Trail Blazers vs. Jazz NBA Picks and Predictions for Monday

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Royce O'Neale #23 of the Utah Jazz reacts after a dunk. Todd Kirkland/Getty Images/AFP

The Blazers are three-possession underdogs tonight on the road in Utah. Can we trust the Blazers to cover, or will the Jazz home court advantage stymie Portland on Monday?

Let’s take a look at the NBA odds for this great match-up.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz

Monday, November 29, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Vivint Arena

Will Blazers’ Defense Show Up?

The Blazes are coming off a long weekend off after not playing since Friday in Golden State and that should help them in altitude tonight against the Jazz.

Portland played well in that game but couldn’t overcome Stephen Curry and the assortment of deadly weapons the Warriors have at their disposal.

However, they did play some pretty good defense in that game, holding the Warriors to 58 first half points, but they couldn’t score much themselves and that end up dooming them to the loss column.

Now, they face a similarly talented team on both ends of the court and I have a hard time figuring out how they will slow down Utah and also, how they will score against this defense.

While Golden State and Phoenix have been getting the most favorable press from their first quarter of the season out West, the Jazz are right there with just fewer games played.

Utah is a phenomenal home team and so far, this season they are the league’s best offensive team, averaging over 114 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz is also one of just four teams that rank in the top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency. Phoenix and Golden State are in that category, as are the Miami Heat.

With that in mind, I have a hard time figuring out a way the Blazers will be able to put up a good fight in this one. Their offense has been stellar at times this season, but, on the road, those things start to change.

Most notably on defense where they fall off a cliff. However, at least for the first half, I could see a rested Blazers team staying with the Jazz on defense, just not on offense.

The Sharp Pick

With a first half total of 113.5 points, I can’t help but take the under here. Last Friday the Blazers put up just 103 points total and that is because the Dubs held them to just 44 first half points.

Most of Portland’s 1-9 SU road record has been exactly this same problem. They rank 17th in road first half offensive rating at just 106 and they are giving up the most road first half points per 100 possessions in the league.

If you add in the fact that the Blazers will also be without their third offensive option in Normal Powell, they will have a ton of issues against this Jazz defense early on. While Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum get all the attention offensively, as well they should, Powell has quietly been a consistent source of offense for this team.

The Blazers have been 10 points better per 100 possessions with Powell on the court this season and without him for the first game in a while, things may grind to a halt against a talented Jazz defense.

Utah will be able to isolate and focus a lot of attention on the two star guards and won’t have to worry about too much else. They could easily hold this Blazers team under 100 tonight and that starts in the first half.

Over their last five games, the Jazz have allowed only 99.6 points per 100 possessions in the first half and while their first half home defense hasn’t been great this season, this is the type of game where it could shine for our NBA pick.

NBA Pick: Under 113.5 1st Half (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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