Free NBA Picks: Trail Blazers at Jazz Odds
by Dave Schwab - 12/9/2013
First meets worst in the NBA’s Western Conference this Monday night when the high-flying Portland Trail Blazers head into EnergySolutions Arena to face off against the lowly Utah Jazz. Tip-off for this Northwest Division clash is set for 9 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
The Trail Blazers are coming off a 108-106 loss to Dallas this past Saturday night as 5.5-point home favorites, but they still have the best record in the conference at 17-4 straight up. They are a profitable 15-6 against the spread, and the total has gone “over” in 15 of those games as well.
Utah remains at the bottom of the standings in the West after getting pounded by Sacramento 112-102 as a 3.5-point home favorite on Saturday night to fall to 4-18 SU overall. It was their third-straight loss both SU and ATS, and the Jazz are now 9-12-1 ATS. The total has gone over in four of their last five games.
Trail Blazers at Jazz Betting Storylines
Portland did not even make the playoffs last year at 33-49, but through the quarter pole of this season it has already won half as many games. One of the biggest reasons for such a dramatic turnaround has been an offensive effort that is producing 106.2 points a game, which is the second-highest total in the NBA. The Trail Blazers are shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from three-point range while pulling down 45.3 rebounds a game.
The man at the center of it all is LaMarcus Aldridge. He leads the team in points (23.1) and rebounds (10.1) per game while converting on 47.7 percent of his shots from the floor. Damian Lillard has also been a force with 20.8 points and a team-high 5.7 assists a game. Wesley Matthews is scoring 16.2 points, and Nicolas Batum is the fourth player scoring in double-figures with 13.9 points a game.
The Jazz barely missed the playoffs last season with 43 victories, but this year they are positioning themselves for a high lottery pick unless things dramatically change. They not only rank at the bottom of the league in wins, but they are 28th in points (92), 26th in rebounds (40.7) and 25th in points allowed (102). When things are going this bad across the board it is easy to see why they have lost so many games.
Gordon Hayward has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise dismal performance with a team-high 16.6 points and 4.9 assists. To make matters worse for the Jazz heading into Monday night’s divisional clash is the playing status of Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams. Both of these key contributors remain day-to-day with lingering injuries.
Trail Blazers at Jazz Betting Tends and Futures Odds
The Trail Blazers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games and a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the division. The total has gone over in six of their last seven games on the road.
The Jazz are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games against a team with a SU winning record but just 2-7 ATS in their last nine divisional games. The total has stayed “under” in 12 of their last 16 games playing on one day’s rest.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the Jazz are 7-3 SU in the last 10 meetings, and the total has stayed under in five of the last six meetings in Utah. Portland hammered the Jazz 130-98 just this past Friday as an 11-point home favorite with the total going over the 199.5-point closing line.
NBA Free Picks: Portland at Utah Betting Predictions
Portland comes into the back end of this home-and-home series as a heavy favorite on the road, and while I always get a bit leery going against a home underdog in a divisional matchup, I have no problem laying the points in this game, especially in light of the fact that the Trail Blazers are coming off a rare loss at home.
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