Everything to Know for Blazers-Nuggets: Denver Might Still Be Undervalued

Everything to Know for Blazers-Nuggets: Denver Might Still Be Undervalued article feature image

To say the Western Conference playoff standings are tight would be an understatement. Although just a couple of games remain for each team, the Nos. 5-9 spots out West are decided by just a game.

The Trail Blazers have already stamped their ticket, but the Nuggets are the unlucky buggers sitting on the outside looking in. I think we may be in “must-win” territory. With that said, here are the most important metrics and trends to know about Blazers at Nuggets (-4.5)— Mark Gallant

 

Denver’s Starting Lineup Is an Offensive Juggernaut

Mark is right about the West’s standings. I mean, look at this:

And those winning streaks aren’t fluky, either: The name of the game in April regular season is motivation, and these teams have it. The Nuggets have been impressive of late, winning each of their past five and seven of their past 10. Over the past 10 games, they rank first in the league with a ridiculous 115.7 Offensive Rating. It seems coach Michael Malone finally realized that Nikola Jokic is good at basketball, and he’s played his starters a ton of late. Over the past 10 games, that main unit of Jamal Murray-Will Barton-Wilson Chandler-Paul Millsap-Jokic has played 190 minutes and posted a 118.0 Offensive Rating. The next most-used lineup (with Jokic off and Mason Plumlee on) has received 29 minutes of time and has posted a -20.8 net rating and just 98.4 points per 100 possessions. The Denver starters are good; the bench is suspect. Don’t expect that to be an issue over the last week of the regular season, however, which means the long-term trends for the Nuggets likely underrate them, even without star wing Gary Harris. — Bryan Mears

Make Sure to Track Line Movement at the End of the Season

At the end of the season (games 81 and 82), when the line moves in the favorite’s direction, those teams are 115-93-4 (55%) ATS since 2005. The Nuggets opened at -3.5 and are now -4. — John Ewing

Nikola Jokic Getting Consistent Minutes Is a DFS Stud

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic has been fantastic over his past 15 games, averaging 23.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.5 blocks + steals per game. He’s been a dominant fantasy force as a result, posting an average Plus/Minus of +8.03 over his past 10 games on DraftKings. He’s seen a massive $1,700 price increase over the past month on DraftKings, but his $10,800 salary on today’s slate still results in a Bargain Rating of 93%. The Nuggets’ implied team total of 111 points is one of the top marks on the slate, and Jokic has an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.61. The Nuggets need to keep winning to have a shot at making the playoffs, and their best chance is going to come on the back of a big game from Jokic. — Matt LaMarca

This Might Not Be a Get-Right Spot for Portland

The Blazers are on a three-game straight-up losing streak for the first time since early February. Since 2004, teams with a win rate of 60% or higher on at least a three-game losing streak have covered the spread in their next game just 43.7% of the time in February or later. In specifically the final five games of the regular season, those teams have gone just 4-12 ATS since 2004 and 1-8 ATS since 2010. — Evan Abrams

Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports