Game: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Spurs +3.5, Trail Blazers -3.5
The Spurs head to Portland on the heels of a two-game win streak and are looking for win No. 3. The Trail Blazers are one of the best teams in the NBA when playing at home. They have lost just once at the Moda Center this season. Winning tonight will be much tougher for the Trail Blazers as they will be playing shorthanded.
First, leading scorer and perennial All-Star Damian Lillard has already been ruled out for tonight. Nassir Little (8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) will also sit out because of an ankle injury and Norman Powell (16.9 ppg) is listed as questionable with a quad injury. Not having Lillard alone will be tough enough to overcome. Playing without Little and possibly Powell changes the whole dynamic of this game and gives San Antonio some betting value.
The Spurs, though, are one of the worst teams in the NBA. They are just 6-13 overall and that comes from being average or worse in just about every facet of the game. San Antonio ranks 17th in scoring, for example, averaging 107.2 points per game. They are 21st in offensive rating and they are also middle of the road in defensive rating checking in at No. 15.
Still, the Spurs were able to beat Boston and Washington in the team’s last two games. They held the Celtics to just 88 points and allowed only 99 to the Wizards. The Spurs defense found itself and the offense managed to shoot 49 percent from the floor in those two games. As a result, the Spurs had a point differential of +25 in those two games.
Portland, which is 10-1 at home this year, is fourth in offensive rating and seventh in scoring averaging 110.4 points a game. If Lillard, Little, and Powell do not play; that will take 46.9 combined points per game away from the offense. That might not matter though. Portland, even with a full, healthy lineup, struggles on defense.
The Trail Blazers rank 29th in defensive rating giving up 111.7 points per 100 possessions. They rank in the bottom three in the league in opponent three-point shooting (38.1 percent) and overall shooting percentage (47.3). Without Lillard, Little, and Powell; the defense could be even worse.
Portland is 8-3 ATS when playing at home this season. The Spurs struggle on the road. They are just 2-11 straight up in their last 13 games away from home. They have covered the spread in three of their last four games, but if you go back eight games you’ll see that they are just 3-5 ATS over that span. The Spurs are also just 1-5 ATS in their last six games against Portland.
The total has gone Over in eight of Portland’s last 12 games. The Over is 11-5 in the last 16 games played between San Antonio and Portland. In San Antonio’s last nine games, the Over is 5-3-1.