Portland is within a win of their farthest postseason run in over two decades. This has been their goal for the last several years, but they have never been able to find second-round success. They are one road win away from keeping it going.
Denver had hoped to make it this far, but the No. 2 seed likely didn’t expect to be playing their 14th playoff game before the third round began. They need to stick to their gameplan and play through Nikola Jokic, who is one triple-double away from tying the record by any player in his first postseason.
The Denver Nuggets are -5.5 point favorites to win Game 7, with the over/under set at 212.5.
Bench Play Big For Blazers
One win away from claiming the series, we look back to the major keys from Game 6. Rodney Hood added 25 points off the bench and was hitting from all over the floor. Zach Collins added 14 points and was +15 in 28:44 of action. Evan Turner didn’t attempt a shot in 19 minutes but had seven boards and seven assists, moving the ball well. Both Dame and CJ were over 30 points on the night, combining for 62. Their three frontcourt starters all played south of 30 minutes, leaving them fresh for Game 7. It’s been a long series that included a 4-OT game, after all.
Portland, 5.5-point underdogs for today, does have a chance to win today. Road teams are 20-25 against the spread in Game 7s since 2005, and they are hoping to make it 21-25. If they can balance their scoring like they did last game, and find shots for their reserves, they will be tough to beat. Dame and CJ being locked in from the outset = Portland at their best.
Home Sweet Home
They have not played too well in road games this postseason, so they should be thanking their lucky stars for homecourt advantage. They took down the Spurs by four points in their first Game 7 of this postseason. Nikola Jokic continued his strong play with 29 points, 12 boards, and eight dimes last game. Jamal Murray added 24, and the other three starters were in double-figures, but each made just four shots. They need Paul Millsap to flex his muscles more and considering the playoff experience he has, that should be no problem.
A key betting trend to note is that teams who missed the playoffs the year prior are just 3-16 in Game 7s against a team that did qualify the year before. This puts Denver at a huge odds disadvantage. When the teams with the extra year of experience are listed as the underdog (POR +5.5), they are 5-0. Also, teams that lose Game 6 by double figures are just 10-14.
Denver Takes Down Portland
Alright, folks, it will be Denver winning, but in tight fashion. Make sure if you bet straight up to take Denver (Jokic triple-double), but if you are going by spread, take POR +5.5. This will be a very close contest and gives you a chance to cash in on a potential Portland nail-biting win.
Free Pick: POR +5.5
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