Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/14/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10 p.m. ET
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Where to watch: TNT

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: Suns -2.5
Caesars: Suns -2.5

Season record
Suns: 21-4 (2nd place, Western Conference)
Blazers: 11-16 (10th place, Western Conference)

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Suns - Blazers preview and analysis


Things have not gone well for the Portland Trail Blazers amidst all these injuries and trade rumors, and things won’t get any better on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns at home.

Even though the Suns will be playing the second game of a back-to-back, the Blazers have not been able to figure much out after losing five straight and eight of nine. The good news is Damian Lillard is back in the lineup and could help this team out.

Unfortunately, the Blazers are going to need more than their possible-disgruntled-but-probably-not superstar. The Blazers have lost four straight at home and are coming off a 116-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lillard had 24 points but went 5 of 17 from the field.

Someone is going to need to pick up the scoring now that CJ McCollum is out for the immediate future due to a collapsed lung. Anfernee Simons may be that after scoring a team-high 26 points, but Portland has to figure out how to play defense.

"I just felt like we were kind of antsy all night," Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. "I was hoping they would calm down as the game went on, but we weren't — we didn't really calm down."

The Blazers’ struggles somehow don’t seem to impact the Suns, who are without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton and playing the second game of a back-to-back. Chris Paul, however, still leads the show and is carrying the Western Conference champions to the top spot in the conference with the Golden State Warriors neck-and-neck with them.

At time of publishing, the Suns are losing by double digits to the Los Angeles Clippers, which means by the time you read this in the morning, the Suns will have found a way to comeback and win in the CP3 revenge game.

Prediction


The Suns are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 meetings with the over going 4-1 in the last five. Even without Booker and Ayton, the Suns have found ways to win via their depth and perimeter defense. I normally shy away from taking the road SEGABABA, but I am more in tune with believing in Phoenix’s overall depth than whatever Portland is trying to put together. Suns by 10

Betting trends


The Suns are 13-10 ATS in their last 23 December games.

The Trail Blazers are 18-28 in their last 46 against Pacific Division teams.

The Blazers are 1-6 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season.

Projected starting lineup


Suns:
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Landry Shamet
SF:
Mikal Bridges
PF:
Jae Crowder
C:
JaVale McGee

Blazers:
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Tony Snell
SF:
Norman Powell
PF:
Larry Nance Jr.
C:
Jusuf Nurkic

Key injuries


Suns: Devin Booker (hamstring, out), Deandre Ayton (out), Abdel Nader (knee, out)

Blazers: CJ McCollum (collapsed lung, out)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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