Jazz to Clinch Third Seed, Leave Blazers Singing the Blues

jazz blazers

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

The last game of the season will determine whether the Jazz or Trail Blazers will earn the No. 3 seed in the West. Let’s break down this critical regular-season finale and cash a ticket in our NBA picks tonight!

Jazz (48-33 SU, 43-38 ATS) at Trail Blazers (48-33 SU, 44-30-7 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Jazz +4Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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  • Portland is 2-3 ATS in April games this season.
  • Portland is 1-2 ATS after scoring 85 points or less this season.
  • Utah is 9-1 ATS after allowing 85 points or less this season.
  • Utah is 17-7 ATS after three or more consecutive wins.
  • Utah is 13-6 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season.

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@Joeingles7: what are you saying?

Me: this dude broke the 3pt record for a rookie in a season @spidadmitchell : 🤐 #ROY pic.twitter.com/tu8sm9ZcKx

— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) April 11, 2018
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The Jazz led by 17 points after the first quarter and cruised to a 119-79 annihilation of the Warriors on Tuesday in Golden State. It proved to be another easy winner for those who backed Utah in their NBA picks as they have now won six straight and covered the number in four of their last five. Utah’s Donovan Mitchell continues to be a downtown assassin, nailing four of five from beyond the arc, and set an NBA rookie record for 3-pointers with 186 on the season.

The winner here gets the No. 3 seed and Northwest Division title. The Blazers are likely No. 4 with a loss, while the Jazz are probably No. 5.

Portland was a juggernaut for a little over a month when they reeled off 13 consecutive wins and covered the spread in all but one of those. That mid-February through mid-March winning streak propelled the Blazers up the Western Conference standings. But since that streak was snapped on March 20 by the Houston Rockets, Portland has gone 4-7 straight up and 5-5-1 ATS. The Trail Blazers come into this crucial finale having dropped their last four and are 1-2 both straight up and against the spread vs. Utah this season.

A quick check of the NBA odds board reveals that Portland is anywhere from a 3½ to a 4 point favorite in this one, which strikes me as a bit odd. Although the teams are evenly matched and the Trail Blazers will enjoy the home-court advantage, it seems to me that these are two teams going in opposite directions. Utah has defeated their last six opponents by an average of 19.6 points per game, which means they aren’t just winning but dominating. The last time these two clubs hooked up in Portland, it was the Jazz who drew away to a 115-96 win as 4-point underdogs, which is exactly the spread on tonight’s affair in the same venue. However, it should also be noted that Utah is playing the second leg of back-to-back games .. but they are a mildly profitable 9-6 ATS in these spots. Portland small forward Maurice Harkless remains sidelined with a knee injury but role player Ed Davis will play after returning in Monday night’s 88-82 loss to Denver.

Portland is sliding at the wrong time, while Utah is gearing up for a strong postseason run. The Jazz offense has been at peak form recently while their defense, currently ranked second in the league holding opponents to an average of 99.8 points per game, has been the hallmark to their success this season. Let’s watch the Jazz's opponents sing the blues tonight as Utah continues to roll.

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