Portland at Utah
Time: 9:30 PM CST (TNT)
Spread: UTA -5.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
PORTLAND news & notes:
Portland has won six of its last 10 overall. It has knocked off Phoenix, Golden State, Orlando, and most recently, the Minnesota Timberwolves, 113-106 on Saturday night. It lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 94-102, but the Blazers are still seeded No. 8 in the West going into tonight’s game.
Carmelo Anthony has been the headliner for news in Portland, and the free-agent acquisition seems to be nothing but good for the Blazers’ rotation. Melo is averaging 16 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 30.3 minutes a night through his first 14 games. It has pushed Mario Hezonja back out of the starting lineup, where he was having his struggles. The Blazers also seemed to legitimately have added a true No. 3 option behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combine to average 48.3 points and 11.2 assists per game in the backcourt.
The Blazers are arguably a better team on paper this year than last, but injuries have prevented it all from fully translating. Hassan Whiteside is something of an upgrade over the injured Jusef Nurkic, but losing Zach Collins to injury was a bit of a blow to a team thin on frontcourt depth. Rodney Hood has been a pleasant surprise as a second-unit scorer, though, with his 50.6 percent shooting and 11 points per game. The Blazers simply need a healthy roster before it can build the chemistry and momentum that it really should.
Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
UTAH news & notes:
The Utah Jazz is 18-11 thus far this season, but it enters Monday night’s game after falling 104-107 to the Miami Heat last game. Utah is 11-3 SU at home where it faces the Blazers tonight.
Things have been slower coming together following the addition of point guard Mike Conley, perhaps than anyone may have expected. The veteran is coming around after a horrid start to this season and now averaging 14 points and 4.6 assists per game. His ball-handling and offense help keep Donovan Mitchell ready to find his scoring spots, and Mitchell is blossoming into a true superstar in his third season.
“Spida” as Mitchell goes by, is averaging 25 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while talking a PER just under 20. Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Jazz has been that Bojan Bogdanovic is far more than a role player, but more of a second star. This changes a lot.
Bogdanovic is averaging 20.8 points per game while shooting 45.6 percent from behind the arc on seven attempts per game. His offense helps the Jazz continue to play its slow, defense-first style of basketball, of course, cued by the defense of Rudy Gobert. Gobert is averaging 14 points and 13.7 boards per game, but his 2.6 blocks/steals help further illustrate his importance to Utah. His rim protection is among the league’s best, and he covers the occasional blunders of Mitchell and the Jazz’s other perimeter defenders nearly flawlessly.
Also, Utah has stepped up its scoring to 107.3 per game this year, and with the way that Utah defends, that should be adequate to put together another very nice season. While few are quick to credit the Jazz in the realms of the elite and true contenders, it arguably is the strongest of the dark horse contenders in either conference.
Jazz are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Jazz are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite.
Jazz are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 2 days rest.