Portland Trail Blazers @ Denver Nuggets

Tue 2/23 10:00 ET
Portland Trail Blazers
Denver Nuggets
Ball Arena

Pickswise's Expert Predictions & Analysis

Point Spread Prediction
POR Trail Blazers
Game Totals Prediction

Point Spread Prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers suffered an embarrassing loss last night against Phoenix, but they are a strong candidate to bounce back with a strong effort tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Not many people seem to remember that the Trail Blazers were in the Western Conference Finals in 2019. Last year they dealt with a plethora of injuries but still made some noise in the bubble despite not having any defensive-minded talent on the roster. This season, NBA Twitter has labeled Portland as “frauds” despite going 10-7 without C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic in the lineup. A closer look at their matchup against the Suns last night illuminates the fact that they simply did not match up well against Phoenix’s length and strong defense. However, the Nuggets rank only 22nd in defensive efficiency and are mediocre defending shots from beyond the arc.

As rosters are presently constructed, Portland and Denver play a very similar style of basketball; that should result in a relatively close game. These teams have a near identical offensive and defensive efficiency. They both shoot the three-ball well and have been average against other winning teams. Portland is 5-7 against opponents with a winning record while Denver is 6-8 against opponents who are above .500. Portland might not be able to win this game outright playing on a back-to-back, but Denver is playing their first home game after a four-game road trip and simply has not demonstrated that it deserves to be a near double-digit favorite against another strong Western Conference opponent. Take Portland and the points.

Game Totals Prediction

Both of these teams would struggle to guard empty shoes. Portland and Denver both rank in the bottom-six of the NBA in opponents’ field-goal percentage. Denver is allowing its opponents to shoot nearly 70 percent in the paint–the worst mark in the league. Neither team is especially capable when defending the perimeter. The Trail Blazers shoot the most three-point attempts in the league. In their last 13 games, Portland is averaging 118.1 points per contest. Eight of the Nuggets’ last 12 games have hit a total of 227 or higher. A few more points against Portland–one of the league’s best offenses and worst defenses–seems to be a reasonable ask. Take the over.

Computer Model Picks & Projections

The Pickswise supercomputer creates pre-game probabilities using machine learning techniques as inputs to a Monte Carlo approach. This means we simulate a sporting event 10,000 times, catering for the deep range of outcomes and probabilities within a given event. We first predict the performance of each individual player based on hundreds of algorithmic variabilities which we use to run our event simulations. The probabilities themselves are dynamic in nature and are updated as new information such as team news, weather conditions, and movement within betting markets become available. We consider a value bet as one which identifies a discrepancy between our projections and the prevailing betting markets. The ability to consistently identify anomalies between our consolidated projections and sportsbook odds provides you with an increased chance of being a successful gambler and having longterm success.

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