After one of the more impressive on-the-court displays in Game 4 in Portland Sunday evening, the Denver Nuggets had to spend seemingly more time discussing off-the-court stuff ahead of tonight’s Game 5. More fan shenanigans somehow overshadowed a shooting display for the ages, as the Nuggets combined to shoot 57.8% from the field (48-83), 59.3% from 3-point range (16-27), and 96.7% from the foul line (29-30) in Game 4, en route to an easy 141-126 victory and a 3-1 series lead.
After a modest Game 1 in terms of scoring, the last three games of this series have exploded, averaging 239.7 total points per game with each sailing over the posted total. We will find out tonight if those fireworks continue and if Portland can send this series back to Portland for a Game 6.
We have isolated a couple wagering options in Game 5 that could provide great value to bettors. We will break down those selections now in our Nuggets-Trail Blazers betting preview, which includes odds, boosts, and the analyses of the picks.
The Nuggets have had immense success working the ball around for high-percentage looks, shooting a tremendous percentage on limited possessions in this series. They took just 84, 88, and 84 shots in the first three games of the series, before putting up 141 points on just 83 field goal attempts in Game 4.
Portland covered its only game this season as double digit underdogs, losing by just four to the Knicks in the regular season finale with a 12 point spot. Notably, the Trail Blazers stunningly lost just four games all season by 17 or more points. Only two of those were against Playoff teams, both of which occurred before January 18. Wildly, Portland had just two regular season losses by more than even ten points since Mar. 11, a stretch of 35 games. That is nearly half the regular season.
For perspective, the NBA average shots per game is 88.4 this season. Denver took just the 21st most shots per game this year at 87.2 per contest. While they continue to consistently shrink the number of possessions in the game, meaning deeper trips into the shot clock, it’s unlikely they can continue to shoot the 51.8% they have mustered in the last three games. A regression toward their league-leading 49.4% has to be expected, meaning a fair number of points coming off the board.