Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#579 Portland Trail Blazers 231 vs.
#580 Denver Nuggets -6.5
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 10:05pm EST
Pepsi Center, Denver
Written by The Admiral

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Portland Trail Blazers (18-11) vs. Denver Nuggets (16-14)

The Portland Trail Blazers will be looking to get back into the win column after seeing their six-game winning streak snapped by Washington on Saturday, 118-111. The Trail Blazers play on Monday night, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of that contest. Denver lost to Atlanta on Sunday, 123-115. That was their third loss out of the last four games.

Portland won the most recent contest between these teams, defeating Denver 125-115 in August last year. The teams have split the last 10 games. Denver is favored by 8.0-points in this game.

Washington Wins Battle of Quarters

Which do you like better – odds or evens? That was the question on Saturday when the Washington Wizards defeated Portland, 118-111. The Trail Blazers outscored Washington by 12 in the first and by nine in the third quarter. However, they were outscored by 18 in the second and 10 in the third in the seven-point loss.

Damien Lillard scored 35. He added 10 assists for the double-double. All five starters for the Trail Blazers scored in double digits. Eric Kanter had 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Portland is third in the NBA in scoring at 115.7 ppg while allowing 115.2 points per game. They are first in the league in shots per game at 92.3 but are only hitting on 44.3% of their attempts. They are also first in three-point attempts per game at 42.5, hitting on 38.7% of their attempts, fifth overall. They are fifth in free-throw shooting at 81.8%.

Lillard leads the team in scoring at 30.0 ppg and is leading in assists at 7.9 per contest. He is averaging 4.5 rebounds as well. CJ McCollum is second on the team in scoring (26.7) but is out until early March with a foot injury. Center Jusuf Nurkic is also out.

Nuggets Fall in Atlanta

The Atlanta Hawks quickly erased a six-point first-quarter deficit, outscoring Denver by 14 in the second quarter on their way to a 123-115 victory. Atlanta had extended their lead to as many as 20 points before Denver was able to mount a rally in the fourth quarter. However, they still came up short.

Jamal Murray led the Nuggets in scoring with 30. Nikola Jokic added a double-double with 10 rebounds and 15 points. Facundo Campazzo came off the bench to score 16.

Denver is fourth in points per game at 115.5 while allowing 111.8 points per contest. They are fifth in the NBA in field-goal percentage at 48.4% in seventh in three-point shooting at 38.4%. The Nuggets are seventh in assists per game at 26.5 and sixth in steals per game at 8.4.

Jokic leads Denver in scoring at 26.6 ppg. He is also the team leader and rebounds per game at 11.1 in assists per game at 8.5 per contest. Murray is second at 20.9 points per game. Much of the depth of the Nuggets will be missing, as Gary Harris (9.7 ppg) and Paul Millsap (10.4) are both out.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Rating:

This game pits two of the better scoring teams in the NBA. What I like about this contest is the contrast in how they get there. Both teams are good three-point shooting clubs. Denver is much better at shooting, but does not take as many shots. Portland is the team firing it up, but not hitting nearly as much. Plus, they are the better free-throw shooting team. This just has points written all over it.

While I think Denver pulls out the victory, I like the fact that Portland is getting eight points. It is the advantage of the free-throw that keeps this game close.

Prediction: Take Portland and the points +8.0 (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The total is set at 231.0 for this game. These teams have gone over in 11 of the last 15 meetings. Portland has gone over in six of their last eight on the road and 11 of their last 16 overall. Denver has gone over in 19 of their last 27 at home.

These teams are averaging 231 points per game combined while allowing 227 points per game combined. This should be an offensive showdown as you have two of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, plus Portland is averaging more shots per game than any team in the NBA. I like the over here a lot.

Take Denver to win, 118-116.

Prediction: Go over 231.0 (-110)
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Written By Admir Aljic , "The Admiral"

You want someone to show you how to make some money, then talk to the Admiral, because he is your man. He has been handicapping for many years, so the Admiral knows a thing or two on how to beat the spread and get your pockets loaded with cash. The Admiral has brought his talents to StatSalt & Winners & Whiners and will always find the best pick for you.