Nuggets vs. Blazers Game 3 Betting Preview: Will Denver Bounce Back?

Nuggets vs. Blazers Game 3 Betting Preview: Will Denver Bounce Back? article feature image

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap (4), center Nikola Jokic (15) and Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter (00).

Game 3 Betting Odds: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

  • Spread: Blazers -4
  • Over/Under: 215.5
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN
  • Series Score: Tied 1-1

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Nuggets looked like world-beaters in Game 1, but put up one of their worst performances of the playoffs in Game 2.

Will they turn it back around on the road in Portland? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trend to Know

Denver was dreadful 34-98 (34.7%) from the floor in Wednesday’s Game 2 loss, including shooting 6-of-29 (20.7%) from behind the arc. Some good news, though: Since 2005, teams that made 21% or fewer of their 3-point attempts in the previous game have gone 99-79-6 (56%) against the spread. John Ewing

Mears: How I’m Handicapping Game 3

As I watched the Raptors get smashed by the 76ers in Game 3 on Thursday night, I was reminded of just how random a one-game sample can be.

The Nuggets-Blazers series has shown that randomness, too.

In Game 1, on short rest against a new opponent, the Nuggets scored 122.2 points per 100 possessions, shot the lights out from deep and got to the foul line a ton. Nikola Jokic was at his best, dishing to teammates and contributing 37 points of his own on just 18 shots.

Then in Game 2, the Nuggets were literally in the zeroth percentile of shooting, posting an effective field goal mark of 37.8%. This is ugly:

You know the old cliche: It’s a make-or-miss league. But it’s true. In Game 2, the Nuggets had 19.4% of their shots classified as “wide open” — they posted an eFG% of 31.6%. The Blazers had fewer such shots (16.5%) but posted an eFG% mark of 67.9% on them.


…was the entire game, it felt like.

Perhaps the Nuggets’ schedule finally got the best of them. They rallied in that Game 1 after a Game 7, but then they had to play two days later again for Game 2. Unfortunately, if the shots weren’t falling because of tired legs, the schedule is still tough with them sneaking in another game in on Friday on just two days rest.

Everything I thought about this matchup before the series is true: The Nuggets are a really tough matchup for the Nuggets, especially due to not having many bodies to deal with Nikola Jokic. Again, maybe the rest is an issue, and the Nuggets’ home/away splits were also concerning this year. They were 25-16 ATS at home but just 17-24 on the road. The Blazers, meanwhile, were one of the best home teams.

Given all the points I made above, I think this is a stay-away on the spread. All the factors make this about right. If I had to pick the over/under, I would lean toward the over, but I’ll likely pass completely on this game given the uncertainty.Bryan Mears

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.