NBA Western Conference Odds and Preview: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

LaMarcus-Aldridge-blazers-12Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers
Time: 10:30 PM ET, Jan 23, 2014
TV: TNT
Spread: POR -7
Total: 221

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Portland Trail Blazers are a good bit better than anyone expected it to be this season, but the club has fallen from the No. 1 spot in the West to No. 3 due to recent surges by Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Still, the Blazers trail OKC by just 1.5 games for the first seed in the West and the team will play host to the Denver Nuggets Thursday night in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring Portland in by 7-points. The total is set high at 221, due to the quick paced offenses of both teams.

Portland has dropped its past two contests to Houston and Oklahoma City, but both squads are among the top in the Western Conference. Tonight’s opponent, Denver, is situated 10th at 20-20.

Typically, the Nuggets are an awesome home team and poor road team, but this season under Brian Shaw the club seems to have found mediocrity in both situations, with a 9-11 road record only slightly trumped by the 11-9 at the Pepsi Center.

Like Portland, Denver has dropped its past two contests, as well, to Cleveland and Phoenix. The Nuggets lost the two games by an average of 11 points and gave up 117 points in both affairs. Thus, the Trail Blazers, who currently rank 1st in the NBA in scoring (109.3 points per game) may just have a field day.

Denver received news it would be without forward Danilo Gallinari for the remainder of the season. Gallinari had not played yet due to an ACL injury, and as loaded as the Nuggets are with scorers, “The Rooster” is one of its best perimeter shooters and a player with “big game” capabilities. Ty Lawson will need to continue to shoulder a large role, and the UNC product is leading the team in scoring with 18 points per game, in addition to dishing out 8.9 assists per game.

The Nuggets have a host of contributors in the form of Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye, Nate Robinson and Kenneth Faried—all of whom average at least 10 points per game—but the team lacks a definitive go-to guy down the stretch. And the defense is still poor. Expect Portland to exploit the Nuggets weak “D” and get back on track in ending its two-game skid tonight.

DEN Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 when opponent allows 100 or more in previous game; OVER 4-0 in last 4 following ATS loss; OVER 5-0 in last 5 overall.

POR Trends: OVER 4-0-1 in last 5 Thurs games; 7-1 ATS in last 8 Thurs games; 4-1 ATS in last 5 when opponent allows 100 or more in previous game.

Head-to-head: Nuggets 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 in Portland; Nuggets 0-4-1 in last 5 meetings; OVER 4-0 in last 4 meetings.

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