Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Odds & Pick: Both Offenses Will Feast (Feb. 23)
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic.
- The Nuggets are a big favorite over the Blazers on Tuesday night as Portland plays the second leg of a back-to-back.
- The Blazers are without many key pieces, and won't have the personnel to defend Nikola Jokic, who should feast.
- Why we like the total in this matchup:
Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+8|
|Moneyline||+280 / -350|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday at 12 a.m. ET and via FanDuel.|
The Trail Blazers face the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday night in the first meeting between these Northwest Division rivals this season. The Blazers have won six of their last eight games despite the absences of CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. The Nuggets have lost three of their last four games on an East Coast road trip, but they return home for the first of two home games this week.
Find out why there is value on the over in this matchup between MVP candidates Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard.
Portland Trail Blazers
If the Trail Blazers cover, they need Damian Lillard to continue playing his best basketball and their secondary shooters to continue stepping up. McCollum (foot), Nurkic (wrist), Harry Giles III (calf), and Zach Collins (ankle) remain out.
While Damian Lillard was snubbed as an All-Star starter, he deserves to be in the MVP discussion for lifting the Trail Blazers into fifth place in the West despite missing McCollum (who likely would be an All-Star if he had stayed healthy) and their best rim protector, Nurkic, for the last 16 games. Lillard has scored at least 30 points in six of the last eight games, including on Wednesday when he dropped 43 and scored the go-ahead three-point play with 16.5 seconds remaining to beat the Pelicans 126-124 in New Orleans.
While Lillard has been incredible, other players have stepped up too. Gary Trent Jr. is averaging 19.6 points and shooting 45.3% on 3s in 14 starts since McCollum went out. Anfernee Simons is also shooting 43.6% on 3s over that span while scoring 12.4 points per game. In 16 starts since Nurkic’s injury, Enes Kanter has been a monster on the boards as he has averaged 13.0 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Nassir Little and Carmelo Anthony have also provided timely scoring for the Trail Blazers lately.
If the Nuggets win and cover as home favorites, they will need Jamal Murray and other perimeter players to step up with a limited roster available. JaMychal Green (shoulder), Paul Millsap (knee), Gary Harris (thigh), and PJ Dozier (hamstring) will each miss Tuesday’s game due to injury. Jokic should have a huge game with the smaller Kanter guarding him while the three other centers on the Trail Blazers are out due to injury.
Jamal Murray's averages over his last six games: 31.2 points — 57.5 FG%, 47.4 3P% on 9.5 three-point attempts per game — 6 rebounds, 4.5 assists per game.
Murray averaged only 5.7 three-point attempts over his first 22 games of the season.
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 22, 2021
Murray recently scored a season-high 50 points in a win over the Cavaliers, where he made 21 of 25 shots, including 8 of 10 3-pointers. Murray’s 84% shooting was the second-highest percentage for a player scoring 50 points as only Wilt Chamberlain’s 87% in 1967 was higher.
Murray’s breakout performance was impressive, and he has now scored 22 points or more in six straight games after dropping 30 in Sunday’s loss. Murray has been at his best lately as he is shooting both more 3s and a higher percentage on those 3s. He will need another efficient shooting night for a Nuggets cover, but players like Michael Porter Jr., Facundo Campazzo, and Monte Morris will also need to hit timely shots.
Trail Blazers-Nuggets Pick
The Blazers have lost two straight games and will be playing in the second leg of back-to-back games on Tuesday after getting blown out by the Suns on Monday night. The Nuggets are coming off of a disappointing road trip where they lost three of four games.
I don’t love the value on either side thanks to the poor defenses. Per Cleaning The Glass, both teams rank in the bottom third of the NBA in defensive points per 100 possessions allowed and in opponent effective field goal percentage. Both the Portland and Denver offenses each rank in the top six in points scored per 100 possessions.
The Trail Blazers won’t have the necessary personnel available to make Jokic take tough shots without giving up open 3s. Murray has also been heating up, and no one on the Trail Blazers can contain him if he gets in a groove.
The Nuggets will be without their top two starting power forwards and their top perimeter defender (Gary Harris). This should help speed the pace of the game and also make it easier than normal for Lillard and other perimeter players to get good looks for the Trail Blazers.
Both teams have also been kind toward over bettors. Via Betlabs, we can see that in the Trail Blazers’ last five games as road underdogs have each gone over the total.
The total has gone over in each of the last seven Trail Blazers games as an underdog. The Nuggets have also had the total go over in nine of their last 11 games against winning teams.
Pick: Over 230.5 (bet up to 233)