The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz are no strangers to playoff competition in the Western Conference in the NBA. And while this is merely a regular season matchup, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz is a game that we could very well see in the postseason later in the year. Here, both teams will look to improve their positioning in the Western Conference standings, as both enter this matchup with a top-six spot in the conference thus far.
Of course, it is so important to finish the regular season in sixth place or higher in the Western Conference, as finishing in spots seven through 10 would force either of these teams to participate in the play-in tournament. And as we saw last year with the Golden State Warriors, even the best players in the league can see their teams sent home in the single-elimination play-in tournament.
Portland Trail Blazers – Abysmal On The Road
The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the hardest teams to figure out in the NBA since the tip off of the 2021-2022 season. They are at .500 for the season with a record of 10-10, but their performances on the road have been nothing short of confounding this year. The Trail Blazers are 9-1 at home, but 1-9 on the road, which has kept them from being up with the upper echelon teams in the West.
If the Trail Blazers want to come away with a win against the Jazz in this game, they are going to need to play defense at a high level. Portland hasn’t been able to do that consistently this season, as they have been torched defensively on the road regularly on the season. Chauncey Billups’ team has allowed over 121 points per game over their last two road games over the last week, which could be fatal to their chances of keeping up with the powerful Jazz attack.
Expected Line-Up: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Robert Covington, Nassir Little, Jusuf Nurkic
with best odds
Utah Jazz – Trying To Keep Up With Elites
The Utah Jazz find themselves in third place in the Western Conference heading into this game, sitting behind the red-hot Warriors and Suns. The Jazz are in a good place health-wise and have to like where they stand at this point in the year. And they have to like their chances in this game, against a Portland team that struggles on defense and struggles on the road, as the Jazz are at home and have an elite offense.
What makes the Jazz so hard to defend is that virtually every player on the floor can fill it up on offense. Donovan Mitchell is the star of their offensive lineup, as he can slash to the basket and shoot from long-range. But options like Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles are all threats for the Jazz, and they should be able to make their collective presence felt against the defensively-challenged Trail Blazers.
Expected Line-Up: Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gobert
Expert Pick #1 – Jazz -7.5 @ -110
The first bet to make for this game is the Jazz -7.5 at -110 odds. Portland is simply a bad team away from home, and they may struggle to win 10 of their 41 road games on the year. They will continue to have issues at home in this game, as the Utah Jazz are one of the best home squads in the league and should be able to punish the Portland defense from start to finish.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 222 @ -110
The next bet to make for this game is the Over 222 at -110 odds. Utah likes to fire up a ton of threes, which is always good for an over. And the Trail Blazers are a team that doesn’t do much defending on the road, as they are coming off of two road games where they have allowed 121.5 points per game. If they give up a similar number here, this game should fly over the total.
Expert Pick #3 – Jazz To Win and Over 222 @ +145
The final bet for this game is Utah to win and Over 222 points at +145. This bet allows you to get plus money on a combination of the Utah moneyline and the over, without having to worry about a point spread.
This is a game where the Utah Jazz have a clear advantage, thanks solely to Portland’s inability to be a threat in road games. In one of the wilder trends in the NBA through the first month or so of the season, the Trail Blazers are going to continue to lose on the road here, and they will continue to fail to live up to their potential in the standings as a result.