Free NBA Pick: Blazers vs. Nuggets NBA Odds
Looking for Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Blazers taking on the Nuggets on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021, at the Ball Arena. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Blazers Nuggets matchup.
2021 NBA Playoffs Handicapping Round 1
(0-0) Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets (0-0)
Date: Saturday, May 22nd
Time: 10:30 PM EST
Venue: Ball Arena, Denver Colorado
NBA Moneyline Odds: Blazers +101 | Nuggets +112
NBA Betting Odds: Nuggets -1
NBA Betting Total: 227.5
Saturday, May 22nd the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets close the opening day of the 2021 playoffs in their first game of the best of seven series.
The Blazers hold the all-time record having won 100 matches of the 187 played. In the three matches played this season the Nuggets possess the edge having won two of the contests.
Portland and Denver have met three times in past postseason play with the Blazers winning two of the three series. The last time the teams met was the 2019 semi-finals that were pushed to seven games with the Blazers prevailing.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers closed the season strong going 10-2 in the last 12 matches and were the healthiest they’ve been all season.
The biggest shift occurred on the defensive end of the court where Portland improved their seasonal defensive rank of 29th to 12th during those last 12 contests.
And the victories weren’t just against the lottery-bound tankers they played some elite clubsas they beat the Nets, Celtics, Lakers, Jazz, and Nuggets.
Damian Lillard offers an equal superstar talent to counter Jokic and will look to get each of CJ McCollum, Norm Powell, and Jusuf Nurkic scoring early then take over late in the match.
The question will be how the Blazers bench performs with Carmelo Anthony, Anfernee Simons, and Enes Kanter capable of being x-factors offensively but defensively struggle other than Simons.
Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture rehabilitation) is out.
For as good as Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, and Damian Lillard performed this season, Nikola Jokic has the best case to win MVP. Particularly how he’s factored since Jamal Murray and other Nuggets went out injured.
His 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 38.8 percent from the perimeter are impressive but there is one stunning stat that stands out.
When he sets up camp in the paint he averages 1.30 points per possession and 1.54 points per possession when teams send a double-team at him in the paint. That’s unprecedented. And this will be his former teammate, Jusuf Nurkic’s greatest issue in trying to limit the Joker in this series.
Granted, Michael Porter Jr. will have to step up and Denver is still missing Will Barton. But Jokic has proven by now, whoever is left open will get the ball and an easy score.
Aaron Gordon definitely adds a component to the Nuggets defensively and offers a viable defender to stick on Lillard or whoever gets hot. With core talents still out, the fact Monte Morris is back will be huge for playmaking and defensive help.
Austin Rivers (non-COVID related illness) is questionable while Barton (right hamstring strain), PJ Dozier (right adductor strain), and Jamal Murray (torn ACL) are all out.
NBA Betting Trends:
- The Nuggets are 6-4 in the teams last 10 head to head meetings
- The Blazers are 6-4 ATS in the last 10 head to head meetings
- Over/Under is 5-5 in the teams last 10 head to head meetings
Free Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Prediction:
I’m annoyed at the Clippers for their cowardice down the stretch because my two Western dark horses were the Blazers and Nuggets. With them facing each other only one will move forward. If Jamal Murray was healthy I’d be all in on Denver and even without him, I think Denver wins the series but it goes seven games.
In the past two seasons the Blazers and Nuggets reached the Western Conference Finals but lost and will be hoping to repicate and ideally surpass that effort.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Nuggets ATS
It’ll be logo Lillard versus the incredible Joker and I think it’ll come down to whether either team can steal a game on the road. For the first game, I’m sticking with the Nuggets and that thin air being an advantage after such a long layoff.
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