Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2571 Utah Jazz vs.
#2572 Portland Trail Blazers
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 10:10pm EST
Moda Center, Portland
Written by Abby Dixon

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The Utah Jazz (25-25, 9-16 Away) will head to Portland, OR to take on the Portland Trail Blazers (22-25, 12-10 Home) at Moda Center for the third game of their four-game series. The series is currently tied. The Blazers have won just two of their last five games but are coming off a win while the Jazz has won three of their last five and are also coming off a victory.

Jazz Seeking Second Consecutive Win as Improvments have Arisen

The Utah Jazz had a very hot start to the season and became one of the teams to beat, however, as the year ended and the new year began they struggled to find their rhythm. As of late, Utah has seemed to find some of their game again, winning three of their last five games, including their last game against the Charlotte Hornets where they put up 120 points. The Jazz earned the first win of this four-game series but lost the second and will now fight to pull ahead in the series. In their last contest against the Trail Blazers, they suffered a 116-111 defeat where they shot 45.2% from the floor, 36.1% from beyond the arc, and 78.6% from free throw range. In addition, they earned 44 rebounds, 20 assists, eight steals, and four blocks while turning the ball over 13 times. They combined for 16 points off turnovers, 10 fast break points, and 42 points in the paint.

This season, Utah's scoring offense is ranked 4th, averaging 117.6 points per game while making 47.2% of their field goals, 36.6% of their 3-pointers, and 78.7% of their free throws. In addition, the Jazz is averaging 44.4 rebounds, 25.7 assists, 6.8 steals, and 4.8 blocks while turning the ball over 14.7 times per game. Defensively, they are allowing their opponents to score 116.3 points per game (22nd). Lauri Markkanen — the scoring leader for Utah — averages 22 points and eight rebounds versus Portland. Jordan Clarkson is averaging 26 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists against the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers Looking for Second Straight Victory Against Jazz

The Portland Trail Blazers have won just two of their last five games but are coming off a win against the San Antonio Spurs where they were able to put up 147 points in regulation. Portland enters this matchup looking to beat the Jazz for the second consecutive time as they earned a 116-111 victory in their last meeting. The Trail Blazers shot 48.2% from the field, 40% from deep, and 77.4% from the free-throw line while scoring 14 points off turnovers, four fast break points, and 46 points in the paint. In addition, they earned 49 rebounds, 19 assists, five steals, and six blocks while turning the ball over 13 times. Anfernee Simons (45 PTS, 4 AST, 2 BLK, 60% FG) was the scoring leader for Portland while Jerami Grant (33 PTS, 5 AST, 55.5% FG) contributed a significant amount too.

This season, Portland's scoring offense is ranked 17th, averaging 113.6 points per game while making 47.8% of their field goals, 37.3% of their 3-pointers, and 78.4% of their free throws. In addition, the Trail Blazers are averaging 42.8 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 6.6 steals, and 4.3 blocks while turning the ball over 14.4 times per game. Defensively, they are surrendering 113.1 points per game (14th) while allowing their opponents to shoot 47.7% from field goal range. Damian Lillard is the scoring leader for Portland, averaging 29.3 points per game while earning 7.3 assists. Lillard has faced the Jazz once this season and scored 13 points while recording seven assists. Jusuf Nurkic is the rebound leader this season, averaging 9.9 rebounds per game while also putting up 14.2 points. He is averaging 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against Utah.

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The Portland Trail Blazers are entering this contest with some positive momentum from their big win against the San Antonio Spurs where they put up 147 points in regulation. In addition, the Trail Blazers will have home-court advantage as well as the motivation from their last victory against the Jazz. With these factors, I expect the Trail Blazers to enter this matchup with more positive momentum which will play a role in their contest. In their last contest, Portland gained their edge from deep with Simons making seven 3-pointers and Grant sinking two 3-pointers. I do expect their talent from shooting beyond the arc to allow them to get ahead early. The Trail Blazers have more momentum and better shooting from deep, so take Portland.

Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -3.5 (-110)

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Each of these teams has high-scoring offenses, however, their defenses are what's going to prevent this game from going over. In their last matchup where the Trail Blazers won, the under also won in the 116-111 contest. The Jazz is surrendering 116.3 points per game while the Trail Blazers are conceding just 113.1 points per game. I expect a very similar situation in this matchup, especially because the Jazz have really relied on Morkkanen to put points on the board as he has had 16 consecutive +20-point games. With this said, I would watch for the Trail Blazers to contain him, leaving the other Jazz members to take over scoring. This will prevent the Jazz from running the score up. Each of these defenses has been successful in stopping each offense in previous matches, so expect that to happen again, especially with healthy squads. Take the under.

Prediction: Under 239.5
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Written By Abigail Dixon , "Abby Dixon"

Abigail Dixon was born and raised in California where she quickly excelled at any sport she tried. Her competitive nature helped her earn four varsity spots as a freshman in high school, and her passion for sports led her to a California state playoff game in basketball twice and once for golf. She earned four total All-Conference awards, including two in volleyball, one in basketball, and one in golf. Her passion earned her a golf scholarship to a junior college, where she dominated, earning two All-Conference titles and two tournament wins. A quick two years later, she landed herself a roster spot at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she played golf and completed her degree in Journalism and Media Production. Abigail’s keen eye for statistics, odds, and sports history gives her an edge in the industry.  She is never scared to pick the underdog, and often wins big when she does.