Spurs vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||-3.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The San Antonio Spurs will begin a three-game road trip on Thursday when they travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.
San Antonio comes into this matchup with an overall record of just 6-13 but is riding a two-game winning streak in which they have beaten the Celtics and Wizards. Meanwhile, Portland enters this one with a record of 11-11 and recently snapped their three-game losing streak by beating the Pistons on Tuesday night.
The Blazers have been great on their home court this season, but it appears that the injury bug has caught up to some key players on their roster. Will they be able to overcome those injuries and defend their home court, or can the Spurs pick up a win on the road and extend their winning streak?
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs enter this Western Conference battle as one of the worst teams in the NBA, and this is because they are average at just about everything.
According to Team Rankings, San Antonio is 17th in the NBA in points per game with 107.2. In addition, NBA Advanced Stats has them ranked 21st overall in Offensive Rating, scoring 106.4 points per 100 possessions and 15th in Defensive Rating. Being in the middle of the pack is tough to overcome, which was evident by the Spurs’ recent six-game losing streak.
However, San Antonio has since snapped that losing streak and won two straight games as it appears that this team might be finding a groove.
The Spurs have a point differential of +25 in their last two games, and their defense has stepped up in a big way by allowing an average of just 93.5 points per game allowed in that same stretch. They are also shooting 49% from the field in that same span, which is consistent with their per-game average of 46.6%, the sixth-best mark in the NBA.
They don’t score many points per game, but this is an efficient offense that can take advantage of a short-handed Blazers team.
Portland Trail Blazers
As previously mentioned, the Trail Blazers have been one of he best teams in the NBA when it comes to defending their home court. Portland has played 11 total games at home this season and has lost just one game.
However, this is not an ordinary home game for the Blazers as they will be without some key players in their rotation. Damian Lillard has already been ruled out with an abdominal injury, and Nassir Little is expected to sit this one out with an ankle injury. Norman Powell’s status for Thursday is also still up in the air, and we likely won’t know his status until near tip off.
According to NBA Advanced Stats, Portland is ranked fourth overall when it comes to Offensive Rating, scoring 111.6 points per 100 possessions. According to Team Rankings they average the seventh-most points per game in the NBA with 110.4. Lillard, Powell, and Little average 46.9 points per game combined, so if all three end up missing this game, Portland could be in some trouble.
Regardless of who is on the floor, it appears that the Blazers will still struggle on the defensive end. Portland is ranked 29th overall in Defensive Rating this season, allowing 111.7 points per 100 possessions. Furthermore, they are allowing their opponents to shoot 47.3% from the floor overall and 38.1% from behind the arc, both of which are in the bottom three in the league.
The Spurs are not a huge threat on the offensive end, but Portland has allowed their opponents to score an average of 116 points per game in their last four games. The defense is almost nonexistent, and it will be difficult for Portland to trade baskets all game when they are missing their best offensive player.
Spurs-Trail Blazers Pick
Portland did manage to put up 110 points in their last game without having Lillard, Powell, or Little on the floor, but that was against a Pistons team that is in the bottom 10 in Defensive Rating and only scores 98 points per game.
San Antonio isn’t the most imposing matchup, but they are better than Detroit in most aspects of the game and will play Portland much tighter. Furthermore, the Spurs are ranked fifth overall in Pace, and I think they will be able to take advantage of a short-handed Blazers team that will give them plenty of opportunities to score.
Portland is 8-3 against the spread at home this season, but their injury situation changes the dynamic of the game. I think San Antonio will use their recent momentum to their advantage in this one and stay within striking distance.
Pick: San Antonio +3.5 (-110)