Trail Blazers vs Jazz Picks and Predictions: Burnt-Out Blazers Get Butted

Utah's feeling some urgency to fend off two teams chasing it for homecourt in the West. Luckily, it gets to face the current worst team in the NBA tonight. Find out why our Trail Blazers vs. Jazz picks see this one being put out of reach early.

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2022 11:59 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers will continue their touring reprisal of the 2000 sports comedy The Replacements on Wednesday night when they visit the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz have had a very up-and-down stretch recently and will look to re-assert themselves in the Western Conference hierarchy for the regular-season stretch run. 

The ensuing result may not be so funny for Portland — find out more with our Trail Blazers vs. Jazz NBA picks and predictions for March 9.

Trail Blazers vs Jazz odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This line opened all over the place with books listing the Jazz as high as -19.5 and as low as -11.5, with most in the -17 range. A consensus has landed around -17 to -17.5 as of Wednesday morning. The total also opened at a wide range of 217.5 to 221.5, with the latter or 222 being offered at most outlets as of writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Trail Blazers vs Jazz predictions

Predictions made on 3/9/2022 at 10:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Trail Blazers vs Jazz game info

Location: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET

Trail Blazers vs Jazz betting preview

Key injuries

Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons SG (Questionable), Damian Lillard PG (Out), Jusuf Nurkic C (Out), Nassir Little SF (Out), Eric Bledsoe G (Out), Joe Ingles G/F (Out), Justise Winslow F (Out).
Jazz: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NBA betting trends for Trail Blazers vs. Jazz.

Trail Blazers vs Jazz picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Seventeen points seem like a lot. But even that might not be enough with how barren this Blazers roster is right now. 

With Anfernee Simons now also questionable for tonight — and the tanking Blazers having absolutely no incentive to play him — Portland's roster contains zero credible NBA scorers (maybe half of one, depending on your Ben McLemore take) and can't possibly hope to compete with the Jazz. 

Utah's the NBA's top offense this season, sporting a shimmering 115.8 O-rating, a category in which Portland ranks dead last over the past 10 games since its roster was chop-shopped at the trade deadline. Things got even uglier when starting center Jusuf Nurkic was sidelined — in the five games since, the Blazers are managing a pathetic 95.8 ppg, which includes an utter 121-point outlier against meth-paced Minnesota.

The Jazz are a far more methodical defensive team. While they rank just 13th in D-rating on the season, that's largely due to their defense completely cratering while DPOY odds leader Rudy Gobert missed over a month between January and February. With Gobert in the lineup, this is, at worst, a Top-10 defense, and one that will have zero trouble snuffing Portland's feeble attempt at an attack. 

The Jazz are feeling the pressure right now, with both Dallas and Denver breathing down their neck for homecourt in the West. They'll be hungry to put this one to bed, and won't be offered up a softer spot all season. The Blazers have lost five in a row by an average of 31.2 points.

Again, 17 points seem like a lot. But Portland's a G-League team right now. Don't overthink this one.

Prediction: Utah -17 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Saturday's outlier against Minnesota aside, trusting the Blazers to do anything to push a total these days is a risky proposition. 

Portland hasn't even really threatened the 100-point plateau in any other post-Nurkic game (its best effort was 95 against Golden State) and was held to just 81 points without Simons in a Wolves rematch on Monday. 

Now, consider that Utah's defensive ceiling is higher than Minnesota's, and the Jazz play at a relatively glacial pace (22nd in NBA on the season), and there's almost zero hope of the Blazers breaking triple-digits here. 

If Utah decides not to take their foot off the gas and lay a 40-point beatdown on the sad-sack Blazers, it could push this one Over on its own. But the Jazz will likely be emptying the bench way early, and we feel as though the more likely scenario is Portland continuing to suck at scoring and falling short. 

Prediction: Under 222 (-110)

Best bet

This outcome is essentially predetermined and Utah's only priority for this game should be putting it far enough out of reach early to rest its starters now that the roster is healthy for the first time all year (RIP Joe Ingles).

As such, we're focusing on the first-half spread, which is obviously tilted towards a big early lead, but saves us the trouble of a back-door cover in case the very depths of Utah's bench bleed the margin late. 

Especially with a spread this big, the Blazers could cover late without even the slightest alarm to Utah's outright result, leaving their starters glued to the bench in the fourth. 

We don't hate the full-game spread at all given how dead the Blazers look of late, but if you're looking for safety, the first half should be a quick fix. 

Pick: Utah first half -9.5 (-110)

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