Thursday NBA Picks: How We’re Betting Blazers vs. Nuggets Spread & Total

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Photo credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard

  • Thursday's NBA slate features a primetime showdown between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets.
  • Our basketball analysts have two betting angles on the matchup.
  • Find out how they're betting the spread and total below.

The bubble continues with six games today, headlined by two national TV games in Clippers vs. Mavericks and Lakers vs. Rockets.

Where’s the value? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for Thursday’s slate and has found angles in two games:

  • 6:30 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • 8 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

Thursday NBA Betting Picks


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Matt Moore: Clippers vs. Mavericks

Clippers odds -4 [BET NOW]
Mavericks odds +4 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -175/+145 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 228.5 [BET NOW]
Time 6:30 p.m. ET
TV TNT

The Mavericks have an expected eFG% of 54% in the restart, via Cleaning the Glass. They have actually posted a number of 48.3% eFG. They’re clearly due for regression, as is a Clippers defense that has seen opponents shoot far worse than expected averages.

The Mavericks have the highest foul rate in the league in the restart, and the Clippers are bombing way more 3s than in the regular season.

All of this leads me to think we’re in for a big number when they meet.

Pick: Over 228.5

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Brandon Anderson: Blazers vs. Nuggets

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

We saw Portland and Denver meet up in last year’s playoffs, and there’s a real rivalry here. In last year’s playoffs, it was the Blazers who were shorthanded with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined. This time it’s the Nuggets who are short-staffed. The Nuggets could again be without Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton, who have missed the last three games.

Denver got a huge boost from Michael Porter Jr. its last two times out, finding just enough points to eke by against the Thunder and Spurs. But the Nuggets were blown out by the Heat before that, and they could be in a world of trouble at guard in this one, completely outmatched by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Portland also has Jusuf Nurkic back, and he always plays with an extra chip on his shoulder against his former team and matches up well with Nikola Jokic.

Portland has played better than any team on the edge of the playoffs and sees that 8-seed in its sights now. The Blazers are the better team here with all the injuries, and they will take care of business.

The PICK: Blazers -4

[Bet $20+ on the Blazers at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

Joe Dellera: Blazers vs. Nuggets

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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