The Portland Trail Blazers (10-15) will have their hands full against the league’s top scoring defense when they challenge the Denver Nuggets (14-8) at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Betting Prediction
The last time the Trail Blazers played, they comfortably covered the 9-point spread against the New York Knicks, 115-87. The game’s total points (202) finished well under the O/U total of 223.5. The Trail Blazers held the Knicks to an effective field goal percentage of 0.390 (below their season average of 0.483). The Knicks had a free throw rate of 0.176 (below the 0.244 mark opponents have averaged against Portland this season). Hassan Whiteside played a key role for Portland with 17 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.
The Nuggets fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in their last outing, 97-92. The combined points for the game (189) were well under the projected point total of 208.5. Philadelphia won the rebounding battle. The 76ers had 12 offensive rebounds and 49 total rebounds, while the Nuggets had five and 38, respectively. Denver’s Will Barton had a solid performance, leading both teams in scoring with 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting.
Denver should be expected to protect the ball well in this contest. Denver ranks fifth in the NBA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 12.9 percent), while Portland forces the third-fewest turnovers (12.4 percent).
Portland comes into the contest with records of 10-15 straight up (SU) and 11-13-1 against the spread (ATS). Of the Trail Blazers’ 25 games, 12 have finished over the total.
Denver has a respectable 14-8 SU record, but they are just 8-11-3 ATS. Vegas has a tendency to set the total high when the Nuggets are involved, as 17 of their 25 games have ended under the projected point total.
This will be the second game of the season between these two teams. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 32 points in the first game, in which the Trail Blazers lost 108-100, unable to cover as 1.5-point underdogs. The game finished with a total of 208 points, which was 9.5 points below the projected point total of 217.5 points. The Nuggets had a better effective field goal percentage (0.531 vs. 0.454) and had a better free throw rate (0.272 vs. 0.241).
Trail Blazers at Nuggets ATS Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Trail Blazers, O/U – Under
Portland is 7-6-1 ATS on the road with 7 unders, 6 overs and 1 push.
At home, Denver is 4-6-1 ATS with 9 unders and 2 overs.
In contests where they hold opponents below 100 points, Denver is 9-1 and Portland is 3-0.
The Trail Blazers are 10-12 when they score over 100 points, while the Nuggets are 12-4.
Denver ranks third in second chance points allowed per game (11.3) while Portland ranks 28th (15.9).
The Nuggets rank sixth in assists per game (26.2) while the Trail Blazers rank 29th (20.1).
Denver ranks 11th in rebounds allowed per game (45.0) while Portland ranks 27th (48.4).
The Nuggets rank 14th in steals per game (7.9) while the Trail Blazers rank 29th (6.0).
Denver ranks 14th in points in the paint per game (47.1) while Portland ranks 28th (43.1).
The Trail Blazers rank fourth in blocks per game (6.2) while the Nuggets rank 13th (5.1).
Denver ranks 20th in points off turnovers per game (16.7) while Portland ranks 29th (13.4).
The Trail Blazers rank 12th in fast break points per game (13.5) while the Nuggets rank 13th in fast break points allowed per game (13.2).
Over its last five games, Portland is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Denver is 1-3-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over over its last five games.
The Trail Blazers’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 3.2, up from 1.5 for the season.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 102.8 points per game (3.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.4 points per game (0.3 below their season average).