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Nuggets Take on Trail Blazers in Pre-Playoff Tune-Up

The Denver Nuggets (47-24 SU, 34-37 ATS) take on the Portland Trail Blazers (41-30 SU, 37-34 ATS) for the third time this year in the final game of the regular season. The Nuggets won both prior meetings by a combined six points.

Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers
  • Date/Time: May 16, 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Moda Center
  • TV Coverage: NBA TV
  • Opening Odds: Blazers -5.5 | O/U 230.5 (Line History)
  • Nuggets vs Blazers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The line for this game came out a bit later than usual due to the lineup uncertainty of the Denver Nuggets. Oddsmakers opened the Blazers at -5.5 but early betting action has already pushed that line to -8.5. The total opened at 230.5 and has remained steady at that number with money coming in on the UNDER.

Denver News & Notes

The Denver Nuggets will finish in third or fourth in the Western Conference and enter the final game of the season having won three in a row and seven of their last ten.

The underlying numbers show a team to be reckoned with as the Nuggets are highly ranked in several key metrics.

Denver is fourth in the league in field goal percentage and eighth in points per game. The Nuggets are also eighth in three-point percentage and sixth in free throw percentage.

It certainly helps a lot on the offensive end when you have the likely league MVP leading the way. Nikola Jokic is eleventh in league scoring averaging 26.4 points per game and is one of only three players to average more than 25 points per game as well as a double-double.

Jokic’s play will be a key to this series as the Nuggets deal with a litany of potential injuries. They are missing start guard Jamal Murray for the rest of the season and forwards Paul Millsap and Aaron Gordon are both questionable for Sunday.

Portland News & Notes

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the few teams that can match the offensive firepower possessed by the Nuggets. The Blazers rank second in the league in offensive rating, fifth in points per game and sixth in three-point percentage.

That potent offense is led primarily by a trio of sharp-shooting guards in Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Norm Powell. Lillard is third in the league averaging 28.9 points per game this season behind only Steph Curry and Bradley Beal, while McCollum averages 23.1 and Powell has averaged 17 since coming over from Toronto at the trade deadline in March.

Veteran Carmelo Anthony is also chipping invaluable points, averaging 13.4 points this season off the bench.

All that great guard play has also resulted in a team that protects the basketball better than any other. The Blazers have averaged only 11.1 turnovers per game this season, the fewest of any team in the league.

Betting Pick: Trail Blazers -8.5

As good as the Nuggets are offensively, the Blazers are one of the few teams who can make a legitimate claim to being better. The Blazers may also be the healthier, more complete team for this game as the Nuggets have multiple starters who are questionable or may sit before the playoffs.

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Shark Bites
  • Denver is 13-4 SU in their last 17 games.
  • Denver is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games vs Portland.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in Portland's last 5 games.