The Denver Nuggets look to recover home court advantage when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers in a very important Game 3 of their first round series. The Trail Blazers rolled 123-109 in Game 1, with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony combining for 73 points. The Nuggets got back on track in Game 2, 128-109 behind 38 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Nikola Jokic.
After scoring 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting (4 of 8 from 3-point range) in 22 minutes off the bench in Game 1, Melo had just five points on 1-for-5 from the field (1-for-4 from beyond the arc) in Game 2. Anthony is the X-factor for the Trail Blazers, they won’t win this series unless he provides a spark off the bench. Game 3 will be on Thursday at 10:30 PM ET at the Moda Center in Portland.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Denver Nuggets: 2.47
• Portland Trail Blazers: 1.60
• Denver Nuggets: +4.5 (1.96)
• Portland Trail Blazers: -4.5 (1.86)
• Over 228.5 (1.90)
• Under 228.5 (1.90)
Key Points to Consider
The Nuggets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win, 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning straight up record and 1-5 ATS in their last six games playing on two days rest.
The Trail Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss,4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning straight up record and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite.
The Over is 6-2 in Denver’s last eight games overall and 7-3 in Portland’s last 10 games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Portland bench outscored the Denver reserves 34-20 in Game 1 but they scored just 21 points in Game 2, led by Melo’s five. The Trail Blazers can’t have their best scorer off the bench finish with just five points, they need a lot more from players like Enes Kanter, Anfernee Simons and Derrick Jones Jr.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic is projected to finish with 21.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists, making 8.1 field goals in 14.8 attempts.
For the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard is expected to score 29.6 points with 7.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds, making 8.8 field goals in 19.1 attempts.
Trail Blazers -4.5.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Portland Trail Blazers in this one. Average score in simulations is Portland Trail Blazers 121.1 to Denver Nuggets 113.2.