Blazers vs. Nuggets Game 2 Betting Preview: Keep Riding Denver at Home?
Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic
Game 2 Betting Odds: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets
- Spread: Nuggets -3.5
- Over/Under: 219
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: TNT
- Series Score: Nuggets Lead 1-0
>> All odds as of Tuesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.
The quick turnaround was no problem in Game 1 for the Nuggets, who took care of business at home. Can they do it again? Our analysts discuss.
Betting Trends to Know
After beating the Blazers in Game 1, the Nuggets are now 4-1 at home in the playoffs after going an NBA-best 37-4 in the Pepsi Center during the regular season. Denver is 28-18 ATS at home this season. – John Ewing
Did you know? With Jusuf Nurkic out of the Blazers lineup, Nikola Jokic has been dominating the Blazers of late, but, honestly, he has had his way with Portland all season long, especially at home. Jokic is averaging 33 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 7.7 APG, 62.5% FG%, 87.5% FT% and 50% 3-pt FG% at home against the Blazers this season in three games. – Evan Abrams
Both the Blazers and Nuggets shot over 50% from the field in Game 1, going over the total by almost 20 points. Since 2005, when two teams play in Games 2-7 of a playoff series after shooting at least 50% from the field, the over is 14-7 (66.7%) in their next game, going over the total by 3.5 points per game. – Abrams
Moore: How I’m Betting Game 2
To be honest, this is one that has me nervous because it feels like it’s ripe for a Game 1 overreaction. I know the zig-zag theory isn’t blindly profitable, but these Nuggets actually taking care of business in two games they should feels dicey, even after their Games 4 and 5 wins last round.
It’s just that there aren’t many matchups that help the Blazers here. They faced an anemic, pathetic offense with Paul George on one shoulder in Round 1. The Nuggets have weapons all over the place, and Portland doesn’t really have the personnel to stop any of them. Nikola Jokic outplayed Enes Kanter, Gary Harris locked down C.J. McCollum in the second half, Paul Millsap outplayed Al-Farouq Aminu, and the Denver bench has been freed from the prison it was trapped in vs. the Spurs.
If the Blazers put Harkless and Aminu in pick-and-roll coverage vs. Jamal Murray and Jokic, Jokic then just rolls into the post. If they double, that means cutters are open. The Spurs had success with disciplined defense and good personnel. Does Portland have either?
On top of it all, Damian Lillard had 39 points on 21 shots… and it felt quiet. The thought was “Denver may have more weapons, but Dame is supernova right now.” Well, Dame was supernova in Game 1 but in all the ways Denver can live with. If Dame can’t lift them, who will?
And yet I’m hesitant because a 2-0 series start for Denver headed to Portland seems like too definitive a result in a series that should be close. The arc of what the series should be still has a hold on me.
I’ll stay away from this one and grab the Nuggets’ over of 111 as I continue to doubt if this Portland team has the scheme or personnel to slow down this uncorked Nuggets attack that somehow seems more comfortable after a tough first-round series. – Matt Moore
Locky: Why I’m Backing the Nuggets Again
Matt may be uncomfortable with Denver’s ability to build a 2-0 lead, and all the reasons he gave make sense to me. What I would say is that everything we know about Denver is that this is a team with two gears: home Denver and road Denver. And home Denver still brings it.
Given what we saw from Damian Lillard in Game 1, and how that type of performance was still dispatched by the Nuggets, I am a little surprised that this number is so short for Game 2. If anything, Game 1 would make me very confident not necessarily in Denver’s shot-making (which is unpredictable), but that Denver can absorb an incredible Lillard game and still win — and win somewhat comfortably.
Portland’s bench shot 9-for-19, and Enes Kanter couldn’t stop scoring, too. Things for Portland weren’t really all that bad. What are the things that regress here again? This spread anticipates Portland keeping it close and playing better, when really I think we could see a lot of the same stuff.
The Nuggets’ success in Game 1 was predicated on the dominance of their frontcourt, and the types of shots those players were getting — Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap, specifically — will be available the rest of the series. Enes Kanter and Co. are going to have a tough time the whole series stopping any of those sets from working.
So again, with a number this short, I think it’s just going back to the well with Denver and then most likely taking a fired-up Portland team in Game 3 that’s down 0-2. — Ken Barkley
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.