Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs – NBA, April 16, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 16, 2021 9:49 am PDT

Third in the north, takes on third in the south in this battle of the west. Although their Divisional placings are identical, they both have different aspirations right now. The Spurs are desperately trying to cling on to the final pre-playoff spot. In contrast, the Trail Blazers are trying to avoid falling into those berths as they currently occupy the last automatic playoff position.

Their recent head-to-head record is as close as their Divisional positions as they have split the previous ten meetings with five wins apiece. However, the Spurs convincingly won their most recent matchup in January by 21-points. They dominated the game from start to finish and didn’t lose a quarter of the game on their way to a comfortable victory.

In their last ten meetings, the Trail Blazers have averaged two more fast half points than the Spurs, but the Spurs have averaged two more points at the end of these games, suggesting they tend to finish the stronger of the two.

They have also only lost twice in the last 11 encounters with the Trail Blazers in San Antonio and, therefore, should be confident of claiming another one tonight. However, they should be cautious, as Portland won on their last visit to Texas.

Trail Blazers vs. Spurs Odds

Trail Blazers -1.5 -115
Spurs +1.5 -105
Trail Blazers To Win -110
Spurs To Win -110
Over 231.5 Points -110
Under 231.5 Points -110

It seems everyone is struggling to separate these two, even the bookmakers! However, it looks like they have done an excellent job on the points total as it seems bang on to me.

The Spurs haven’t done too well at home against Western Conference teams this season as they have lost two-thirds old their 18 games.

Trail Blazers Stats

The Trail Blazers come into this game in desperate form, having only picked up one win from their previous five matches. That one win came against the Pistons, who have been awful this season which doesn’t say much for the victory. However, it was a record-breaking night for Enes Kanter, who made 30 rebounds which broke the franchise record which has stood since 1975! CJ McCollum, who has been brilliant for the Trail Blazers this season, hailed Kanter as the best rebounder in the league.

When you look at their losses, you have to say each team they faced was of the highest caliber, so perhaps the form isn’t as bad as it might look.

They have been good on the road picking up 15 wins from their 26 road trips this season. Although they lost the last two in a row against excellent opponents in the form of the Clippers and the Jazz, they will want to forget both performances as they put up minimal fight in either match.

Here are the latest betting trends for Portland:

  • They have only won one of their previous five matches against the spread.
  • Five of their last seven games have gone under the betting total.
  • The Trail Blazers have won four of their previous six matches against the spread when taking on the Spurs.
  • Only one of their last six games on the road has failed to go over the points total.
  • Portland is 3-8 in their previous 11 matches against the spread when facing Western Conference opponents.
  • They have only lost one of their last six games against teams based in the Southwest Division.

Despite having a terrible field goal percentage of only 44%, the Trail Blazers have an excellent offense. That’s not to say they can’t shoot. They have the third-highest success rate from the free-throw line this season, so they can shoot and shoot under pressure. Their biggest problem in attack has been their lack of creativity which is highlighted by the fact they have made the lowest number of assists in the league this season. Therefore, they aren’t creating good scoring opportunities for their shooters to score from. This is strange from a team with Damian Lillard in their line-up as he has lit up the league this season.

I think they need to be less indecisive as they’re holding on to the ball for far too long and end up forcing the issue. This has to come from practice and the coaching staff.

Their defense has been their biggest problem this season and, particularly, their marking, which has been awful. They are allowing their opponents to score at 47% from field goal range which will need to come down if they are to make a decent run in the playoffs.

The Trail Blazers will be without Collins tonight, who misses out with an ankle injury.

Spurs Stats

Although the Spurs have picked up two wins from their last three games, they head into this one in and shape, having lost 11 of their previous 15 matches.

Their record at home has been poor and is undoubtedly a worry for Spurs fans as they have only picked up 12 wins from their 29 games played at the AT&T Center. They have only won one of their previous five matches, which came against the Kings two weeks ago. They ran out comfortable 14-point winners on their way to gaining revenge for their 17-point loss to the Kings the night before.

Here are the latest betting trends for San Antonio:

  • Seven of their previous eight matches have gone over the betting total.
  • Only two of their last ten games against Portland have failed to go over the points total.
  • The total has gone over in five of their previous six matches at home.
  • They have only managed to win two of their last nine games against teams from the Western Conference.
  • The Spurs have lost four of their previous five matches against the spread when competing against teams in the Northwest Division.
  • San Antonio has won their last five games against the spread played on a Friday.

The Spurs have a relatively poor offense that has only averaged 110-points per game this season.

They like to hold on to the ball, and we have the two teams who have committed the least turnovers facing off tonight, and therefore, the key to victory could be who sees more of the ball tonight.

Their defense has only been marginally better and has been even worse at home this season, conceding two more points per game.

They are well-disciplined, but at times, I find they are too nice to play against and often give their opponents an easy ride.

I’m not a big fan of the Spurs this season, and in my opinion, they are already overachieving, and if they make the playoffs, it will be a good year for them.

San Antonio will miss Lyles tonight, and Dieng remains a doubt as he battles his way back from a shoulder injury.

Trail Blazers vs. Spurs Pick

Pick
  • Trail Blazers To Win
    -110

Although most consider this a tight game, I don’t see it. While they both come into the match having lost more than they have won recently, the Trail Blazers have faced much stiffer opposition. I think they will have too much for the Spurs tonight, who are still reeling from the announcement that LaMarcus Aldridge is retiring from the game due to a heart condition.

The Trail Blazers are a team that has struggled against the teams above them, but more often than not, they sweep aside teams below them, and I see this being no different tonight.

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