The San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers have gone 2-8 over their last ten games, and they will now meet tonight in Portland as they both try to right the ship. We’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting a first-half bet.
The Trail Blazers have lost the first two games of their six-game homestand, including a 121-112 loss last night to the Lakers. During their recent 2-8 stretch, the Trail Blazers' offense has only found success in their two victories, in which they scored 136 and 140 points. The other eight games were a much different story and led to them having an offensive efficiency rating of 113.5 in that span, ranking 20th in the league.
A majority of their offensive struggles have stemmed from a recent slump from three-point range, as 44% of the Blazers' field goal attempts have come from three over the last ten games, but they are shooting 31.8% from deep in that span which is the second worst percentage in the league.
Defensively, the Trail Blazers have had similar production on that end of the floor, as their defensive efficiency rating over the previous ten games ranks 21st. Portland allowed 62 points in the paint last night to the Lakers, which could pose a significant problem for them tonight against a Spurs team that ranks 4th in the league in paint scoring this season.
Over their last ten games, the Spurs' offensive efficiency rating of 112 ranks 23rd in the league, but they are first in two-point field goal attempts. The Spurs are coming off a game in which they scored 126 points and shot 57% from the field, but their defense let them down again, which is a familiar story in their games this season.
San Antonio allowed 131 points in that game, and a big problem for them during this 2-8 stretch has been allowing second-chance points. Over their previous ten games, they are allowing an average of 18 second-chance points per game which is the second most in the NBA.
My best play for this game will be the Trail Blazers' first-half spread of -4.5. Portland is 25-20-1 ATS in the first half this season, and they’ll be playing a Spurs team tonight who is 30th in the league in first-quarter points allowed per game. San Antonio has a -10.23% ROI in first-half spread bets this season, and with the way Portland has played in the first half, even recently, I expect them to continue to be a profitable first-half team.
Despite losing last night, the Trail Blazers managed to score 71 first-half points, which gave them a 25-point lead at halftime. Portland has been one of the best second-quarter scoring teams this season, averaging 29.8 points in the quarter, which is 8th best in the league.
Even though Portland has struggled recently from three, the Spurs are the perfect team for them to snap out of their slump against, as San Antonio ranks 30th in the league in opponent three-point percentage this season. Teams are shooting 39.7% from three this season against them, and they just allowed the Clippers to shoot 54% from deep. I like Portland to at least find success in the first half tonight and cover the number.
Portland Trail Blazers 1H (-4.5)