NBA Picks: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz

Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz
Friday, 2/1/13, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  CSNW
Opening Point Spread:  Utah -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Utah -5
Opening Total:  195.5
Current Total:  195.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Portland Trail Blazers are led by All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge on the offensive end

The Portland Trail Blazers are led by All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge on the offensive end

Portland has won three of its last four games, including a 106-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks as three-point home favorites last time out, while going OVER the total for the second time in three contests.  The Trail Blazers have been led by the recent play of All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 25.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last two contests.  “He’s a go-to guy,” commented Blazers forward Nicolas Batum.  Portland is 7-17 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread Friday night.

The Trail Blazers will be playing a back-to-back series against the Jazz, as these two teams will meet up in the Pacific Northwest Saturday night.  Portland dropped all four meetings in last year’s series, but the average margin of defeat in Utah was only three points.  Aldridge averaged 26.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in playing in just two of the meetings.  The team’s starting five players lead the NBA in scoring 80.6 points per game.

Utah has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it comes off a 104-99 victory over the New Orleans Hornets as eight-point home favorites, while going OVER the total for the second time in three contests.  The Jazz are 16-5 overall at EnergySolutions Arena, including a 10-5 mark versus conference foes.  Utah is 17-6 ATS at home when the total is between 195 and 199.5, which is important to consider when looking over the pro basketball odds page.

The Jazz are averaging 101.2 points per game at home, which could provide them a great opportunity to climb over the century mark in this spot, considering the Trail Blazers allow 101.3 points per game on the road.  Utah has been getting tremendous production out of forward Paul Millsap, who is scoring 20.7 points and grabbing 9.7 rebounds in the team’s last three victories.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the OVER is 5-1 in the Trail Blazers last six games on two days rest.

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