Portland vs Utah: Blazers risk trap game on NBA odds menu

USA TODAY Sports

In NBA betting circles, this is known as a 'trap game.' Can Portland avoid the trap and cover the NBA spread against lowly Utah?

The Portland Trail Blazers have the best record in the Western Conference at 17-4 SU and 15-6 ATS, and will take on the team with the worst record in the West on Monday night when they visit the Utah Jazz.

Utah is just 4-18 SU and 9-12-1 ATS and the NBA betting odds were expected to open at around +7 on the Jazz.

This should seem like an easy game for the Trail Blazers, especially after they just beat Utah 130-98 in Portland on Friday. But games like this can serve as traps, as illustrated when Utah beat the Houston Rockets outright 109-103 as an 8-point home underdog last Tuesday.

Portland will try to avoid a similar upset as a 7-point road favorite Monday.

Many NBA pundits are calling the Eastern Conference a "two-team conference" this year, and those two teams will meet Tuesday night when the Miami Heat visit the Indiana Pacers.

This series has been split right down the middle at 5-5 SU in the last 10 games between these two teams, with Indiana holding the 6-4 ATS lead over that stretch. The Pacers are 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS at home so far this season.

For the first time since making a blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics will face the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. [ Watch for opening NBA odds on Tuesday games ]

Boston has taken over first place in the Atlantic Division with a 6-2 SU and ATS record over its last eight games while Brooklyn is just 3-8 SU and ATS over its last 11 games.

After taking on Utah Monday night, Portland returns home Thursday night to host the Houston Rockets. Houston has fared very well against Portland over the last few seasons with a 7-2 SU and 7-1-1 ATS record in their last nine games against the Trail Blazers, including a 116-101 win in Portland earlier this season.

Kobe Bryant played 28 minutes and scored just nine points in his return to action Sunday night in a 106-94 loss at home to Toronto.

The Lakers and Kobe will be looking for better results this week in a home game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night and a road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

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