder just yet. Look for Oklahoma City to get enough shooting from Westbrook and the supporting cast to give them their first victory this postseason.

Prediction against the spread: Oklahoma City over Portland, 105-100