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Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz odds, picks and prediction

Apr 8, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball past Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) during the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers (40-29) travel to Salt Lake City Wednesday to play the Utah Jazz (50-19) at Vivint Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Trail Blazers-Jazz odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

Portland has won four games in a row and eight of its last nine while going 6-3 against the spread, including double-digit victories over the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Trail Blazers are fifth in the Western Conference with the same record as the Dallas Mavericks but they own the tiebreaker. They’re 1 game in front of the 7-seed Lakers, who they also own the tiebreaker against.

Utah is two games atop the Western Conference with three remaining. They’ll play the tanking Oklahoma City Thunder and the 12th-place Sacramento Kings Friday and Sunday.

The Jazz just had a five-game win streak snapped (3-2 ATS) Monday in a 119-116 loss at the Golden State Warriors. They are going for the season sweep of the Blazers with the first two meetings being decided by 20 and 19 points.

Trail Blazers at Jazz: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Trail Blazers +100 (bet $100 to win $100) | Jazz -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Trail Blazers +1.5 (-110) | Jazz -1.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 233.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)

Trail Blazers at Jazz: Key injuries

Trail Blazers

  • PF Nassir Little (back) questionable
  • PF Zach Collins (ankle) out

Jazz

  • PG Mike Conley (hamstring) out
  • SG Donovan Mitchell (ankle) out

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Trail Blazers at Jazz: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Jazz 123, Trail Blazers 117

Money line (ML)

“LEAN” to the JAZZ (-120) for a half unit because there has been a flood of money in Portland’s direction which has made Utah a lot cheaper than what this game opened at and the Blazers’ iso-ball style can be easy to defend.

According to Pregame.com, 65% of the bets placed have been on Portland to cover the spread and that has steamed the Blazers down from getting 3.5 points to being a near pick ’em.

Now that Utah’s price is much cheaper, the Jazz’s money line and spread are starting to see some “sharp” money.

The basketball rationale for this is that Portland cannot play defense and Utah’s supersized backcourt can defend a Blazers backcourt that doesn’t move the ball a lot.

Portland averages the fewest assists per game and less ball movement mitigates their presumed backcourt quickness.

Also, Jazz C Rudy Gobert can lock up the paint, allowing teammates to close out quicker on outside jumpers without worrying about their big being out of position to help Blazers driving to the basket.

It’s not like Gobert—a two-time Defensive Player of the Year—needs help with Portland C Jusuf Nurkić.

In their 18 career head-to-head meetings, Nurkić is averaging 9.2 points per game on 44.7% shooting and has scored 20-plus points only once in those contests.

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Against the spread (ATS)

PASS since Utah’s money line is only 10 cents on the dollar more expensive than the Jazz -1.5 (-110).

Over/Under (O/U)

“LEAN” to the OVER 233.5 (-115) for a half unit because Utah’s offense has been on-point while playing to four consecutive Overs and Portland has scored 124 or more points in seven of its last nine games while going 6-3 O/U.

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