Damian Lillard scored 55 points, yet it still wasn’t enough to beat the Nuggets in overtime. Now the Blazers’ backs are against the wall, down 3-2 and facing an early exit from the playoffs. Does Lillard have another epic performance to extend the series or will the Nuggets seal the deal Thursday night? All of that and more in this Blazers vs Nuggets Game 5 Preview, with an in-depth look at NBA odds, picks, and predictions.
NBA Picks: Nuggets vs. Blazers Odds Update
- GM 5 Moneyline: 60% of ML bets are on the Blazers to win outright. The Blazers are -200 favorites at most shops, but the best price is at BetMGM, where Portland is -182.
- GM 5 Spread: NBA bettors lean toward the Blazers as they face elimination Thursday night. 57% of the consensus handle is on the Blazers spread. Once again, Blazers bettors shopping for the best odds should head to BetMGM, where the spread is -4.5. If you’re betting on the Nuggets, you can find Denver +5 at most other books.
- GM 5 Over/Under: The public predicts a high-scoring affair in tonight’s game, betting an overwhelming majority of the handle on Over 228 points.
- NBA Props (Over/Under): Is anyone betting on Under point prop after his last performance? Probably not, but it’s worth consideration with a point prop of 34.5 points.
For more NBA betting tips, continue reading Sloan Piva’s Nuggets vs. Blazers Game 6 Preview below!
Nuggets vs. Blazers Game 6 Odds
|Nuggets Game 6 Odds
|Blazers Game 6 Odds
|8 p.m. ET
Ahh, the good old NBA Playoffs. You just have to keep your remote handy this time of year. One second you could be watching and the defending-champion Lakers getting creamed by the Suns, and a moment later you are tuning into a duel for the ages between and .
“You dummies chose the wrong game,” Charles Barkley muttered on Inside the NBA after the conclusion of the 115-85 stomping Phoenix put down on LA. TNT aired the Lakers implosion, which left NBA TV with the postseason game of the year to date.
Game 5 of the Blazers-Nuggets series was, indeed, an instant classic. Jokic and the Nugs exchanged blows with Lillard and the Blazers until the bitter end. Every time it seemed like Denver had the win wrapped up, Lillard switched it to “Dame Time” and hit an unbelievable three-pointer.
Lillard forced overtime with his clutch heroics. Then Denver scored the first nine points of OT, but it was Dame Time once again. Dame flushed three more astonishing treys. At one point, Lillard was 17-of-23 from the floor and 12-of-16 from distance. He finished with 55 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. The 12 threes place him in sole possession of an NBA playoff record.
However, Portland ultimately lost the game 147-140 in double overtime. Jokic and his core supporting cast were much too strong. They may have finished the night with less highlights than Dame, but they certainly earned the win. Jokic logged 38 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The MVP favorite proved once again that he can be Denver’s hero. He registered 46 minutes and 19 seconds in the thrilling victory.
“(player-popup #michael-porter-jr)Michael who has propelled to the role of sidekick since suffered a season-ending injury, finished with 26 points and 12 boards. MPJ’s corner three late in double-overtime proved to be the final dagger. exploded for 28 points and five assists. and , both late-season acquisitions, combined for 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 dimes.
The Blazers’ supporting cast, meanwhile, was U-G-L-Y. Lillard finished 17-of-24 for an incomparable 70.8 percent shooting percentage (and 12-of-17 from three, 70.6%). The rest of Portland’s lineup shot 30-of-79 (37.9%) and 9-of-31 from distance (29%). Dame deserves better.
While Jokic’s supporting cast rose to the occasion in a frenzied double-overtime away game, Dame’s squad laid a proverbial egg. fouled out before the end of regulation, the third time in the five-game series he disqualified himself. missed a crucial put-back dunk that he appeared to try putting some extra sauce on, then he missed another bunny dunk in the clutch one period later. McCollum shot an abysmal 7-of-22 (and 2-of-8 from three), and forced shots in the overtime periods that had everyone in the US scratching their heads. Nurkic, , and combined to shoot just 13-of-37.
Nuggets vs. Blazers Preview & Predictions
But still, how can we count out Lillard? Maybe he will go for 81 points, and spit a postgame freestyle honoring Kobe Bryant. Maybe he will break the all-time record for three-pointers in an NBA game, ultimately shattering two records in two consecutive games and setting the bar at 15 treys. Maybe he will score 103 like he did for me in my NBA2K franchise. Hey, with this dude, it seems like anything’s possible.
And it just flat-out feels like a Game 7 in this thrilling series is inevitable. There’s no way McCollum, Nurkic, Powell, Covington, and Anthony all replicate their Game 5 struggles. It would also blow my mind if Portland coach Terry Stotts lets Nurkic foul out early a fourth time in six games. Something’s got to give for Dame.
Of course, Dame won’t be as Earth-scorching as he was in Game 5, either. So while I have the Blazers on the moneyline -210, I’m also considering the Nuggets +5 against the spread. I can’t even fathom how oddsmakers are making a home squad with a 3-2 series lead five-point underdogs. But I’ll take it, and I’ll double-dip like George Costanza on his most shameless day.
Hell, I might even triple-dip, and take the OVER on the total of 227.5 points. Games in this series have finished with 232, 237, 235, and 287 points. Only Game 4 finished with less than 227.5 points (210). With Portland fighting for their playoff lives, and most likely shooting better as a collective unit, I cannot imagine betting the UNDER today. The Blazers rarely struggle to assert themselves in road games—they went 23-16 in away games this season, and a whopping 14-4 as road favorites.
Set your DVR to record, and don’t touch the remote this evening once you flick it to TNT at 8:00 p.m. (they chose the right primetime game this time). It’s Dame Time. Here’s betting—with fingers crossed—that Lillard’s teammates show up on time and on target.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Blazers 117-114
Nuggets vs. Blazers Betting Picks
SCHMITTO’S PICKS: After what we saw from Lillard in Game 5, how can we not be excited for Game 6? Lillard put forth a performance so legendary that it will be remembered in spite of his team ultimately losing. Unfortunately Portland’s superhero has little help from his supporting cast. And as I’ve written throughout this series, the Blazers have a severe matchup problem. Denver is simply too much for the Trail Blazers to handle inside, as they’ve demonstrated time and time again. The Blazers have outscored them in the paint twice this series, but center hasn’t been able to stay on the court while guarding Denver big man and presumptive NBA MVP . In fact, Nurkic has fouled out in each of his team’s three losses. The surgical moves of Jokic will continue to plague the Blazers for as long as this series lasts. The good news, at least for Portland fans, is that the smartest people of all (the oddsmakers) believe they’ll avoid elimination and force a Game 7. The Blazers are favored by five points at online sportsbooks despite their struggles thus far. I don’t doubt the Blazers deserve to be favored, but by how much? Judging by the way this series has gone so far, five points sounds like too many to me. I’m betting on the Nuggets.
GAME 6 BETS: Nuggets +5 at BetMGM*
Image Credit: Imagn