SAN ANTONIO SPURS (18-5)
at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (9-12)
Tip-off: Thursday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -7, Total: 201
San Antonio heads over to Portland on Thursday, looking to rebound from a last-second loss in Utah on Wednesday night.
Despite the Mo Williams buzzer-beater that beat them one night ago, the Spurs are still 10-2 SU (9-3 ATS) in their past 12 games overall, and are a stellar 11-3 SU (10-4 ATS) on the road this season, outscoring these hosts by 7.0 PPG. Portland is also playing well at home, going 4-1 SU (3-0-1 ATS) in its past five games at Rose Garden, which includes a 92-74 crushing of Toronto on Monday. However, two of Portland's top-4 scorers -- Nicolas Batum (back) and Wesley Matthews (hip) -- are both doubtful to play.
Can the Spurs have their way with Portland on Thursday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are surging with a collective 18-14 ATS (56%) mark in Best Bets over the past five days, and are now at 53% ATS (132-117-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 14-7-1 ATS (67%) since Nov. 26 and 63% ATS (25-15-3) Best Bets for the year. StatFox Scott is at 56% ATS (31-24) Best Bets for the season, while StatFox Dave is 64% ATS (7-4) on Best Bets in the past five days. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 4-1 in the past four days and 37-19 (66%) for the season, while Gary is 13-9 (59%) in Totals since Nov. 24.
The Spurs just lost a game in Utah, but the Jazz have the NBA's second-best record at home this year (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS). San Antonio is once again a force in the Western Conference and a lot of that, of course, has to do with the play of PG Tony Parker and PF Tim Duncan. Parker is averaging 19.0 PPG and 7.6 APG for the Spurs this year, and is doing a great job of helping Duncan achieve his All-Star level of play this season. Duncan has averaged 17.9 PPG and 10.4 RPG this season and he is doing so while shooting just 51.5% from the field. But is hasn't been just the two big stars coming through. SG Danny Green has 16.3 PPG on 56% FG and 55% threes (11-of-20) in the past three games, while SG Manu Ginobili has 14.0 PPG, 5.1 APG and 4.7 RPG in his past 10 games, ripping off nine straight double-figure scoring outputs before being held to just eight points in Utah. SG Gary Neal pumped in 29 points in Monday's win at Houston before struggling to just five points on 2-of-9 shooting in the loss to the Jazz.
The Blazers' season has been very up-and-down so far. They do, however, have two tremendous pieces to a championship puzzle and that starts with their point guard and power forward. PG Damian Lillard has had an incredible rookie season so far, averaging 18.4 PPG and 6.4 APG as the team's floor general. He already has a dozen 20-point games this season. PF LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 21.0 PPG and 8.3 RPG this season and in Monday’s win over the Raptors, he scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, his fourth straight double-double (22.5 PPG, 11.3 RPG). He has been a handful in the paint and has helped keep this Portland team competitive with SF Nicolas Batum (16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG) and SG Wesley Matthews (16.1 PPG) both hurting.