The winner of Game 5 in a 2-2 series usually goes on to win the whole series. There is a lot at stake tonight, and we’ll find out if Portland is up to the task. Everybody seemed to be okay after the 4OT game and didn’t seem too drained from it.
The same can be said of the Nuggets, who stole Game 4 in Portland to even this series up. They have officially discovered their duo of the future, and it’s Jokic and Murray as a pairing. They cannot be slowed down.
Denver is a -4.5 point favorite for Game 4, with the over/under set at 213.5. The moneyline for this contest has Portland +165 and Denver -190.
Blazers Need A Bounceback
Game 4 was wild, with both teams getting hot down the stretch. It was their poor third quarter when they were held to just 14 points that hurt Portland most. Had they just been a little better, they probably would have come away with a 3-1 lead. The home team is now 2-2 in the series. Portland did not dominate in any categories. They broke even from three, and on the boards. They were -6 in the turnover column and had just 18 assists on their 38 baskets, something that will have to be fixed for tonight.
Seth Curry went off in the first half for 16 points but didn’t get many shots off in the second half. His disappearance really hurt the team’s rhythm after they had initially been able to rely on him. CJ scored 29 while Dame added 28. Rodney Hood hit a three to get the team within three in the final minute, but they just couldn’t get any stops. A Lillard missed FT down the stretch officially doomed them.
Nuggets Feeling Good
When you shoot 89% from the foul line and turn the ball over only eight times, the odds would usually appear to be in your favor. Jamal Murray carried Denver down the stretch once again, making all of his free throws and jumpers. He finished with 34 points. And Nikola Jokic triple-doubled and had a 21-12-11 line. Will Barton has also rediscovered his mojo and is starting to play a lot more minutes than his counterpart Torrey Craig. They were 11/25 from three and made all of their easy attempts.
A stat that will favor Denver is that Portland is 10-15 all-time under Terry Stotts against the spread when coming off a loss. But something that goes completely against the Nuggets is that teams who failed to make the playoffs the prior year beat the spread just 43% of the time in games 5-7. They are 7-17 over the past three years and are 22-38 since 2013-14 (Eric Abrams).
Portland Takes 3-2 Lead
DAME TIME! Make sure you bet POR +4.5! Lillard and McCollum will be knocking down shots left and right to lift the team to a win. Enes Kanter’s heart out there is going to make a huge difference to lead POR to the win!
Free Pick: POR +4.5
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