Jazz vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||-3.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Utah Jazz and Portland Trailblazers meet up on Saturday night at the Moda Center in a meeting of the top two teams in the West.
The two teams have taken slightly different paths to the highest of heights and they face different challenges in regards to staying at the level.
Let’s meet the two teams and see how they match up.
The Jazz are fresh off yet another impressive victory. They defeated the Phoenix Suns, 134-133, in overtime Friday night, breaking a three-game losing streak in the process.
They did it the way they’ve been doing it all season, winning the math problem: They hit 16 threes, the Suns hit nine.
The Jazz continue to get incredible performances from other teams castoffs, as Malik Beasley went 7-of-13 from deep en route to 27 points off the bench. Lauri Markkanen went 15-of-18 (!!!!) for a career-high 38 points.
With another win Saturday, this team could already be halfway to its preseason win total. They have, without a doubt, been the surprise team of the season.
And there’s not a whole lot to suggest they’re a fluke.
As our own Brandon Anderson pointed out, the Jazz are winning by doing three simple things: offensive rebounding, forcing turnovers and making more threes than their opponents. Since Anderson’s article two weeks ago, the Jazz have improved in terms of offensive rebounding and three-point margin. Sure, you can beat them, but you’re facing a tall task to get there.
Portland Trail Blazers
So do the Blazers have the ability to beat the Jazz?
Portland ranks a respectable, but not crazy, 15th in three-pointers per game, but that is with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons both having missed time. At full health, they are likely closer to a top-10 unit.
They also rank a respectable 10th in defensive rebounding percentage, which means the Jazz shouldn’t get quite as many second-chance points.
The third key factor is where they struggle a bit, as they turn the ball over the eighth-most per game in the Association.
So the Trail Blazers aren’t the perfect match to break down Utah, but they aren’t a terrible fit either.
What this game may come down to is pace. The Jazz play at the 12th-fastest pace in the league, and that’s without accounting for Friday night’s victory –that rank is likely in the top 10 after a frenetic win over the Suns.
On the flip side, the Blazers love to slow it down and rank 28th in pace.
One notable trend for the Jazz is that the more they score, the better they do … Ok, that’s a very obvious trend at first blush. Scoring points is good?! Amazing! But it goes a little deeper than that: They really just love the overall high-scoring games. Their six highest scoring games this year have all been wins.
Jazz-Trail Blazers Pick
So the question becomes can the Jazz get the Blazers to speed up, or can Portland slow Utah down?
Pace battles like this can be hard to predict beforehand, but they can make for interesting live betting opportunities. Pace can obviously slow down or pick up as the game goes along, but if it’s a close game that seems pretty locked into either a fast or slow pace, bettors should be alert to either live bet Utah (fast-pace) or Portland (slow-pace).