Saturday night in the NBA I will have a free pick in the game between the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trailblazer, which will take place at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The game has a start time of 10:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised locally. Current Vegas betting odds have the Trailblazers listed as 8 point favorites, while the total is set at 185.5.
Analysis: The Utah Jazz come in playing solid ball at the moment as they have won 5 of their last 7, but they did take a hard fought 89-88 loss to Memphis last night .Still at 36-43 on the year the Jazz will be sitting at home when the playoffs start. Utah is just 16-23 on the road this year. Utah has gone 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest and 8-3 the last 11 games in Portland. The Jazz have been a bad offensive team this year, ranking 26th in scoring (94.9 ppg), 18th in shooting, 18th in 3 point shooting and 26th in FT shooting. Defensively the Jazz have been excellent, ranking 1st in points allowed (94.6 ppg), 14th in defensive FG% and 25th in 3 point defense.
The Portland Trailblazers come in having wrapped up the Northwest Division a little while ago. Portland has been playing good ball of late as they have won 7 of their last 10 games and they currently hold the 4th seed in the West. Portland is 51-28 overall, including 32-8 at home. Portland has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, but just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games. The Trailblazers have been a decent offensive team this year, ranking 9th in scoring (103.0 ppg), 17th in shooting, 6th in 3 point shooting and 1st in FT shooting. Defensively the Trailblazers have been decent this year, ranking 11th in points allowed (98.2 ppg), 9th in defensive FG% and 7th in 3 point defense.
Pick: I will actually look at the over in this game, especially since the Over is 8-1 the last 9 meetings in Portland. Utah is a very good defensive team, but they will be taking on a Portland team that has averaged that has averaged 109.3 ppg in their last 8 games overall and 104.1 ppg at home. The Jazz have not been a strong offensive team this year, but it has picked up of late as they have averaged 96.5 ppg in their last 6 games and Portland has allowed 95.4 ppg at home. I can see both teams hitting at least 95 in this one.
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