Jazz vs. Trail Blazers Prediction
The Utah Jazz have been one of the best stories in the NBA this season and have won eight of their last 10, while the Portland Trail Blazers have dropped four in a row. Will the Jazz or host Trail Blazers prevail tonight in a game that will decide seeding in the Western Conference Playoffs?
Game Snapshot & Current Odds
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Moda Center, 10:40PM ET
TV: AT&T Sportsnet (UTAH), NBCSNW (PORT)
Public Betting Trends
As of Wednesday afternoon, 52 percent of public bets have sided with the visiting Jazz. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page in order to get the latest information.
The case for Donovan Mitchell
A lot has been made of 76ers point guard Ben Simmons stating he is '100 percent' the Rookie of the Year and it is difficult to dispute. But there is still a case to be made for Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, who is the most surprising rookie of this season's class. Drafted 13th overall out of Louisville by the Denver Nuggets, he was quickly shipped to Utah and was pegged to be a prime piece in what was expected to be a rebuild following the departure of star Gordon Hayward in free agency. Instead, Mitchell has been a main force in helping the Jazz land in the top half of the Western Conference. Mitchell is averaging 20.3 points per game, four better than Simmons. Of course, Simmons tallies big numbers in the assist and rebounding departments but Mitchell does contribute in both areas (3.7 each) despite being a guard with a score-first mentality. Philadelphia, with no Simmons and a healthy Joel Embiid, would have still been in the playoff hunt this season. Could Utah say the same without Mitchell?
The seeding scenario
The winner of this game will earn the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs, while the loser gets the fourth seed. Considering there are variables on who they will meet in the first round depending on other games tonight, I'm not sure it matters. They'll know the other seedings by the time they tip off in the late game, but ultimately that isn't going to impact what happens. Both teams want the three seed no matter the draw. Whatever happens around the NBA tonight, it is bound to be a crazy night of basketball considering all the different scenarios in which it might all play out.
NBA Betting Trends
The Jazz are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings in Portland. The over is 12-3 in the last 15 meetings in Portland. Utah is 0-4 ATS in its last four games played on zero days of rest.
The over is 5-0 in the last five Portland games on a Wednesday. The Trail Blazers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games played against an opponent with a winning straight up record. Portland is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall.
The difference for me here is that Portland had a day of rest, while the Jazz played yesterday with a 119-79 home blowout win over the Warriors and then had to travel. As good as Utah has been this season, it is a 20-20 straight up team on the road. Portland is an impressive 27-13 straight up at home. This feels like a bit of a trap with the Jazz as an underdog and a feel-good story and there are plenty of people who would love to see them rise to the third seed. But bettors can't play with emotions. Go with the Trail Blazers at home as the spread is small enough and the fatigue factor is real.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS -3.5