NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz ‘under’ 200

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 1, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

For whatever reason, the Blazers and Jazz have had trouble scoring against each other in Utah with the ‘under’ going 5-0 in the last five meetings with neither club reaching 100 points.

Expect a lower scoring game than the total suggests Monday night when the Portland Trail Blazers (33-40, 11-27 away) pay a visit to the Utah Jazz (38-36, 27-9 home) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, UT at 9:05 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 200 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -104.

These are two teams going in opposite directions in the playoff hunt as the Jazz have caught the Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot while the Blazers are on the verge of getting eliminated thanks to a four-game losing streak, with a lot of that having to do with leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge being out.

Aldridge, who is averaging 21.0 points per game, will miss his third straight full game Monday as he recovers from a sprained ankle, and that is terrible news for a Portland offense that is averaging only 92.3 points over the four-game losing streak while failing to reach 100 points in any of those contests.

The Blazers have not won since beating the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks on the road on consecutive nights on March 21st and 22nd, and the losing streak includes a 105-95 home loss to these Jazz on Friday. Those 200 combined points would only ‘push’ tonight’s total, but these teams have played much lower scoring games here in Utah recently.

In fact, the ‘under’ is 5-0 in the last five meetings at Salt Lake City with those games averaging a scant combined total of 181.4 total points. Most notable is that neither of these teams reached 100 points in any of those five games. The one meeting here so far this season was especially low scoring with the Jazz prevailing by just an 86-77 count.

The Jazz currently own the final playoff spot in the West, as while they are tied with the Lakers at 38-36, Utah owns the tiebreaker. The Jazz are certainly glad to be home for this contest as they are 27-9 at EnergySolutions Arena compared to 11-27 on the road.

One reason for that disparity is that the Utah defense has been like night and at home vs. away. While the Jazz are allowing over 100 points per game on the road, they are only allowing 94.8 points per game in this building and they had allowed 85.2 points per game in their previous six home games before a 116-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

That still leaves the ‘under’ at 21-16 in all Utah home games this year with those games averaging 195.2 total points, nearly five full points less than this posted total. Thus, look for the dominance of the ‘under’ in this head-to-head series in Utah to continue for at least one more game on Monday.

[gameodds]5/223544/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Trail Blazers, Jazz ‘under’ 200 (-104)