In Game 1 of the second Western Conference quarterfinal, the second-seeded Nuggets (54-28), who managed to eliminate the San Antonio Spurs in the first round after seven games, are hosting the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers (53-29), who had an easier time in the quarterfinals where they eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder with 4-1 wins.
Date/Time: 04-29-2019, 22:30 EDT
Spread: Denver Nuggets -3.5
Denver Nuggets finished the regular season with a 54-28 record (42-40 against the spread) and were placed 2nd in the West. They have won three of their last four matches and in their last game they won at home against the Spurs in game 7 with a 90-86 score, not beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Nikola Jokic with 23.1 ppg, adding team highs both in boards grabbed with 12.1 and in dimes made with 9.1 per game. He is followed by Jamal Murray with 19 ppg and 4.1 dimes per game.
Portland Trail Blazers finished the regular season with a 53-29 record (45-36-1 against the spread) and were placed 3rd in the West. They have won seven of their last eight matches and in their last game they won at home against the Thunder in Game 5 with a 118-115 score, not beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Damian Lillard with 33 ppg, adding 4.4 boards and a team high 6 dimes per game. He is followed by CJ McCollum with 24.4 ppg, 5.4 boards and 4 dimes per game.
In their four previous meetings in the regular season the Nuggets led the Blazers 3-1 wins, winning both home games by an average of 6 points. Nuggets have a 37-8 home record, while the Blazers are 22-21 on the road. Spurs are better offensively, scoring 111.3 ppg to Nuggets’ 110.5 ppg, while Blazers are better offensively, scoring 114.4 ppg to Nuggets’ 110.2, while Nuggets are better defensively, allowing 106.4 ppg to Blazers’ 110.2 ppg. Both teams have almost identical field goal percentage (46.6% to 46.5%), while Blazers have a better 3-point percentage (36.1% to 35.2%). Nuggets are better both in dimes made (27.3 to 22.7) and in turnovers committed (12.5 to 13.3), while Blazers are better in boards grabbed (47.8 to 46.2). Vegas odds give the Nuggets a -3.5 spread and expect them to beat the odds as they have been very strong at home and have won both times against the Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Denver Nuggets -3.5 (-105)
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