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Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers
NBA: Thursday, December 6, 2018, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon, 10:00 PM ET
The Western Conference foes will meet at the Moda Center on Thursday when the Phoenix Suns are visiting the Portland Trail Blazers in their search for the first win in seven games, while the hosts are looking to snap the three-game losing streak. The rivals haven’t met this season yet but they faced four times in the 2017-18 and the Blazers swept the Suns and are hoping to get the seventh consecutive victory over Phoenix.
Phoenix Suns remain the worst team in the NBA following the latest loss to the Kings
Phoenix managed to win only one out of the previous ten games but after a shocking road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Suns suffered six straight defeats, most recently to the Sacramento Kings at home. The Suns stayed at the bottom of the Western Conference with the 4-20 record, seven wins behind the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, and it seems that Phoenix will end this campaign as the last team in the West.
De’Anthony Melton led the Suns in a 122-105 loss to the Kings with 21 points and five assists off the bench; Josh Jackson added 14 points and four boards, Trevor Ariza had 14 points and three steals, Deandre Ayton contributed with ten points and nine rebounds, while Richaun Holmes posted a double-double of ten points and ten boards. Miserable Phoenix scored just nine points in the opening quarter in opposite to Sacramento’s 36 and the game was already settled at that point as it was evident that the poor Suns are not able to make a comeback even though they won the final quarter by 15 points.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 5, 2018
Phoenix released Isaiah Canaan, which came as a big surprise considering Canaan’s regular place in the rotation. Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton will get more minutes on the floor as a result, while Devin Booker will spend more time at the PG position. However, Booker is unavailable for this clash as he is struggling with a hamstring injury, while TJ Warren will miss his fourth straight game due to an ankle injury.
The Suns have the 28th offense in the NBA that averages 103.0 points per contest, while their defense is 25th in the league as it allows 114.0 points per game. Phoenix’s rebounding is among the worst in the league as they are recording 39.9 boards per game (29th), while they are slightly below average when it comes to assists per contest with 23.5 dishes a night (18th). Phoenix is 17th in field goal percentage as they have 45.6 percent from the floor and 26th from downtown with just 33.5 percentage, while they are 20th in the NBA with 10.3 three-pointers made per game.
Portland Trail Blazers are desperate to avoid the seventh defeat in eight games
Portland is playing in a poor form lately as they won just one out of the last seven games, and the Blazers are on a three-game losing streak with the latest loss came to the Dallas Mavericks on the road. The Blazers dropped to the 13-11 record and they are currently in the 7th position in the Western Conference with four wins behind the conference leaders and Northwest Division rivals Denver Nuggets but the situation in the West is tricky and more competitive than ever, so we’ll see what is going to happen in the weeks to come.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers in a 111-102 loss to the Mavericks with 33 points (10-23 FG, 11-12 FT), eight rebounds, game-high eight assists, and two blocks; CJ McCollum followed him with 18 points and four dimes, Evan Turner chipped in with 13 points, five rebounds, and four dimes, while Al-Farouq Aminu recorded a double-double of 12 points and team-high 13 boards. Portland wasn’t good in the opening 12 minutes as Dallas won the first quarter by 14 points and the Blazers committed five more turnovers than the hosts (18-13), and although the Blazers improved later in the game, Dallas didn’t let them come close of making a comeback.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 5, 2018
C.J. McCollum (left ankle sprain) is questionable to face the Suns on Thursday and in case he is out of this clash, Seth Curry, Evan Turner, and Nik Stauskas will likely play more.
The Blazers have the 10th offense in the 2018-19 that averages 112.5 points per contest, while their defense is 20th as it allows 111.7 points per game. Portland’s rebounding is among the best in the NBA as they have 49.1 boards per game (2nd), while they are among the worst teams when it comes to assists per contest with 20.7 dishes a night (28th). Portland is the 16th team in field goal percentage as they have 45.7 percent from the floor and 12th from downtown with 35.6 percentage, while they are 11th with 11.3 three-pointers made per game.
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games played on Thursday
- 24-10 ATS in their last 34 games played at home
- 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games played at home vs. an opponent with a losing road record
- 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games played on Thursday
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. NBA Northwest rivals
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games played on the road
- 0-5 ATS in their last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Portland won ten out of the previous 11 H2H encounters including the last six, while the Blazers were victorious in six out of the past seven meetings at the Moda Center. Phoenix is the worst team in the NBA at the moment but Portland is also not playing well; however, the visitors will find it hard to cope with the absence of their best players and scorers Booker and Warren, so I am backing the hosts to snap the three-game losing run and get a win here. The visitors will have plenty of problems in organizing the play actions as they will be shorthanded at the point guard position, particularly now after they released Canaan, and even though Portland decides to rest McCollum, the Blazers are big favorites to get a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -13.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 216 and despite the fact that Phoenix is struggling offensively recently as they failed to reach the 100-point mark in three of their last four games, I think they will concede a bunch of baskets in this one and that’s why I am backing over. Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Portland; over is 6-1 in Trail Blazers previous seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game, while over is 4-1 in Trail Blazers last five Thursday games. Portland didn’t score 100+ points just once in their previous nine games so I don’t think the hosts will have problems to score with freedom here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them scoring 120+ points.
Prediction: Over 216 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Blazers will be highly motivated to get back to the winning ways and they have an excellent opportunity to do so against the weakest side in the league, so I expect the hosts to enter this tilt furiously and decide it in the opening 24 minutes. Despite the recent poor form, Portland is a much more serious team than Phoenix and I think they will create at least a 10-point lead at halftime, so I am backing the Blazers to cover the -8.5 spread.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -8.5 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
Portland will be looking to score as many points as possible in the first half in order to secure a big lead and perhaps give their star players a rest in the final quarter. The Suns will have to play from behind probably from the very start, so there is a chance that the visitors will attempt plenty of shots from beyond the arc, so we might have a classic shootout in the opening half here. The Blazers have the potential to score 40 points in the opening 12 minutes and I think something similar will happen, so I am going with over at halftime.
Prediction: Over 109.5 (-110)