The Utah Jazz is starting a five-game homestand at Vivint Arena and is first matching up with the Portland Trail Blazers. With that said, it’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Blazers-Jazz prediction and pick.
The Blazers are coming off a tough loss to the Los Angeles Clippers but have won six of their last ten games for a record of 30-20 and the 6th seed in the Western Conference.
The Jazz, on the other hand, after winning eight straight games have lost their last two games for a record of 38-13 and still retaining their 1st seed in the Western Conference.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Blazers-Jazz odds.
NBA Odds: Blazers-Jazz Odds
Portland Trail Blazers +6 (-115)
Utah Jazz -6 (-105)
Over 232.5 Points (-115)
Under 232.5 Points(-105)
Why The Blazers Could Cover The Spread
The Blazers are slowly working their star center Jusuf Nurkic back into the rotation and getting back to their full form.
Nurkic is critical to the success of this Blazers team and can contribute tremendously to the improvement of the defensive rating for this team which they are currently second-to-last in.
On the offensive end of the floor, the Blazers are being led by their dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who are combining for 53 points, eight rebounds, and 12.5 assists per game while shooting around 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the three-point line.
The Blazers also getting big minutes and production from key role players like Carmelo Anthony, Robert Covington, and Enes Kanter who all are averaging near double digits for the team. The recent addition of Norman Powell also adds another offensive weapon for the Blazers to free up Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
If Lillard and McCollum can again anchor the offense for the Blazers by creating their own shots and finding key players on the team open especially against this talented defensive team for Utah, the Blazers will have a really great opportunity to keep the game close to cover the spread.
Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
The Jazz has been fantastic this entire season aside from some slip-ups like the one they are going through now having lost two games straight.
Coach Quin Snyder has been able to get his players to commit on both ends of the floor. The team overall has the fourth-best offensive rating and the third-best defensive rating in the entire league.
This Utah team is being led by Donovan Mitchell on the offensive end of the floor, who is averaging 25.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while shooting around 40 percent from the field and behind the three-point line. Snyder has five other players averaging double-digit points and thrives under Coach Snyder’s system.
On the defensive end, Jazz’s high rating is because of the commitment of every single player on the team to take pride in their defensive coverage. Most importantly, the team’s defense is being anchored by their center Rudy Gobert who is averaging 13.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
The key for the Jazz to cover the spread on Thursday will be to contain the backcourt of Lillard and McCollum for the Blazers which is not on one or two players but the entire team to collectively do.
Final Blazers-Jazz Prediction & Pick
The Blazers and Jazz are both very talented offensive teams that are being led by their backcourt. The difference between the two teams is each of their defensive ratings. The Jazz holds the third-best defensive rating in the league while the Blazers have the second-worst defense. This ultimately does not bode well for the Blazers especially against the fourth-best offensive rating in the league. Barring a big game from both Lillard and/or McCollum, the Jazz should pick up a huge win after losing two straight.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR BLAZERS-JAZZ: POR 102, UTA 114 (UTA -6)