2021 NBA Playoffs: Nuggets vs. Blazers odds, line, picks, Game 4 predictions from model on 99-66 roll

The Portland Trail Blazers will try to even the series when they host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday in Game 4 of their first-round matchup in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Portland has lost two straight after a 14-point road win in Game 1, and after allowing the Nuggets to regain home-court advantage, it will be desperate for a victory. Denver rode the hot hand of Austin Rivers to a 120-115 victory in Game 3, as the journeyman scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. But the battle between Portland’s Damian Lillard and Denver’s Nikola Jokic on the score sheet has been the story of the series, and Lillard scored a game-high 37 and Jokic had 36 in Game 3.

Tip-off from the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., is set for 4 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Portland as the five-point favorite in its latest Nuggets vs. Blazers odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 227.5. Before finalizing any Blazers vs. Nuggets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $800 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the first full week of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 99-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen massive returns.  

Now, the model has set its sights on Nuggets vs. Blazers in the NBA Playoffs 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for Blazers vs. Nuggets:

  • Nuggets vs. Blazers: Portland -5
  • Nuggets vs. Blazers over-under: 227.5
  • Nuggets vs. Blazers money line: Denver +175, Portland -200
  • DEN: Jokic led the NBA in player efficiency rating (31.3) and win shares (15.6) in the regular season.
  • PORT: Lillard (9.6) trailed only Jokic (12.2) in offensive win shares during the regular season. 

Featured Game | Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

Why the Blazers can cover

Portland is 5-2 against the spread in the last seven meetings, and as long as Lillard is on its side, it can go on a huge run at any moment. Injuries have hurt Denver’s backcourt, and the Blazers guard has taken advantage, averaging a playoff-best 37.7 points. CJ McCollum is scoring more than 21 point per game and pulling down 5.8 defensive rebounds. Center Jusuf Nurkic is second in the playoffs in total rebounds (12.7 per game) and defensive rebounds (8.7), and it was a big blow to Portland when he fouled out with more than 5 minutes left in Game 3.

Everything went against the Blazers in Game 3, and Lillard will have them fired up to knot the series up. Rivers was on fire as the Nuggets shot 52.6 percent from 3-point range, and the Blazers hit just 31.1 percent from outside. Portland was sixth in the league in 3-point shooting (38.5 percent) during the regular season, while Denver was eighth (37.7), so things are likely to even out Saturday. And the Nuggets can’t count on Rivers, a career 35-percent 3-point shooter who totaled 15 points in the first two games, to repeat that performance. 

Why the Nuggets can cover

Denver is 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 meetings in Portland, and Jokic has been able to dominate. The 6-foot-11, 284-pound center is averaging 36 points and 11.7 rebounds, making 57.7 percent of his shots. He hit 75 percent from the field in Game 2, then hit 57 percent (4-for-7) from outside in Game 3. The Blazers ranked 25th in the NBA in opponent field-goal percentage (47.3) in the regular season, while Denver shot 48.5 (fourth). Denver is making more than 50 percent of its shots overall and more than 42 percent from 3-point range in the series.

Six Denver players are averaging at least 10 points in the series, and Facundo Campazzo and Monte Morris are combining for 12 assists. They also are teaming up for 3.3 steals, and the Nuggets are scoring more than 16 points off turnovers as Portland averages more than 10 per game. Rivers has hit seven of his 13 threes over the past two games, but Michael Porter Jr. is the top outside option. He was ninth in the league at 44.5 percent and has hit six of 11 in the past two games. He is averaging 19.3 points, six rebounds and a steal per game in the series.     

How to make Blazers vs. Nuggets picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total as the teams combine for 229 points in the simulations. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Blazers vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.

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