Denver has bounced back from a series opening loss to take a 2-1 lead heading into the May 29th Nuggets at Trail Blazers game 4 matchup. Portland won 123-109 at Ball Arena in game one, a place Denver was 25-11 this season. The Nuggets have bounced back for 128-109 and 120-115 wins the last two though, with Thursday’s win at the Moda Center coming as +3.5 underdogs.
The Nuggets are a +5 underdog in game 4 despite their 2-1 series lead. Oddsmakers like Portland to tie things up at home, mostly because Denver is thin in the backcourt and it will be hard for Denver to shoot 20-38 (53%) from three point range again like they did on Thursday.
Bet on Jokic Here?
The Nuggets seem to have value at +5 here, almost solely on the fact that they have the MVP front-runner in Nikola Jokic. The Denver big man has had to carry an even bigger load with so many injuries in the Nuggets backcourt, but has gone for 34+ in all three tilts so far this series.
The Nuggets also closed out the regular season with a 116-132 loss to Portland, even though that was a big game for Denver who was trying to secure the #3 seed (which they did anyway with a Clippers loss the same night). The Nuggets finished 2-1 vs. Portland in the regular season, but with a much different cast of characters.
Michael Malone went with Facundo Campazzo (a 30-year old rookie) and Austin Rivers (who has only been with Denver a little over a month) as his starting backcourt in game 3. Rivers had 21 points and Campazzo a near triple-double to fuel the win on Thursday, but can Denver count on that type of performance again?
Lillard Not Enough for Portland So Far
Playoff Damian Lillard has been great in this series for Portland, going for 34, 42, and 37 points in the three games. That’s only equated to one Portland victory in three games though, so what more does Terry Stotts try to do to get over that hump in the Nuggets at Trail Blazers game 4 pick?
What the ‘Blazers need to do is get back to what led them to a game 1 win, but a 48% shooting from beyond the arc isn’t something you can game plan for. Portland also hit that number in game 2 (16-33) and still lost 128-109. CJ McCollum has gone for 21+ in all three games this series, but it seems Portland needs more from him to overcome Denver.
Another big factor in Portland taking the 1-0 lead in the series was their bench, with Anfernee Simons and Carmelo Anthony tallying 32 points. They had just 8 in the game 2 loss, and although Anthony had 17 in game 3, Simons added only 2.
Free Nuggets at Trail Blazers Game 4 Pick
Denver getting the points definitely looks pretty appealing in this contest. Jokic has been a scoring machine, and that backcourt has been playing with a chip on its shoulder but how long before the injuries catch up to Denver? 56% of public bettors still like Portland, but in a game that could come down to the final bucket it seems like you take the points.
Trail Blazers 120 – Nuggets 117
Free Pick: Nuggets +5