The Denver Nuggets travel to the Moda Center for a matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday Night on TNT. The Nuggets (9-8 SU, 7-10ATS) have lost four straight games, most recently suffering a 29 point loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. The Trail Blazers (9-8 SU, 7-10 ATS) have won four of their last five games and are finding their groove.
Will the Nuggets right the ship on the road? Or will the Trail Blazers continue their winning ways?
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Lines
Point Spread: Trail Blazers -6.5
Money Line: Nuggets +230 / Trail Blazers -270
Total: Over/Under 214.5
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Injury Report
The main piece of injury news for the Denver Nuggets pertains to Nikola Jokic, as he has missed the past two games with a sprained wrist. He is listed as questionable for this matchup, but even if he plays he will be held back on the court. The Nuggets have also been without Michael Porter Jr. for most of the season as he is dealing with a back ailment. Bones Hyland (ankle) and Zeke Nnaji (ankle) will miss this matchup as well.
The Trail Blazers are fully healthy.
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Preview
Denver’s biggest issue over their past five games has been on the defensive end. They are fifth in defensive rating in the NBA over that stretch, per NBA Advanced Stats. In October, they were second in the NBA in defensive rating, and are 20th in the NBA in November. The Nuggets have also lost and failed to cover their last four games
It’s worth noting that Denver gets nothing from their bench unit. In fact, their bench unit has the worst net rating in the NBA this season, per NBA Advanced Stats. The starters, on the other hand, have the second-best net rating.
Trail Blazers Rolling
You could actually make the case that the Trail Blazers’ season turned around after these same two teams met back on November 14th, a game that Lillard did not play in and saw the Nuggets win by 29. Since then, the Trail Blazers have won three straight games and have covered in two out of three of those games. However, if you got Trail Blazers -6.5 on Saturday, then they’ve covered three straight.
The Trail Blazers are a purely offensive team. Over the past ten games, they are 6th in the NBA in Offensive Rating, but 26th in the NBA in Defensive Rating. This is going to be the Trail Blazers identity this season, and with Lillard continuing to play well it can help them rack up some more wins after a slow start.
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction and Pick
These are two teams heading in opposite directions. The Trail Blazers are playing good basketball and are 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS at home this season. I expect Jokic to sit this game out tonight, and even if he does play he will be fairly limited with his wrist injury. Look for the Blazers to continue taking care of business on their home floor.
Source: Basketball Insider