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Points Could be at a Premium When Banged-up Nuggets Host Blazers

The OVER has hit nine of the last 12 times Portland has played in Denver. But with Denver possibly missing Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap, and both teams playing a lot of low-scoring games recently, all signs point toward the UNDER — even with a low opening total.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets

Opening Odds Analysis

The Nuggets are 8-3 at home this year and defeated the Blazers by eight at Portland in their first meeting earlier this season, so Denver opened as a 6-point favorite at home despite the uncertainty surrounding two of its key players. With the UNDER hitting in 16 of Denver’s 22 games, and Portland an even 50 percent, not many points are expected in this contest as the total opened at 218.5 points.

Portland News & Notes

Portland got an offensive boost with the signing of Carmelo Anthony, but even his contributions haven’t been able to pull the team out of its season-long funk. It is currently sitting last in the Northwest Division with a 10-15 record, with the main culprit still being a terrible lack of talent in the frontcourt.

The Blazers did win their last game, a 115-81 thrashing of the Knicks on Tuesday. Damian Lillard led the way with 31 points, but only two non-guards, Anthony and center Hassan Whiteside, scored in double figures — the other five forwards who saw the court scored 18 points combined in 67 total minutes.

They will have to find a way to win Thursday in Denver, where they are just 2-7 SU in their last nine games, while dealing with Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic.

Denver News & Notes

Oh, are the Nuggets ever happy to be back home. Denver just completed a three-game road trip, losing each contest, including Tuesday’s 97-92 defeat at Philadelphia. The loss was Denver’s fourth straight on the road and fifth in its last six games overall.

Denver has had trouble lighting up the scoreboard and it’s really showed recently, as the Nuggets have failed to top 100 points in each of their last five losses. Scoring points may be difficult for Denver on Thursday, however, as leading scorer Jamal Murray is questionable for the game after leaving halfway through the first quarter of Tuesday’s loss with an abdominal injury and forward Paul Millsap is also questionable with a foot ailment.

Their absence would leave the scoring duties to Nikola Jokic and Will Barton, who scored 26 on Tuesday, to carry a Nuggets offense that has seen six of their last seven games go UNDER … and that was when they were healthy.

Betting Pick: UNDER 218.5

Both teams have been playing to the UNDER a lot recently, and Denver could be missing some key offensive pieces, so points will be even harder to come by. I’ll take the UNDER.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver’s last 6 home games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Portland’s last 9.
  • Portland is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games vs Denver.