Jordan’s NBA Picks: 73-54 (Playoffs 19-16)
Portland (59-32 SU & 49-42 ATS) at Denver 60-33 SU & 48-45 ATS)
Tuesday, 10:30 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Blazers 1Q ATS
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
If you didn’t know before the series started, you do now. There two teams are evenly matched. When it comes to that, you have to pick your spots wisely in betting a Game 5 like this and I think I have one where we can exploit.
Much like our play on the earlier game, I’m going with a first quarter play for the late game. Portland has been so good in this series in the first quarter, while Denver has not been. The Nuggets have an offensive rating of just 108.6 in the first quarters of this series, while their defense is allowing 126.1 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter versus the Blazers.
This has been the case all postseason, even in Portland’s win in the first round. The Blazers own a 119.4 offensive rating in the first quarters of their nine playoff games and that is second only to the Warriors.
Getting off to a hot start on the road is going to be vital to the Blazers’ success in this pivotal Game 5. They may have trouble slowing down Nikola Jokic once again, but that may not matter if gets off to a slow start, which is possible in a big game like this.
The Sharp Pick
Considering how well the Blazers have played up until this point early in the game, I can’t see any other play more valuable than them taking a point and a half through the first 12 minutes. I’m planning on adding in a small moneyline play as well on their first quarter odds. The metrics are too good right now to risk anything else other than in-play bets because the odds are sharp. However, this is where I’m taking my shot on this one. Considering the Blazers have won and covered the first quarter spread in four straight, I like them taking points even on the road.
First Quarter Score Prediction: Blazers 27 – Nuggets 26