Solid NBA Pick: Lock 'Over' When Trail Blazers Hit San Antonio

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 16, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 16, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

Two teams going in opposite directions tonight, as the Spurs bring a four-game streak into their game with Portland, which has lost five games in a row. Review the NBA odds for a winning NBA pick.

Blazers Regressing As Expected
I fully expected Portland (4-7) to be a lottery team this season, and that's looking like where the Blazers are headed after a bit of a fool's gold 4-2 start behind the high-scoring backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers are off a 106-94 loss in Charlotte on Sunday night -- they have allowed at least 101 points in each of the five straight losses. Nicolas Batum, who was traded to Charlotte this past offseason, one of four starters off last year's team to depart, killed the Blazers in that game with 33 points (two shy of his career high), six assists and five rebounds. Portland was totally flat, falling behind by as many as 29 points.

"I didn’t think we gave it as much effort as we needed to be,’’ Coach Terry Stotts said. "I didn’t think we were as focused mentally as we needed to be on individuals, and I thought those two things combined created a downward spiral."

The Blazers got veteran guard Gerald Henderson and young forward Noah Vonleh for Batum. Henderson has played in only three games off hip surgery and is averaging 5.7 points in 12.3 minutes per night. Vonleh has played in all 11 games -- he made his first start of the season vs. the Hornets -- but averages just 2.5 points per game. He's a former lottery pick. Portland remains without starting forward Meyers Leonard. He has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury -- suffered in the first meeting with the Spurs -- and likely won't be back for a month.

The Blazers have not lost more than five games in a row since 2013 when they dropped 13 straight to end the season. They are 5-6 against the spread on NBA odds and 7-4 over/under.'

 

Spurs Cruising Right Along
San Antonio (7-2) beat hapless Philadelphia 92-83 on Saturday for its fourth win in a row. Former Trail Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 19 rebounds in perhaps his best game as a Spur. Tony Parker scored 16 points and Tim Duncan added 15 for San Antonio, which played without star Kawhi Leonard and sixth man Manu Ginobili. Leonard had an illness and Ginobili a thigh injury. I'm pretty sure both could have played if the game mattered, but it's not like the Spurs needed them against Philly. Expect both to play here.

Leonard is in the early NBA MVP conversation, although clearly Golden State's Steph Curry is the favorite. Leonard is averaging 21.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.25 blocks while shooting 52.6 percent from the floor. And he's a magnificent defender as Leonard won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award last year.

San Antonio is in the midst of a three-game homestand in which all three opponents visit the AT&T Center on the second night of back-to-back games. The Spurs have a day off prior to all three games. They are 6-3 ATS on NBA picks and 3-5-1 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
San Antonio visited Portland on Nov.11 and I recommended giving the Trail Blazers the 6.5 points and going 'over' the total of 205 when I previewed that game here at SBR. And both worked out nicely as the Spurs won 113-101. Aldridge, who was met by both cheers and boos, had 22 points and six rebounds. Leonard had 20 points and seven rebounds. The San Antonio bench dominated -- every bench member had a positive plus/minus rating while every Portland reserve was in the negative. The Spurs won for just the third time in their past 14 visits to Portland, shot 56.1 percent overall. Lillard had 22 points and McCollum 21 for the Blazers -- McCollum was a team-best plus-10.  With a win here, the Spurs will clinch their first season series over Portland since the 2011-12 season (2-2 series tie in 2013-14) as the clubs play three times this season instead of four. Portland has defeated the Spurs in San Antonio in each of the past three years. The Trail Blazers are 3-2 in San Antonio since 2012-13.

NBA Free Pick: Spurs will win but take the points. Go 'over' the total at Pinnacle. The 'over' is 7-1 in Portland's past eight games. The 'over' is 5-0 in the past five meetings. 

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