Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes
The 3 through 5 spots in the Western Conference are tightly packed, with Portland currently occupying that 5th spot but trailing Houston by only 1/2 a game for the 3rd seed. The 36-17 Blazers are 19-6 at home this season and will host the San Antonio Spurs in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring Portland by 1.5 points.
San Antonio has won its past two contests over Boston and the L.A. Clippers, and will travel to Phoenix to face the Suns on Wed of next week. The rest will do the Spurs good, though in typical fashion Gregg Popovich has limited his starters’ minutes.
Only one Spur plays in excess of 30 minutes per game (Tony Parker, 30.9) and the Spurs boast enough depth that Pop can get wins from his bench on a regular basis. Nine Spurs average seven points or more per game. Tim Duncan is still good for 15.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, and a PER of 21.9. Parker is dealing with a sprained left hand and a number of other injuries and will be out for the foreseeable future according to Popovich. Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter are both questionable, as well.
The Blazers have been far better than most expected the team to be this season, and have the NBA’s highest scoring offense (107.9 points per game). The “D” leaves some to be desired, as Portland surrenders 103.7 points per game (27th in NBA), but the team is strong on the boards (1st, 46.1 rebounds per game) and shares the ball well (4th in assists, 23.9 per game).
LaMarcus Aldridge at one time was speculated as a free agent defect in the summer of 2015, but now is thriving with Damian Lillard. Aldridge is averaging 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game and Lillard is averaging 20.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. Portland is not replete with depth, but has a strong starting five and if C.J. McCollum can mature it will strengthen the rotation, especially given Mo Williams’ fall off.
SAS Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 road games; OVER 4-0 in last 4 overall; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 games playing on 0 days rest.
POR Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 home games vs teams with winning road records; UNDER 4-0-1 in last 5 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; 4-0 ATS in last 4 Wednesday games.
Head-to-head: Spurs 0-4 ATS in last 4 meetings; Spurs 2-10 ATS in last 12 meetings in Portland; OVER 4-1 in last 5 meetings in Portland.