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San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Betting Preview

We are starting to close down the NBA regular season. The best advice professional handicappers can give you is to find games where both teams still have something to play for.

We get that on Saturday night when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland is fighting for the sixth seed and avoiding the play-in tournament. San Antonio is trying to remain in the play-in tournament field and not drop out to a team like the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Western Conference battle tips off Saturday night at 10 PM EST.


San Antonio Spurs: Defensive Focus

The Spurs have been losing more than they’ve been winning of late, a trend they’ll need to reverse quickly.

San Antonio’s identity is a bottom-ten offense supported by a top-ten defense. Without a star to take over games, it will be tough for the Spurs to make noise in the postseason or on Saturday night.

The Spurs prefer to do their scoring near the paint, as their offense makes the second-least threes per game.

DeMar DeRozan leads San Antonio with 21.7 points per game, adding in 7.3 assists. Jakob Poetl hauls in nearly eight rebounds per game and blocks just about two shots per game.

We picked the Celtics to cover the spread versus the Warriors. Go check out our Warriors at Celtics betting preview.

Portland Trail Blazers: Advantage from Three

Portland moves through Damian Lillard. A top-ten offense that is second in the NBA in threes made, the offense goes as Lillard does.

Lillard is averaging nearly 29 points per game on 44% shooting, chipping in 7.6 assists each game.

The star guard played in just one of the games against the Spurs, going for 35. Expect a repeat occurrence on Saturday, as the Spurs defense ranks as a bottom-ten team defending the three.

CJ McCollum chips in 23.1 points per game, and Carmelo Anthony is shooting over 40% from deep. At this time, the Blazers are set to be a part of the NBA Play-In Tournament, something they’d rather avoid.

There’s a large gap between the Blazers’ offense and defense - ranked as one of the five worst defenses in the NBA.

The Blazers’ combination of strong scoring and weak defense makes for a lot of high-scoring games.

Total pick: Take the Over

Pace, calculated by shots per game and possessions per game, has both the Spurs and Blazers as fast teams. Both teams rank inside the top 12 of pace - expect plenty of shots on Saturday night.

Take the over. Beyond pace, the Blazers’ offense is well-positioned to take advantage of the Spurs’ poor three-point defense.

Portland’s defensive weakness is allowing teams to score in the paint, which aligns with the Spurs’ offensive preference.

When both offenses have advantages, we can expect both teams to capitalize. Portland is one of the best teams in the NBA against over/unders.

Game pick: Portland to Cover

The Portland offense is so much stronger than San Antonio’s, and it is enough to take the Blazers in this one. The Spurs have been a 1.5-point favorite heading into both meetings this year versus the Blazers, when looking at past NBA odds.

These teams have met twice this season, splitting the series thus far. San Antonio won the first matchup, 125-104, while Portland won the second game, 107-106.

The Trail Blazers did not have the pair of Lillard and McCollum for either of these games. They have them now.

Take Portland to win and cover the spread.

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