Portland will look to even its series with Denver when they host the Nuggets on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Portland Trail Blazers are a 4-point home favorite versus the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of their 1st Round series on Saturday (May 29th, 4:10 pm ET)
- Denver took a 2-1 series lead by taking down Portland on the road in Game 3
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
The Denver Nuggets have opened up a 2-1 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers after downing Damian Lillard and company 120-115 on Thursday. The two teams will meet again in Portland on Saturday afternoon (May 29th, 4:10 pm ET) with Denver looking to take a 3-1 series stranglehold.
Nuggets vs Trail Blazers Odds – Game 4
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Denver Nuggets||+4.0 (-110)||+142||O 227.5 (-110)|
|Portland Trail Blazers||-4.0 (-110)||-172||U 227.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 28th.
After dropping the series opener at home, the Nuggets have reeled off back-to-back victories, but still opened as a 4-point underdog in Game 4. Denver was once again shorthanded at the guard position on Thursday, and that is expected to continue on Saturday.
Barton Remains Out
Will Barton gave Nuggets fans a glimmer of hope by warming up prior to Game 3, but he remained sidelined with his hamstring injury and has already been ruled out for Game 4.
Will Barton (hamstring) will be out for Game 4, I’m told.
He’s getting close, but there’s obviously not as much urgency after taking a 2-1 series lead.
Saw him working out, going through dribbling/shooting exercises before yesterday’s game.
— Mike Singer (@msinger) May 28, 2021
Fellow guard PJ Dozier has already been ruled out for the series, while star point guard Jamal Murray is done for the year with a knee injury. The gaping hole at the position has created a big opportunity for Austin Rivers, and the former 1st round pick has taken full advantage.
Nuggets vs Trail Blazers Projected Starting Lineups
|Facundo Campazzo||PG||Damian Lillard|
|Austin Rivers||SG||CJ McCollum|
|Michael Porter Jr.||SF||Norman Powell|
|Aaron Gordon||PF||Robert Covington|
|Nikola Jokic||C||Jusuf Nurkic|
Rivers Rises To the Occasion
Rivers propelled the Nuggets to victory on Thursday by splashing 21 points, including four triples in the final frame. He finished with 5 three-pointers on 10 attempts, and also chipped in 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Nuggets guard depth:
They are up 2-1 vs a team led by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. pic.twitter.com/TJgQeykL8I
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 28, 2021
MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic picked up his second double-double of the series by racking up 36 points and 11 boards, and is now averaging 36 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists through three games.
Denver shot 46.4% from the field, and 52.6% from beyond the arc, but were dominated in the paint. They were outscored down low 54-30, and surrendered 14 offensive rebounds to Portland.
Lillard meanwhile, scored a game-high 37 points, while CJ McCollum poured in 22 points, to go along with 9 rebounds, and Jusuf Nurkic added a double-double (13 pts, 13 reb).
Damian Lillard: Even when he’s covered, he’s open 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NE7AtnKC6r
— ESPN (@espn) May 23, 2021
The Trail Blazers took 16 more shots than the Nuggets, but a miserable night from behind the arc (14-for-45) proved to be their downfall.
Despite their poor shooting numbers, Game 3 easily eclipsed the total, just like Games 1 and 2.
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Expect More Offensive Fireworks
The over/under for Game 4 however, remains in the same ball park as the first three games. The 227.5 point total is just half a point higher than Game 3, and given the offensive rating of both of these clubs in this series, another high scoring game is likely on deck.
Both Denver and Portland rank in the top-5 in offensive rating in the playoffs, and are second and sixth respectively in effective field goal percentage. They’re each averaging over 96 possessions per game, while committing minimal turnovers, which has resulted in an abundance of offense.
Dating back to the regular season, seven of the Nuggets’ last nine games have gone over the total, while 64.7% of their contests as an underdog this year have also cleared the total.
The Trail Blazers on the other hand, have scored at least 115 points in 11 of their past 15 outings, clearing 120 points on nine of those occasions.
Pick: Over 227.5 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.