Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trailblazers
The Utah Jazz collides with the Portland Trail Blazers tonight from EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz are -9 point favorites over the Trailblazers with an over/under point total set at 200.
Head to head, the Trail Blazers are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings and 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Utah. The Jazz are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Trail Blazers on the other hand are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Not only have the Utah Jazz won four straight games, but they have also been lights out against the spread of late, covering in six of seven at home and seven straight overall. The Jazz are playing well at just the right time of the season because they are locked in a battle with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot out West. Both teams have identical records as of today, but the Jazz own the tie breaker over Los Angeles, who are currently on the outside looking in.
The Jazz and Trail Blazers square off last Friday in Portland, with Utah pulling away late to come away with an important 105-95 victory. With Mo Williams leading the way with 28 points and Paul Millsap adding 25 of his own, the Jazz overcame a double-digit deficit at half as they gained control of the game in the second half, outscoring the home team 63-43. Damien Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 24 points as each starter finished the game in double-digits.
I really like the Jazz here for a couple of reasons. I already mentioned that Utah is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings, so every game here on out if crucial for their chance to play in the postseason. Secondly, the Trail Blazers will be without LaMarcus Aldridge again, which is a big concern when you have no solid bench players whatsoever. In their game at Golden State on Saturday, Meyers Leonard played 41 minutes and did score 22 points, but Portland still lost by 27 points. Look for the massive front line of Utah to wear out Leonard and J.J. Hickson tonight. Lastly of all, Utah is just red hot at the moment and I expect a double-digit win in what looks like the strongest play on the board tonight.
Utah Jazz -9 Portland Trailblazers