We should be in for a treat tonight when the Spurs play host to the Trail Blazers in a battle between two of the best teams in not only the Western Conference, but the entire NBA. Where should we go with our NBA picks?
The NBA Odds have the Spurs favored by either 4 or 4.5 points. It all depends on which sportsbook you use, and this reinforces the point that it may be a good idea to utilize multiple books in order to get the best possible number out there. You never know: that half point could make all the difference in the world at the end of the day.
The O/U is at 199 points right now, which is down slightly from where it was at earlier. We're going to shy away from a play on the total, however, as we don't see much of an edge either way.
San Antonio Spurs
Is it a little underwhelming to see the Spurs at 24-16? Maybe, but we doubt the defending champions are all that worried. Once they get fully healthy again, they should be able to make their way up the standings and earn another high seed for the postseason.
Recent form has been better too, as San Antonio has managed to win three of its last four games. During the run, the Spurs have beaten the Timberwolves, Hornets and suns, with the one loss coming on the road against John Wall and the Wizards. In the most recent win over Charlotte, Gregg Popovich's crew rode a huge night from Manu Ginobili, who scored 27 points off the bench to lead the way for San Antonio.
Even more good news: the Spurs are expected to get Kawhi Leonard back from injury tonight, as he's listed as probable to play. That should be a huge lift for the team, as he's quickly become an integral part of their success. San Antonio couldn't have asked for a better time for him to return as they get set to play the 30-9 Trail Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers
Though the Trail Blazers lost their latest game (at home to the Clippers), they've still managed to win four of their last five, while going 8-2 in their previous 10 overall. As you can see by their overall record, they've been one of the teams to beat in the NBA this season - coming in, they've gone 18-4 at home and a solid 12-5 on the road, so they've been able to get it done no matter where they're playing.
It must have been a little disappointing, however, for Portland in the recent home loss to LA. LaMarcus Aldridge went off for 37 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Kaman also double-doubled, yet the Trail Blazers just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.
That should mean a renewed sense of focus for this trip to San Antonio to face off against the defending champions. Portland has won both meetings against the Spurs this season, which includes an overtime victory on the road. It's never easy beating the same team three times in a row (unless you're playing the 76ers or Knicks), but the Trail Blazers should be up for another battle this evening.
We haven't been all that impressed with the Spurs, who haven't been nearly as dominant as they were throughout the regular season last year
Of course, a lot of it is by design, as San Antonio has been resting players even more than normal, thus resulting in performances suffering across the board. Injuries haven't helped either, especially since Leonard had emerged as one of the team's best overall players on both ends of the court. His return will help, but it may take him a little bit to get back in the flow of things.
Conversely, the Trail Blazers have been fantastic, and they seem to relish these big road games. We think there's a good deal of value here on Portland, so we'll add them to our NBA Picks for the day.
NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +4.5 at 5Dimes