The Portland Trail Blazers are favored to win their fourth straight game as they welcome the undermanned Denver Nuggets to the Moda Center. The NBA betting odds give the Blazers 6½ points to cover against the Nuggets, who could be without superstar and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic on Tuesday.
Jokic is still dealing with a wrist injury, an ailment that has caused him to miss the last two games. Denver lost both of those games and was dismantled by 29 points against Phoenix. This team appears destined to lose without its leading man and Portland will exact revenge for their last meeting.
Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers
- Point Spread: Denver +6½
- Moneyline: Denver +230, Portland -270
- Total: Over/Under 214½
Nuggets: Life No Joke Without ‘Joker’
Denver is 1-2 without their star player and that one win came against the Indiana Pacers, who were 4-7 at the time. The Nuggets are 28th in the NBA in net rating (-19) and 28th in PIE in their last two games. It’s almost as if losing Jokic, who leads the team in virtually every category, has been a black hole on the team.
Nuggets basketball in 2 parts:
1) Watching Nikola Jokic
2) Watching the clock for when Nikola Jokic can come back in
— Spencer Smith (@BigDriveSpence) November 19, 2021
But it’s not just Jokic. The team is already without Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jamal Murray (knee). To exacerbate their situation, promising rookie scorer “Bones” Hyland (ankle) will be out after hurting himself against the Suns.
Swingman Will Barton, who scored 30 points and had a 73.7 percent effective field goal rate against Indiana, will be counted on to carry the team offensively. Against a Blazers team that leaks points, Denver may just be in this and are worth a look when betting online.
Blazers: Our Turn
When the Blazers last faced Denver, they missing their star player in Damian Lillard. Despite his shooting woes, the team was 9.7 points better when he was on the court. And since his return, Lillard has slowly looked like his old self, putting up 28.3 points with a 433/393/1000 shooting line.
Portland is still the same team as last season despite Lillard’s struggles and a new coach in Chauncey Billups. The team is sixth in the league in offensive rating but 26th in defensive rating. A return to form for Lillard can only help them get better and improve on their 7-10 record on the point spread.
What’s changed for Portland is its return to form in the Moda Center. Portland has lost just once at home and is 6-3 against the spread (ATS). The Blazers struggled here last year (20-16), so they are a more reliable bet on the sportsbook now.
Denver vs Portland Betting Pick
As far as this NBA prediction is concerned, Jokic will not be playing for Denver. The big man may as well be a star quarterback in the NFL as we will see a sizable line shift when he is reported to play. Denver is a whopping 26.3 points worse without Jokic. Look it up.
Denver’s 10th-rated defense plummets to a bottom-five unit when he’s away. That is bad news against the Blazers, who could just open a can of you-know-what on them.
Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -6½
However, in the event that Jokic does play, grab the moneyline for Denver if you can still find it at over 2-1. Denver has won seven of its last 10 games against Portland and Jokic has a 124 offensive rating against them.