Jordan’s NBA Picks: 70-53 (Playoffs 16-15)
Denver (59-33 SU & 47-45 ATS) at Portland (59-31 SU & 49-41 ATS)
Sunday, 7:00 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Blazers 1H ATS
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The Blazers and Nuggets played a ton of minutes in Game 3 less than two days ago. In fact, there are roughly just 40 hours between games thanks to how long Game 3 went and the 4 PM local start time for Game 4. This will affect the final outcome.
Tired Legs Keep Fighting
It’s going to be hard to top Game 3 of this series, but Game 4 there is just as much on the line for both teams. The Nuggets want to take back home court with a win here and head back to Denver with a tied series. The Blazers want a ticket to the Western Conference Finals and while Game 5 will play regardless, I know Portland would love to parlay their quadruple overtime win into three wins in a row.
What’s crazy about that game is, despite it going four overtimes and neither team having anything left afterwards, it was relatively low scoring based on the number of minutes each team put in.
The Blazers averaged 106.7 points per 100 possessions in the first half and 112.9 during the game. That makes sense based on each team getting more tired as the game went on. The Nuggets were a bit worse, but still, these teams didn’t fall apart on defense until the point of exhaustion.
You don’t see that a lot in the NBA, so you know these are life or death games for both teams, who would be considered a huge success if they got to the Western Conference Finals.
Depending on when the effects of Game 3 start showing in Game 4, I think we can make some money on the first half of this one.
The Sharp Pick
So far in this series, the Nuggets have not been great in the first half. Despite having two home games to the Blazers’ one, the Nuggets are averaging just 100.7 points per 100 possessions in the first half.
On the contrary, the Blazers have been great in the first half, averaging 109.3 points per 100 possessions.
Right now, you can get pretty low odds on the Blazers to cover the first half, but the problem is the half points of -1 ½. However, there are a couple of shops that have the price at -105 for the Blazers’ first half, so I’m probably more inclined to buy the half point and bet the Blazers at -1 (-115) instead. With the home crowd behind them I think they come away with the first half cover. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, because both teams will likely be feeling the effects of Game 3 by the time the third quarter runs around.
First Half Score Prediction: Nuggets 53 – Blazers 55