The San Antonio Spurs (6-8) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (9-4) on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. EST. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Spurs-Trail Blazers prediction and pick.
San Antonio sits in 11th place in the West after losing six of their last seven games. The Spurs are 8-6 against the spread while 57% of their matchups have gone under. Portland is tied for first in the West despite a loss in their most recent matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. The Trail Blazers are 11-2 against the spread while 67% of their games have gone under.
San Antonio won all four matchups between the two teams last season by 31, 37, 19 and 21-point margins. Two of the four games went over tonight's 226-point total.
Here are the Spurs-Trail Blazers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Spurs-Trail Blazers Odds
San Antonio Spurs: +8 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers: -8 (-110)
Over: 226 (-110)
Under: 226 (-110)
Why The Spurs Could Cover The Spread
San Antonio had a red-hot start to the season, winning five of their first seven games. Since then, though, the Spurs have cooled off dramatically and are just 1-6 over their last seven games. San Antonio's offense has certainly not been the problem. The Spurs are a perfectly average 15th in points per game but their defense is cause for concern. San Antonio is dead-last in points allowed and 28th in defensive efficiency.
Offensively, the Spurs are led by a duo of young wings in Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell. The 2019 and 2020 first-round picks have developed nicely for San Antonio and have proven to be impact players at a young age.
Johnson paces the team in scoring with 22.9 point per game while also averaging 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He's been incredibly efficient for a young wing as well, shooting 45.3% from the field and 42.1% from three. Johnson will surely be looking for a bounce back coming off his worst outing of the season. In the Spurs' blowout loss to Golden State, Johnson shot just 5-of-15 from the field.
Vassell has had a huge spike in production in his first season as a full-time starter. He's upped his points per game from 12.3 last season to 19.5 this year, still improving his efficiency. Vassell is shooting 45.6% from the field and 41.1% from three, both outstanding numbers for a young guard. He is also coming off his worst game of the season. Against the Warriors, the 22-year-old shot just 3-of-11 and finished with only six points.
Outside of their two young stars, the Spurs have a mix of solid veterans that help hold the fort down. Tyus Jones leads the team in assists (6.6 per game) as their point guard, while center Jakob Poeltl controls the glass (9.8 rebounds per game) and protects the rim (1.2 blocks per game).
Why The Trail Blazers Could Cover The Spread
The Blazers are tied for the league's third-best record and first in the Western Conference. They've done so on the back of their stellar defense. Portland ranks sixth in points allowed per game thanks to the league's seventh-most efficient defense. They also rebound the ball incredibly well, possessing the seventh-best rebound rate and sixth-best rebound differential.
Although they're in the bottom half of the league in scoring, they have one of the best backcourts in the world. The Trail Blazers' offense is, of course, led by their two talented guards in Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons.
Lillard is averaging 29.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0assists per game while shooting 46.8% from the field and nearly 40% from beyond the arc. He has been limited to just eight games this season due to injury. In theory, his absence should hamper Portland's play, but that has hardly been the case thanks to the improved play of Simons. He is averaging a career-best 22.3 points per game on 42.1% shooting, and has scored at least 20 points in seven of the Blazers' last 13 games.
Make no mistake, though, as this is not a two-man show. Forward Jerami Grant has been fantastic in his Blazers debut, averaging 20.7 points per game. He's an efficient scorer who is shooting 49.7% from the field and 46% from three. Grant is also a solid wing defender who can contribute on the glass as well (4.7 rebounds per game).
Final Spurs-Trail Blazers Prediction & Pick
For as well as Portland has played, San Antonio has been feisty. After crushing the Blazers last year, I'd expect the Spurs to at least keep things close tonight.
Final Spurs-Trail Blazers Prediction & Pick: San Antonio Spurs +8 (-110)