Trail Blazers-Spurs prediction, odds and selection

The Portland Trail Blazers (15-12) visit the San Antonio Spurs (9-18) on Wednesday night. Promotion ends at 8:10pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Blazers-Spurs prediction and pick.

Portland has won four of their last five games to move up to sixth place in the Western Conference. The Blazers are 18-9 against the spread while 52% of their games are down. San Antonio has won three straight games but still sits 14th in the West. The Spurs are 12-15 against the spread while 54% of their games have gone down. This will be the second of four meetings between the teams this season. Portland clinched the first matchup — a seven-point home win.

Here are the Blazers-Spurs NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Blazers Spurs Odds

Portland Trailblazer: -7.5 (-110)

San Antonio Spurs: +7.5 (-110)

Above: 230.5 (-110)

Below: 230.5 (-110)

Why the Trail Blazers could cover the spread

Portland have been one of the streakiest teams in the league this season. They started red hot, then went on a brutal losing streak, but have now regained momentum. Portland is a strong offensive team, ranking 18th in points and eighth in offensive standings. On defense, they’re about league average, ranking 11th in points allowed and 23rd in defensive scoring. They really excel on the glass, where they rank eighth in rebound difference and tenth in rebound rate. Forward Josh Hart in particular is expected to play tonight as he is nursing an injury.

Portland’s chances of finding cover tonight will depend largely on whether or not their guards can uncover San Antonio’s weak defenses. Damian Lillard (28.3 PPG) and Anfernee Simons (23.7 PPG) make up one of the most talented offensive backcourts in the NBA. They score very similarly with both players shooting over 44% from the field and about 39% from three players. They combine for over eight three-pointers per game, which could be crucial against a Spurs defense that allows the eighth most three-pointers per game. The Guards lead the third-best three-point team in the NBA. San Antonio allow the highest three-point percentage in the league — something to consider before making a Blazers-Spurs prediction.

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While Portland shouldn’t have a problem picking up points on offense, they need to control the color on defense if they want to cover a hefty spread. Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is more than capable of that. Nurkic is one of the most consistent big men in the league, averaging 14.5 PPG and 10.4 RPG. Despite only averaging just 0.9 BPG, he’s a mammoth presence from below that does a great job when it comes to taking punches to the rim. Nurkic was limited to just nine points and five rebounds in 15 minutes in their last clash with the Spurs. However, he’s been a vacuum in recent games — accumulating 31 rebounds in his last two matchups.

Why the Spurs could cover the spread

San Antonio started the season on fire but then lost 11 straight games. However, they’ve turned things around lately and have a good opportunity to cover as big home underdogs. The Spurs are bottom of the league in almost every metric. They are weak offensively, ranking 25th in rating and 29th in offensive rating. They have the worst defense in the league, ranking last in both points allowed and defensive rating. The Spurs are slightly better on the glass as they rank 20th in rebound differential and 22nd in rebound rate. San Antonio still has to do without center Jakob Pöltl, who has a knee injury.

Spurs are led offensively by their talented young duo Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell. Johnson (20.9 PPG) and Vassell (20.2 PPG) are both talented scorers who have struggled with consistency in their young careers. That being said, they have a good opportunity to attack a vulnerable Portland defense. Johnson, in particular, has played well in his recent winning streak. In his last three games, Johnson has averaged 24.7 PPG while shooting 48% from the field. His recent success is something to consider before making a Blazers-Spurs prediction.

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The biggest X factor for San Antonio tonight is their ability to recover. The Spurs aren’t a good rebound team, and if someone doesn’t show up, they could have trouble covering the spread against a strong Portland front. With lead rebounder Jakob Poeltl out again, the Spurs will likely turn to sophomore center Charles Bassey to patrol the color. Bassey averages a 6.1 RPG in limited action but is coming off an 11 rebound foray against the talented Cleveland front line.

Blazers-Spurs Final Prediction & Selection

Spurs have been playing a lot better lately and should be able to pull things off as big underdogs at home.

Blazers-Spurs Final Prediction & Selection: San Antonio Spurs +7.5 (-110)

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