Portland Trail Blazers (14-33) vs. Denver Nuggets (33-15)
As the NBA season advances, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets prepare to meet in an intriguing matchup this Friday that has drawn much anticipation among both fans and bettors alike. Both teams look for victory to bolster their standings; therefore this game becomes an essential one in both seasons – providing free basketball picks bettors with an interesting case study of talent, strategy, and unpredictability that sports offers.
The Trail Blazers have had an eventful season marked by rebuilding struggles. Averaging 118.6 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field, they have displayed glimpses of offensive brilliance through three-point shooting averaging 15 makes on 40.1 attempts per game; but their defense has lagged significantly resulting in their less-than-ideal win-loss record; 12.5 offensive rebounding per game and 28.3 assists per game serve as testaments of team effort that often just fails at closing games off.
Conversely, Denver Nuggets have established themselves as contenders with an efficient combination of balanced offense and strong defense. Though their scoring average may appear modest compared to Portland’s 112.5, their impressive defensive abilities allow fewer points while managing boards (42.2 per game). They need improvement on field goal shooting (43.9%) and three point shooting (34.6%) but excelled with blocks and steals; an indicator of their formidable defensive capabilities.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets Game Info
|Friday, February 2, 2024, at 9:00 PM ET
|NBA League Pass
Anfernee Simons (SG) vs. Jamal Murray (PG)
Anfernee Simons has impressed by averaging 22.8 points on 46.9% shooting along with 5.2 assists per game. Though undersized, he maximizes his 6’3″ frame with crafty drives to the rim and can heat up in a hurry from three-point range when left open. However, Simons is posting just a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio in a high-usage role which leads to mistakes and inconsistency for the young guard.
Meanwhile, Jamal Murray has rebounded well from injury to regain his All-Star form for Denver, scoring 21.4 points per contest on an efficient 43.9% from the field. His robust 6’4″, 215-pound build allows him to bully smaller defenders and finish through contact or facilitate for teammates posting a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Though not an elite on-ball defender, Murray’s strength and length are assets against players like Simons on drives and contesting jump shots.
In this matchup, Simons faces his toughest defensive assignment of the season. If Murray can force him into tough looks and limit his efficiency like other top defenders have done, it will go a long way towards deciding this contest. However, should Simons catch fire even against tight coverage, he has the capability to single-handedly torpedo Denver’s defensive game plan and spur his team to an unlikely victory.
NBA Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD
The betting odds for this game are yet to be determined, reflecting the unpredictability and the factors that could influence the outcome, such as player health and team form leading up to tip-off.
Portland Trail Blazers Betting Trends
The Trail Blazers have been consistently covering spreads in recent contests at 3-2 ATS in their last 5 outings. That reliability comes in spite of their 2-3 SU record over that same sample. Portland has been especially solid for bettors away from home as well, going 12-14 ATS in their 26 road games to date. With a high-powered offense, the over has hit at a frequent rate too with 9 of the Blazers’ last 21 road games eclipsing their totals.
Denver Nuggets Betting Trends
Denver has been slightly less reliable for gamblers over the past couple of weeks at 1-3 ATS across their last 4 games. However, they have gone 4-1 SU during that stretch to remain atop the Northwest Division. While bettors have seen mixed results from the Nuggets at home, they have been outstanding straight up by winning eight of their previous ten matchups at Ball Arena. With Portland’s continued defensive woes and Jamal Murray rolling, Denver should have little trouble covering what is a sizable spread by their standards on their home floor.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets 2/2/24 Betting Picks
The Nuggets, with their robust defense and home-court advantage, are positioned as favorites. However, the Blazers’ potent offense and ability to cover the spread on the road present an intriguing underdog bet. The key will be Portland’s three-point shooting against Denver’s defense.
Given the trends and performances, the Nuggets seem to be the safer bet at the best sportsbook online, especially to win outright, but the Blazers could cover if given a substantial spread. Prop bets focusing on individual performances, like Simons’ points or Murray’s assists, could offer value. The over/under will hinge on the effectiveness of the Blazers’ offense against the Nuggets’ defense.