NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Spurs

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 8, 2013 1:05 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs are known for being one of the better offensive teams in the NBA, but they’ve gone below the betting odds total at home with great regularity this season.

Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for their Western Conference matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET at the AT&T Center. 

Road woes

Portland will try to snap a seven-game losing streak away from the Rose Garden, which includes a 91-85 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies as 7.5-point underdogs Wednesday night, while going UNDER the posted total of 186.5.

The Trail Blazers are 8-22 straight up (SU) and 12-18 against the spread (ATS) on the road, with the OVER going 15-13-2 in that situation.

No Parker, no problem

San Antonio has won all three of its games since learning that starting point guard Tony Parker would be out for at least a month with an ankle injury, as it enters off an impressive 101-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls as 8.5-point home favorites Wednesday.

The Spurs have one of the deeper second units in basketball, with their bench averaging 39.2 points per game, which is far superior to the Trail Blazers in that particular category (17.1 ppg).

Total wagering

NBA handicappers will find that the OVER is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in this series, but it’s important to note that neither squad has scored 100-plus points in nine of the last 13.

San Antonio is allowing opponents to score just 91.6 points per game at home this year, while Portland averages just 94.3 on the road.

Don't forget to also check out our NBA picks of the day to get a leg up on your sportsbook. 

Neal injury looms large

I’ve already mentioned that Parker will definitely be out for this contest, but forward Gary Neal’s status is something to monitor throughout the day, as he’s missed four of the past five games with an Achilles injury.

[gameodds]5/220506/43/us[/gameodds]

Neal is averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game versus the Blazers this year, including a game-high 27 points in the first meeting on Nov. 10.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA betting picks Friday night, as the Spurs could be without their two leading scorers against the Trail Blazers this season.

Portland is also just one of five NBA teams that San Antonio forward Tim Duncan averages less than 19.0 points per game against in his career.

NBA Pick:  Under 202 at 5Dimes