Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz - 2/21/14
Utah Jazz (19-34) at Portland Trail Blazers (36-18)
NBA Basketball: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Rose Garden)
The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -7.5 -- Over/Under: 203 See the Latest Odds
The Utah Jazz will travel to the Moda Center to play the Portland Trail Blazers for the third time this season. Portland has won the previous two meetings.
The Jazz have won three of their last five games, but are coming off a six-point home loss to the Brooklyn Nets. In the loss, they allowed the Nets to shoot 50 percent from the field, and didn’t help themselves with 18 turnovers. The Jazz have had serious issues on the road, as they’re averaging 92.2 points on 42.9 percent shooting, while the defense is giving up 101 points on 47.5 percent shooting. They are 23-27-3 ATS overall and 12-13-1 ATS on the road.
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The Trail Blazers have now lost three straight and will continue to have question marks with forward LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined with a groin injury. That really hurts the best offense in the league and certainly doesn’t help a defense that’s already allowing 103.9 points per game. At home, though, the Trail Blazers have been solid all year, averaging 107.5 points on 45.5 percent shooting and giving up 102 points on 46 percent shooting. They are averaging 110.2 points in their last five games. Against the spread, they’re 29-25 overall and 12-14 at home.
This spread is a little tricky because it’s going to take the Trail Blazers a while to adjust without their best player. Sure, they just took the Spurs down to the wire without him, but he’s still a giant piece to the team.
But even with the concerns, I’ll go ahead and back Portland, especially if the opening number drops a point or two. The Trail Blazers still have a lot more offensive firepower than the Jazz and should dominate the glass once again.
Utah is also only 1-4 ATS in its last five meetings against Portland.
It’ll be close, but the Trail Blazers should cover late in the fourth quarter.