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Can Portland break out of its slump against Woeful Phoenix?

Phoenix vs Portland Betting Odds

A losing streak is coming to an end tonight as the Portland Trail Blazers return home looking to put a stop to their three-game losing slide, while the Phoenix Suns are aiming to shut down their six-game skid. Portland has won each of the last six contests with Phoenix and hasn’t lost to the Suns at the Moda Center since 2015. The Trail Blazers are a 13.5-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 216 points.

Shark Bites
  • The Suns are 0-7 SU in their last seven games vs the Trail Blazers (avg. losing margin: 12.71).
  • The Suns are 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games (avg. losing margin: 14.5).
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of Portland’s last nine games.

Phoenix vs Portland Game Center

Suns are without their leading scorer

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Phoenix, it lost its starting point guard and leading scorer Devin Booker with a hamstring injury. Since the start of November, the Suns have earned just three wins, posting a record of 3-14 with an average losing margin of 13.21, and more recently they are on a six-game losing slide. On the season, they are scoring the third-fewest points per game at 103, while allowing the sixth-most at 114 for the second-worst point differential in the NBA. Booker has missed five games this season and, in those games, Phoenix has averaged 97.2 points while surrendering 115 points. It is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in those contests.

The Suns aren’t getting many opportunities to put up big scores as they take the third-fewest shots per game, perhaps a result of committing the second-most turnovers in the league, which has led to their opponents racking up 20.7 points per game off turnovers. Additionally, they average the third-fewest offensive boards per game, which again limits their second chances. All are signs that point to their poor 4-20 record. Lastly, the defense for Phoenix isn’t doing its part as it ranks dead last in shots contested per game at just 56.7 per game, allowing far too many open looks.

The defense has been letting the Trail Blazers down recently

Portland finds itself in a tailspin, dropping eight of its last 11 games, including an ongoing three-game slide. Over this span, the Blazers are surrendering 118.2 points per game, the third-most in the league, and allowing opponents to shoot 42.7 percent from beyond the arc, the best percentage in the NBA. Meanwhile, they are scoring just 108.5 ppg over that span, which is the 11th-fewest in the Association and four points below their season average. Similar to Phoenix, Portland may be without its second-best scorer as C.J. McCollum injured his ankle in his last game and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.

As mentioned above, a big issue for the Suns, among many, is their turnovers, but fortunately for them, the Trail Blazers are averaging the fewest takeaways per game at 12.2 and score just 13.5 points off turnovers per game, the lowest mark in the NBA. However, on a positive note for Portland’s defense, it ranks third in the league by contesting 68.8 shots per game.

Should you be on the OVER tonight?

Both teams are struggling defensively recently and Bovada has the total opening at 216 points. Despite Portland falling off a cliff recently, it has been on a roll for OVERs, going OVER in seven of its last nine games with an average combined score of 227. In the five games that Booker has missed, the total has gone OVER in three of those contests but the average combined score was UNDER tonight’s total at 212.4. Portland’s poor defense recently has allowed its opponents to score an average of 118.2 points per game in the last 11 games, which may help carry Phoenix to over 100 points, even without Booker. Lastly, the Suns have gone UNDER in four of their last five games with an average combined score of 210.8 so I think the UNDER may actually be the better play, but I’d stay away from the total overall.

My take on Phoenix vs Portland

I like Portland on the 13.5-point spread. I know it’s a lot of points and the Trail Blazers are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games, but the Suns are bad – and even worse without Booker. Phoenix is 0-6 SU and ATS in its last six games with an average losing margin of 14.5, and the team is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in the five games without Booker this year with an average losing margin of 17.8. Lastly, teams have been roughing up Portland from beyond the arc, but the Suns have the fifth-lowest shooting percentage from long range and I think the Blazers are going to pull out of their slump in a big way tonight.