Thursday’s Nuggets at Trail Blazers betting matchup looks like it could go either way, with Portland just a -1 point favorite. Portland had lost 7 of 8, but they’ve bounced back for two wins in a row and have welcomed Damian Lillard back from his second stint on the injury report with a calf strain.
Denver has lost three in a row so they’re a tough team to back on Thursday, especially since the defeats came against a Trae Young-less Hawks, by 15 points to the Pelicans, and most recently 116-115 to the Mavs with Dallas playing on the back to back. That being said 55% of the betting public still like the Nuggets.
Nuggets Need to Snap Their Skid
Denver has started the season 14-10, but that’s even more impressive considering they’ve been battling injuries and illnesses through much of the first six weeks of the year. Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, and Jamal Murray all missed time last month in health and safety protocols, while Michael Porter, Jr. is currently out with a heel injury.
Despite some bad breaks the Nuggets are still in fourth place in the Western Conference, just 2 GB of the surprising Pelicans. Denver’s current three game losing streak is their longest of the season though, and they’ve already suffered a 135-110 loss at Portland back in October as -5 point favorites.
Jokic had just 9 points on 3-4 shooting in the first meeting with the Trail Blazers, and he followed up a 32/16/9 line in a loss to the Pelicans with just 19/8/8 vs the Mavericks on Tuesday. Murray is also averaging just 14.5 ppg in his last two.
Portland Tries to Go Two for Two
Jokic has scored just 17 points total in his last two matchups with Portland, although he has averaged 13.5 rebounds and 10 assists. Jokic’s career numbers vs the Trail Blazers are 18.1/9.4/5.9 in 26 meetings, but the big number is 5-14, which is Portland’s head to head record in the last 19.
The Trail Blazers already picked up a 25-point win over Denver earlier this season which is a nice confidence builder, and now they try to hand the Nuggets a fourth straight defeat. Portland has picked up two huge wins in a row, 116-111 at Utah as +5 point underdogs and 116-100 at home to Indiana on Sunday as -5 point favorites. That was Portland’s last game, so they’re well rested coming into the Nuggets at Trail Blazers betting matchup.
One thing that helped Portland get the win over the Pacers was the return of Lillard, who had 21 points in his first game since November 19th. Lillard has missed half of the Trail Blazers’ 24 games this season, but if he can stay healthy Portland has a nice trio that includes Anfernee Simons (24.7 ppg) and Jerami Grant (23.0).
Free Nuggets at Trail Blazers Betting Pick
Do you automatically give a lean to the home team in a 1-point toss-up game? We don’t really know what Portland has because Lillard and other players have missed so many tilts, but they were solid early in the season with a 6-2 start to the year. Denver is in a rut, and Portland can keep them there.
Free Pick: Trail Blazers -1