Order Up a Dozen! Jazz to Extend Unlikely Streak by Beating Blazers

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 22, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

The hottest team in the NBA out of the All-Star break is the Utah Jazz as they look to win their 12th straight game Friday with the Portland Trail Blazers in town.

Portland Trail Blazers (32-26, 28-25 ATS) at Utah Jazz (30-28, 31-27 ATS)Free NHL Pick: JazzBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Busy night on the first Friday of the second half of the NBA season and all eyes will be on Salt Lake City as Utah hosts Portland (9 p.m. ET) with the Jazz looking to extend the NBA’s longest active winning streak to 12 games.

The Jazz could also win the season series vs. the Blazers, which could prove an important tiebreaker for a playoff spot, with a victory as Utah leads 2-0. The teams close the regular season against one another in Portland on April 11.

The first meeting was in Salt Lake City back on Nov. 1 and Utah won 112-103 in overtime. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell had what at the time was a career-high 28 points (he was coming off the bench then) and Ricky Rubio had 30 points. Damian Lillard had 33 points to lead Portland but needed 27 shots. CJ McCollum was just 6-for-20 for 16 points.

On Feb. 11 in Portland, the Jazz prevailed 115-96. Utah won the rebounding battle 58-37 – three Jazz players had 11 each. Mitchell had 27 points and six boards. Lillard had 39 points and McCollum 22 but the other Portland starters combined for 13 points.

The home team is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings and so, not coincidentally, is the favorite.

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All That Jazz!

The Jazz don’t get much publicity because of where they are located, but that could soon change following Mitchell’s win in the Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday – as a replacement for the injured Aaron Gordon – and this 11-game winning streak (8-3 ATS). The Jazz are just the third team in league history to win at least 10 in a row when starting said streak a minimum of nine games below .500.

Utah was 19-28 when this began with a 98-95 overtime win in Detroit on Jan. 24. Because of that hole, the Jazz are still last in the Northwest Division and wouldn’t make the playoffs as things stand. This is no fluke, either, as Utah has beaten Toronto, Golden State and San Antonio (twice) during the streak. Seven of the 11 wins have been by at least nine points. The NBA record for longest winning streak by a team at least nine games under .500 was last year’s Miami Heat, won were 11-30 when they started a 13-game run. That team just barely missed the postseason.

The Jazz franchise record is 15 straight wins, set twice during the 1996-97 season led by the Hall of Dame duo of Karl Malone and John Stockton. You can wager at BetOnline if the Jazz break that, with yes at +600 and no -1000. Could happen as the upcoming schedule is: vs. Dallas (Saturday), vs. Houston (Monday), vs. Minnesota (March 2) and at Sacramento (March 3). That Rockets game looms large.

Mitchell is the first rookie ever to lead his team in scoring during a win streak of at least 11 games. He has been an absolute steal as the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft. At Bovada, Philly’s Ben Simmons remains the -250 Rookie of the Year favorite, but Mitchell has closed to +170.

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Highlights from @Dame_Lillard's 21-point performance at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game pic.twitter.com/MQbzgbKEMu

— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 19, 2018

Portland enters the second half in the No. 7 playoff spot in the West and having won three of four. The Blazers beat the Warriors the Wednesday before the break in impressive fashion, 123-117. The All-Star Lillard had 44 points in that one and is averaging a cool 44.3 points in his past three. He’s averaging 32.7 points in his past seven vs. Utah.

I could see the Jazz being upset on Saturday in a trap game vs. the Mavericks, but I think they extend this streak and cover here. Utah has covered its past four at home in the series, and Portland is just 1-7 ATS in its past eight overall vs. teams with a winning home record. Utah is the Friday NBA pick.

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