NBA odds: Utah Jazz vs Portland Trail Blazers Preview & Pick
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Two bitter division rivals go head-to-head Saturday when the Utah Jazz visit the Portland Trail Blazers. The Jazz practically get a head start, though, as Portland will be without star guard Brandon Roy.
Jazz vs. Trail Blazers
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Date: Saturday, November 20, 10:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Jazz vs. Trail Blazers lines from Sportsbook.com
Trail Blazers: -3
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Utah (8-5, 6-6-1 ATS) has lost two of three both straight up and against the spread, including Friday’s 94-82 loss to the Spurs; the Jazz were blown out despite being a two-point favorite. The mini-skid comes after a five-game winning streak, and it’s tough to pinpoint any one problem.
One missing link in Friday’s match up was head coach Jerry Sloan. Sloan missed the game to attend a funeral, and he’ll be absent against Portland as well. Without him against the Spurs, Utah started flat and finished just as poorly; the Jazz scored just 14 points in the first quarter and fourth quarter, sinking their chances of pulling out a win. Utah was outworked on the glass, too, losing that battle 59-43. That’s not a major surprise, though, as the Jazz are tied for 15th in rebounding this season.
A more consistent, well-rounded effort from Paul Millsap would make a tremendous difference for Utah. The forward is averaging 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, but he has just one double-double in his last seven games.
Portland (8-5, 7-4-2 ATS) is coming off back-to-back victories. The Blazers edged Denver 86-83 on Thursday night, which was enough to give them their second straight win against the spread.
The Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets with brilliant defense. They held Denver to just .385 shooting from the field while forcing 18 turnovers. Portland also dominated on the glass (48-35) and points in the paint (40-16).
That stalwart effort overshadowed a poor showing by the offense. Portland made just 40 percent of its shots from the field, not to mention posting an awful 50 percent free-throw percentage. However, Portland was forced to play without its best, Brandon Roy. That certainly doesn’t help, though his back up, Wesley Matthews, has played well in Roy’s stead. Matthews has averaged 25.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in two starts. He’ll have to do it again Saturday, as Roy is expected to miss another game.
Utah has owned this bitter division rivalry over the past few games, winning four straight—including a sparkling 4-0 run against the spread. Considering the Blazers must enter battle without their best player, it won’t be at all surprising to see the Jazz run that streak to 5-0.
Utah at Portland pick: Utah +3
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