DEN @ POR
Blazers Lead 2-1
Time: 6 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: POR -3
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Portland Trail Blazers survived a four-overtime victory on its home court in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series edge in the Best of Seven Western Conference Semifinals. The Blazers are 3-point favorites in Game 4 as the teams prepare to square off at 6 PM (CT) on TNT. NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes have set the over/under at 210.5 points.
Game 3 was one for the ages between these two teams. It became a true marathon test of NBA wits, as the teams went through four overtime periods before the Portland Trail Blazers and C.J. McCollum, emerged as victors. McCollum finished the game with 41 points despite finishing the first three quarters with just 12. He scored 29 of his 41 in the fourth and overtime periods to lift Portland to an exhausting victory over Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Jokic finished the game with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists while playing 65 of 68 total minutes in the game.
Despite finishing +5 for those minutes, the Nuggets fell by three points to a hot McCollum eventually. Damian Lillard added 28 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and two steals while finishing +4 for his 58 minutes of court time. Enes Kanter did an outstanding job, but Jokic has ultimately just proven too talented to contain. Kanter had 18 points and 15 rebounds (six offensive) of his own, but he has had a lot of trouble limiting the Nuggets’ point-center Jokic.
Will Barton emerged from a long slump for the Nuggets to score 22 points in 39 minutes off the bench, as the swingman connected on 8 of 18 from the field after having been quiet for weeks. Jamal Murray carried a huge offensive load, attempting 32 field goals (connecting on 14) to finish with 34 points, nine rebounds, and five assists and a +6 mark for his 55 minutes. For the heavy minutes logged by starters on both teams, it seems reasonable to expect some fatigue factors to kick in during Game 4. Four of the Nuggets five starters played 49 minutes or more, and Portland played all five starters 45 minutes or more.
Rodney Hood had a fine game for the Blazers off the bench with 19 points in 24 minutes on an efficient 6 of 8 shooting. Keep an eye on the effect Hood and Barton both play in Game 4 with starters probably needing to rest more. Also vital for Denver will be Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, who can provide scoring punches and a lift off the bench. Zach Collins has done a good job filling in at backup center for Portland, and his eight points and eight rebounds were understated as Collins finished +3 for his 18 minutes while doing a solid job on Jokic.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):