NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: Blazers vs. Nuggets (Thursday, August 6)

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Photo credit: Justin Tafoya/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard

Blazers vs. Nuggets Odds, Picks

Blazers odds -4.5 [BET NOW]
Nuggets odds +4.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -180/+150 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 232 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

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The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets have been two of the bubble’s surprise teams.

The Nuggets have been impressive without their trio of guards and look to gain control of the 2-seed in the West. The Blazers are making a legitimate push for the 8-seed after defeating the Grizzlies then upsetting the Celtics and Rockets.

Can they continue the push against the shorthanded Nuggets or will Denver rise to the challenge?

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland sure is blazing a trail through the crowded Western Conference standings. With the Grizzlies’ loss on Wednesday, the Blazers are just one game behind them for the 8-seed.

They are shooting the lights out with the third-best eFG% (56.8%) in the bubble and the second-best Offensive Rating, per NBA.com and Cleaning the Glass.

However, there should be some regression from the Blazers: They own the 14th-ranked expected eFG% number. They’ve exceeded expectations by draining 3s, specifically in the corners at a 57.9% rate. That’s more than 17% better than their season average.

Denver Nuggets

Denver could again be without its trio of Jamal Murray, Will Barton and Gary Harris for the fourth straight game.

Through three bubble games, the Nuggets have the fifth-best Offensive Rating (116.6), but their defense has been so bad they actually have a -1.2 Net Rating, per NBA.com.

I expect some regression from the Nuggets on the second leg of a back-to-back. Per Bet Labs, the Nuggets are 4-6 ATS when playing on no rest this season. Considering how undermanned the Nuggets are right now, I think stamina will play a factor in this contest. Michael Porter, Jr. is young, but he has gone from playing about 14 minutes per game to nearly 35 per game in the bubble.

Another reason for regression is the Nuggets’ shooting numbers. Similar to Portland, the Nuggets have the eighth-best eFG% (55.3%) during the restart, but their expected number is down at 17th.

This makes sense because Denver relies on the least efficient shot in basketball: the long 2. It’s one thing to do this when you have your starting guards in, and another when you’re on a back-to-back and dramatically increasing rotation players’ playing time.

Betting Analysis & Pick

In this matchup, I think the Blazers’ strength is accuracy from 3; however, the Nuggets have defended the 3-ball well this season. Likewise, the Blazers have done well defending the areas Denver typically excels in on offense.

With both teams preferring to play in the halfcourt and both due for some shooting regression, I like the under. I also think the Blazers win outright, but I wouldn’t lay the points and would prefer the moneyline instead.

The PICK: Under 232 (would bet down to 230)

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