Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz – NBA April 8

Portland Trail Blazers (30-20, 15-10 road)  at Utah Jazz (38-13, 22-2 home)

  • Time: 7 PST – 9 CST – 10 EST
  • Place: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • TV: NBCSNW, ATTSN, NBA League Pass

Opening Tip:

Portland has won five of it’s last seven games and is on it’s second road game of the week after losing to the LA Clippers, 133-116, on Tuesday.

Utah is on the second night of a back-to-back after they dropped a 117-113 overtime decision last night in Phoenix.

This is a stellar offense matchup as the Jazz and Blazers are one-two in the NBA in made threes per game at 17.0 and 16.2, respectively. Both are on pace to break the 2018-19 Rockets’ record on 16.1.

Utah continues to enjoy the best record in the NBA at 38-12 as the Jazz are nursing a 1.5 game lead over Phoenix. The Blazers are in sixth in the Western Conference as the hold a two-game lead over Dallas for sixth, which absolves them of the play-in scenario.

Utah took the earlier meeting, 120-100 on Dec. 23. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had 20 points apiece for the Jazz as Gobert pulled down 17 rebounds. C.J. McCollum led all scorers with 23 for Portland.

Key Injuries:

  • BlazersJusuf Nurkić – (knee) – Questionable – Norman Powell – (toe) – Probable
  • JazzUdoka Azubuike – (ankle) – OUT – Elijah Hughes – (illness) – OUT – Juwan Morgan – (calf) – OUT

Vs. The Spread:

Blazers:

  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Portland’s last 7 games
  • The Blazers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Utah
  • Portland is 2-7 SU in their last night game at Utah

Jazz:

  • The Jazz are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 4 of Utah’s last 6 games
  • Utah is 1-7 ATS in it’s last 8 games vs. Western Conference

Last Time Out:

The Clippers buried the Blazers, 133-116, at Staples Center on Tuesday night. Norman Powell, who came over from Orlando at the trade deadline had 32 points to lead the Trail Blazers. It was his seventh game of over 30 points this season. He also had a career high of 14 free throws.

Phoenix scored the first five points of overtime and never trailed again as they dismissed the Jazz, 117-113, on Wednesday evening. Utah trailed by 11 at halftime and over took the Suns for a 78-77 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Portland Trail Blazers +6 (-115) +205 O 233 (-110)
Utah Jazz -6 (-105) -245 U 233 (-110)

Advantage, Portland:

Portland Trail Blazers LogoWith such a great backcourt as Damien Lillard (38.8%-3) and C.J. McCollum (41.1%-3), the Trail Blazers are going to look to match threes with Utah. The Jazz, though defend the triple almost as well as they shoot the triple. They should opponents to league lows in both makes (10.1) and attempts (31.0) per night which equates to an NBA leading 34.4 percent.

Key Blazers Stat:

Portland should look to get to the line off the dribble with such perimeter pressure as the Trail Blazers will see from the Jazz. Portland shoots 83.3 percent from the line (2nd/NBA) and Lillard’s 93.5 percent leads the NBA as six other Trail Blazers shoot better than 80 percent from the line.

Blazers Fact:

Enes Kanter has done a solid job in the middle with Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins injured for their bigger part of the year. He has 28 double-double, the 11th most in the NBA.

Advantage, Utah:

Utah Jazz LogoThis is a must see game and should be televised somewhere nationally, but it is not. Talk about the Jazz and their three-ball as they take league highs in makes (17) and attempts (43). Joe Ingles is on 50 percent (125/250) for the season while Mike Conley (41.4%)  and Donovan Mitchell (39.4%) can find their spots inside the offense. Jordan Clarkson has been another weapon off the bench as he is second in makes (154) and first in takes (441). Here’s where the game will be won. Portland allows it’s opponents to shoot at a 37.3 percent clip (19th/NBA).

Key Jazz Stat:

Rudy Gobert’s presence in the middle will make Portland one dimensional as well. He is second in the Association with 2.9 blocks per game and he had a career-best and franchise-best 28 rebounds in March in a win over the Warriors. He has averaged 14 rebounds in his last four games and has made 23-of-26 field goals. Right now as tough as Kanter has been, Gobert still wins the matchup with relative ease.

Jazz Fact:

If you want to carry the prowess of the Jazz 3-ball even further, Utah has 850 triples in 50 games which is the most through 50 games in NBA history. In addition, the Jazz hit at least 15 treys in 11 straight games earlier this season, which was the longest streak in NBA history.

Winner: Jazz (-6) 119, Trail Blazers 111

The Bets
Jazz -6
-105
Utah
-245
UNDER 233
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.