Here are The Game Day’s predictions and bets for the 2021 NBA Playoffs Western Conference First Round series between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers in our Nuggets vs Trail Blazers preview.
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Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction: 2021 NBA Playoffs Round 1 Bet Tips & Pick
Denver Nuggets 2020-2021 Recap
The Nuggets endured numerous injuries this season, but they have not missed a beat. Much of this is thanks to MVP favorite Nikola Jokić. Still, the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray is a massive loss, especially after the performance he showcased in the bubble last season. However, the backcourt is expected to be healthier in the playoffs, with Monté Morris making his return a couple of weeks ago and Will Barton returning for this series. This is still a dangerous team, but Murray’s absence makes them less explosive offensively.
Portland Trail Blazers 2020-2021 Recap
The Trail Blazers had a terrible April, but they have been terrific the rest of the season. They ended the regular season winning 10 of their last 12 games, which included an exclamation point win over the Nuggets’ second unit to finish the season. The difference for Portland this year is they have proven to be more than their backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. They have a well-rounded starting five and even a couple of contributors off the bench.
Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers Matchup
The Nuggets won both of the meaningful games against the Trail Blazers this season, then lost the last game where mostly their backups played. Denver clearly has the advantage in the frontcourt, with nobody on Portland being able to cover Jokić or even a few of the other big men. However, Portland has the advantage in the backcourt, with Lillard and McCollum packing the firepower that Denver lost with the Murray injury. We could see a back and forth series, but consistency will prevail.
Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction
Denver Nuggets Win Series 4-3
Lillard is good enough to steal a game by himself, and the rest of the Blazers squad is incredibly dangerous when things are clicking. However, they’re not consistent on the offensive end, and their defensive deficiencies will show themselves when the shots aren’t falling. Denver’s overall talent and chemistry will be overwhelming in big moments.
Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers Bet Pick
Nuggets To Win Series (+100)
The higher-seeded team is the odds underdog due to their injuries. However, they shouldn’t be. Take the even money bet here, or take the Nuggets in six and/or seven games for an even greater odds boost.