Portland Trail Blazers vs Utah Jazz 3/9/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Matchup Preview (3/9/22)

After losing by an average margin of 31 points in their past five games, the Portland Trail Blazers will look to do that once again against the Jazz in Salt Lake City. At this point, there is virtually nothing else to play for except a higher chance at a slightly improved draft position. Nearly every key player for the Blazers, short of Anfernee Simons, has either been traded or is out with injury. There is very little reason to follow this team at this point, honestly; however, we still need to analyze how much they could lose by to this Jazz team.

Utah has won four of its past six games, but that hardly reflects its lack of consistency during that period. The Jazz barely beat the Houston Rockets in overtime and then got dusted by over 30 points to the New Orleans Pelicans. While Utah remains one of the better offensive teams in the NBA, it still has hiccups at times. I cover both teams in more detail below under the betting odds section, so check it out.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Betting Odds

There is no world where I would bet on the Portland Trail Blazers in this game. As I mentioned above, the average deficit that Portland has faced in its past five games has been over 30 points. The Blazers have consistently been a bottom-three defense in the NBA throughout the year, and matters can only be worse when they are missing every single starter that they had at the beginning of the season. Utah may be extremely hot and cold, but the odds are borderline astronomical for losing this game. The Jazz Moneyline will hardly be worth betting on because the odds will be so ridiculous, but I will take whatever number the spread is at, up to 18 points.

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How To Watch

Date: 3/9/22
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
Channel: ESPN

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Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup

PG: Brandon Williams
SG: C.J. Elleby
SF: Josh Hart
PF: Trendon Watford
C: Drew Eubanks

Portland Trail Blazers Analysis

Ladies and gentlemen, we have it: the worst team in basketball. The Portland Trail Blazers traded away Norman Powell, Robert Covington, and C.J. McCollum. Additionally, they are missing Damian Lillard, Eric Bledsoe, Jusuf Nukic, Justise Winslow, Nassir Little, and Joe Ingles to injuries. This leaves the Blazers with a starting lineup of either Brandon Williams or Anfernee Simons, depending on if Simons is healthy, C.J. Elleby, Josh Hart, Trendon Watford, and Drew Eubanks. There is no way to convince me this is not the worst team in the NBA right now. As if that wasn’t enough, they have dropped five straight games by an average margin of over 31 points. During that span, the Blazers have shot 38% from the field and 29% from behind the arc while allowing opponents to shoot 50%! This trend will continue; the Blazers have absolutely no reason to try and win basketball games this late in the season, so expect a blowout of epic proportions.

Utah Jazz Starting Lineup

PG: Mike Conley Jr.
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Royce O’Neale
PF: Bojan Bogdanovic
C: Rudy Gobert

Utah Jazz Analysis

Utah is a tough team to crack: it had one of the most embarrassing stretches of any team in the league but then bounced back and actually resembled a coherent unit. The Jazz rank first in offensive efficiency, sixth in points per game, and first in eFG% (effective field goal percentage.) It’s somewhat mind-boggling that they have struggled as much as they have at times this season. Sure, some of that can be attributed to the fact that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert missed a significant amount of games jointly. However, there is still plenty of firepower on that roster even without them. Utah should smoke the Blazers in this matchup, but as far as the postseason is concerned, it has a lot of areas to clean up, especially on defense, if it wants to make it past the first round.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Daily Fantasy Picks

My recommendation for a DFS play for this game depends entirely on Anfernee Simons’ injury status. If Simons is good to go, then he is an obvious choice from the Blazers because they have very few other offensive options outside of him. In Simons’ last game, against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he posted 38 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Before that, Simons had a few mediocre games of 11 points and 16 points; however, he was lighting it up before that. The Blazers have no offense outside of Simons. It certainly does not help that they are still without Damian Lillard, Justise Winslow, Joe Ingles, Eric Bledsoe, and Jusuf Nurkic. Let’s assume for a moment that the Blazers hold Simons out for the second straight game. Brandon Williams should become the best DFS play for you on Portland if that happens. When Simons sat out last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Williams dropped 27 points and eight rebounds in a significant scoring role for Portland. If Simons plays, he should be your play; however, if he has to sit out once again, I like Williams in this spot as your bench guard.

Bojan Bogdanovic has had some great outings this season but has been sporadic at times, too. Bojan scored 35 and 21 points in the past two Jazz games on incredible efficiency. Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bojan hit 11 three-pointers and, in the next game, went 4-for-8 from behind the arc. Playing Bojan in DFS could be a high-risk, high-reward scenario. Still, he is a solid play against a Blazers defense that ranks 29th in opponent 3P% (three-point percentage), especially with the volume he has gotten recently. I will be looking at Bojan for the remainder of the season against any team that ranks that low in perimeter defense as he is one of the best shooters for the Jazz.

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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