A clash between the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers, two unlikely teams to have success this season, headlines our Saturday night slate. This matchup preview covers my prediction and picks for this game, as well as a rundown of the injury reports, current odds, and projected starting lineups for both teams!
Utah Jazz Vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds
The Utah Jazz are 3.5-point road dogs against the sharpshooting Portland Trail Blazers. Utah has everyone available except for Rudy Gay, while Portland will have a few more players missing. The Trail Blazers’ injury report includes Keon Johnson, Gary Payton II, Justise Winslow, Jusuf Nurkic, and Olivier Sarr. Winslow and Nurkic are questionable, while the others will be out.
Utah Jazz Vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction
If someone would have told me a while back that one month into the 2022-23 NBA season, the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers would be two of the top four teams in the Western Conference, I simply wouldn’t have believed them. Yet, this is the case, as of late November.
Regardless, let’s get on to the game. The key to this game will revolve around Portland’s three-point shooting and how well, or not well, Utah defends it. The Blazers enter this game as the third-best three-point shooting team in the NBA, while Utah is the third-best team in defending the arc. As I discuss further below, I don’t think the Jazz have the personnel to maintain that ranking.
Portland matches up quite well with Utah and has more consistent scoring options, in my opinion. In a game that will likely be decided in the final minutes, it’s near impossible to bet against Damian Lillard, one of the most clutch players in the history of the NBA. I will ride with the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moneyline here and Utah against the spread, as I believe it will be a one-possession game by the final horn.
- Utah is 6-4 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- Portland is 4-2 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 11-17-2 in 2022-23
The key matchup for the Utah and Portland game revolves around the perimeter. Portland has shot the ball extremely well from deep, while Utah has defended the perimeter quite well so far this season. The analysis below will cover which team has the advantage!
Portland’s Shooting vs. Utah’s Perimeter Defense
When I think of 35-year-old Mike Conley Jr and Jordan Clarkson, I don’t think about great perimeter defense. Yet, the Utah Jazz rank third in opponent 3P% (three-point percentage) through the first month of the 2022-23 NBA season. This will all be put to the test when the third-best three-point shooting team (Portland) hosts the Jazz at home with a healthy backcourt.
Anfernee Simons and Damian Lillard headline this Blazers team and create one of the best shooting backcourts in the league. Both of these players are shooting 38% from deep with significant volume; even Jerami Grant has shot the lights out with volume to start the season!
Utah plays hard and together, which is a recipe for wins in the NBA, but it will regress in its three-point shooting defense soon. This should be a game that Portland is able to expose the early-season success of Utah’s defense.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineups
Utah Jazz Injuries: Rudy Gay (Out)
Portland Trail Blazers Injuries: Gary Payton II (Out), Keon Johnson (Out), Justise Winslow (Q), Jusuf Nurkic (Q), Olivier Sarr (Out)