The Phoenix Suns take on the Portland Trail Blazers in a battle of struggling Western Conference teams on Thursday 12/6/18 at the Moda Center in Portland.
The Suns have lost six games in a row while the Blazers are losers of three straight games. Phoenix lost at home, 105-122 to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday while the Blazers were dropped on the road by the Dallas Mavericks 102-111 also on Tuesday.
At 4-20, the Phoenix Suns have the worst record in the NBA right now. The Suns’ have won just once in 11 road games this season and have a 3-12 record against Western Conference rivals. That said, the Suns will have a hard time to end their losing streak against the Blazers, especially since Devin Booker has been ruled out for this contest.
Booker leads the Suns in scoring at 23.5 points per game. Without him, the league’s 28th ranked scoring team is even going to have more trouble scoring points. Booker also leads the Suns in assists at 6.7 per contest. Phoenix, which is also ranked just 18th in assists, will also have a problem with Booker out. Second leading scorer T.J. Warren is also not playing on Thursday with an ankle problem, compounding the Suns’ offensive woes further.
The Portland Trail Blazers were off to a blazing 10-3 start to the 2018-19 NBA season but they’ve lost eight of their last 11 games to fall to 13-11 and down from top of the West to 8th place in a span of weeks. The Blazers enter this game with a three game losing streak. But facing a team which is struggling more than them right now and playing at home where they are 8-4 this season, the Blazers have a good chance of getting back on the winning side.
Damian Lillard continues to sizzle for the Blazers. Dame is averaging 27.3 points and 6.3 assists per game this season to lead his team. Backcourt partner C.J. McCollum is scoring 21.3 points per game and Portland has the 10th best scoring average in the league at 112.5 points per game. However, the Blazers defense is what’s failed them this season. Portland ranks only 20th in scoring defense, allowing 111.7 points per game this season. Against the woeful Suns though, defense shouldn’t be much of a problem although the Blazers need to pick up their defensive effort to get back in the thick of the fight.
The Suns and Blazers have played a total of 223 times during the regular season and Phoenix leads their all-time series 120-103. The Blazers though have won eight out of their last 10 meetings including the last seven. Portland has also won four in a row at home against the Suns.
The Suns are winless SU in their last five games played and are 1-11 SU in a dozen road games played this season. The Blazers are 1-4 SU in their last five games played and are 8-4 SU in 12 home games played so far. Head to head, the Portland is 8-2 SU in their last 10 games against Phoenix.
Both teams have struggled in their last five games as they have a combined record of 1-10 over that period. But while Phoenix’s struggles come as no surprise, Portland’s current slump wasn’t expected after their started the season at 12-5 and on top of the Western Conference. However, a 43 point loss to the Bucks and a 28 point blow out defeat at the hands of the Warriors have raised questions about the Blazers.
Frustration seems to be mounting in Portland but this is a big opportunity for the Blazers to get back on track. Phoenix is 1-11 on the road this season and have lost six in a row and nine out of their last 10 games. Devin Booker is out with an injury and Portland is playing at home. We’re picking the Portland Trail Blazers to beat the Phoenix Suns on 12/6/18.
Phoenix is 8-16 ATS in 24 games played this season and the Suns are 3-9 ATS in 12 road games played so far. Portland is 11-13 ATS in 24 games played this season and the Blazers are 7-5 ATS in a dozen home games this season. Head to head, the Blazers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games against the Suns.
The Suns have lost by an average of 17.2 points in their last five losses with no losing margin below 14 points over that period. The Suns were struggling even with Devin Booker. Losing their top two scorers in Booker and Warren for this game will make scoring points even more difficult. I like the Blazers covering the spread here not just because of the Suns’ woes but because Portland is playing at home and looking to bounce back big time. Prediction: Blazers -14
The total has gone under in 14 out of the 24 games played by the Suns this season. The over and under are an even 6-6 in Phoenix’s 12 road games. On the other hand, the over is 14-10 in Portland’s 24 games but the over and under are also an even 6-6 in the Blazers’ 12 home games played. Head to head, the over is 5-3 in their last eight meetings.
Phoenix has averaged just 97.8 points in their last five games played. That scoring average has dropped to 95.33 in their last three games with Booker hobbled by a hamstring injury. The Blazers can put up big numbers on the scoreboard, especially at home. However, I’m not sure if Phoenix can keep up with them without Devin Booker. Prediction: Under 216