Free NBA Picks: Blazers at Spurs Odds
by Aaron Smith - 1/16/2014
When the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs meet on Friday night, two of the very best teams in the Western Conference will square off for the second time this year. Portland beat San Antonio 115-105 at the Rose Garden in November. Portland had the best record in the NBA for much of the early season, but they have slowed down a bit of late.
The Spurs have been consistently winning games all year. San Antonio comes in with a 31-8 record and the best record in the Western Conference. The Spurs haven’t lost two games in a row so far this season.
It’s a shame this game isn’t on national television, because this should be a terrific matchup
Blazers at Spurs Betting Story Lines
How have the Blazers gone from a team that didn’t even make the playoffs to a team that looks like a legitimate title contender? That has been one of the most frequent discussions around the NBA so far this year. Portland finished 33-49 last year. Damian Lillard was the NBA Rookie of the Year, but this team still wasn’t very competitive. The biggest problem with last year’s Blazers team was the bench. Portland had the worst bench in the NBA by a mile last season, and it definitely wore down this team. By the end of the year, the starting five was gassed and ready to be done.
The big project in the offseason for the Blazers front office was to bring in some quality bench players so guys like Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge could take a break from time to time without this team getting crushed. By bringing in Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, and Dorrell Wright, the front office did a great job addressing this need. C.J. McCollum was also drafted to give the team depth in the backcourt, and he is just now getting healthy. Expect him to contribute to the team moving forward.
Portland leads the NBA in points per game at 109.1 per contest. The Blazers are shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc and an impressive 82 percent from the charity stripe. That often gets overlooked, but shooting 82 percent from the line is going to win this team a bunch of close games over the course of the season. The Blazers defense allows opponents to shoot 45.6 percent from the floor, so that’s an area where this team needs to try to improve a bit if they are going to advance through the playoffs.
The San Antonio Spurs have developed a culture of winning that you have to be extremely impressed with. This is a team that went through the most heart-breaking loss in the NBA Finals in recent memory, but they have come out ready to go once again this year. It starts with the front office and a tremendous coaching staff. The Spurs continue to be doubted by many because of their aging stars, but this franchise just keeps winning.
The biggest key to the Spurs’ success is their team depth. Precisely the reason that Portland was losing last year was the reason the Spurs were able to get to the NBA Finals. San Antonio is better than anyone in the league at finding players other teams don’t really want and making them important pieces of their success. Boris Diaw was considered a selfish player by many before coming to San Antonio, but he has adjusted his game and has really helped this team the last couple seasons. Even a guy like Jeff Ayres, who most people probably still haven’t heard of, is contributing in a big way to this team over the last few weeks.
San Antonio is No. 2 in the NBA in field goal percentage offense, and they are No. 8 in the NBA in field goal percentage defense. The Spurs overall team balance is part of what makes them so consistently good. There is no clear weakness on this team.
Blazers at Spurs NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
According to odds from Bookmaker, the Spurs are 5.5 point favorites in this one. The posted total is set at 212.5 points. The Spurs are 19-7 in their last 26 games following an against the spread loss. They are just 6-14 ATS in their last 20 Friday games. Portland is 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. The “over” is 50-23-1 in the Blazers last 74 games overall. The over is also 20-6-1 in the Spurs last 27 home games.
Free NBA Picks: Blazers at Spurs Betting Predictions
The Blazers made a statement earlier this year in an impressive home win over the Spurs, but the task is much tougher in San Antonio. The Blazers have looked a little less than stellar in the past couple weeks, and it will take a top-notch effort from them to win this one. This should be a high-scoring game, but with a very high posted total, I’ll take the Spurs instead. Look for the veteran Spurs to send a message in this contest.
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