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Nuggets – Trailblazers

Nuggets Blazers Game 7 handicapping

The Denver Nuggets will host the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday evening in a deciding Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Nuggets (2nd seed) started the series a bit on the wrong foot. After winning Game 1, they lost Game 2 at home and lost in four overtimes in Game 3 in Portland. But, since then, they won two out of three and have quite honestly looked like the better team – which they are, especially with Nurkic out for the Blazers. They failed to end the series in Game 6 in Portland a few nights ago, but will now have another chance. This time it will be at home, where they are always so strong.

The Blazers (3rd seed) were facing elimination in Game 6 but stepped up and handled the business, winning by 11 points after previously losing Games 4 and 5. It was finally a night in which both Lillard and McCollum got it going, and the Blazers know they absolutely need another one of those nights if they are to stand a chance in this deciding Game 7.

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Team news: There are no new injuries for either side. The Blazers continue to miss their third best player, center Nurkic, who has been out for the entire playoffs.

Even if the series is tied at 3-3, the feeling is that the Nuggets have been the better team, especially as the series went on. If you look at their losses, two of them came in really bad shooting nights, in which they just missed open shots, and another one came in a 4 overtime thriller.

The Nuggets will be delighted to have this Game 7 at home, in Denver, where the high altitude always gives them an increased advantage. They went 34-7 (!!) in the regular season at the Pepsi Center.

The only game they lost at home in this series came after a historically bad shooting night, they went 34% from the field and 20% from three, and still only lost by 7 points. This is generally the kind of night opposing teams need to win in Denver. It should not happen again.

The Denver Nuggets have the best home court advantage in the NBA, and backed that up by having the best home court record in the league this season. It`s hard to see them losing a Game 7 at home. Even if they are a young team, they have the experience of playing a Game 7 at home just a couple of weeks ago against the savvy San Antonio Spurs – they pulled through that, so they should be even more ready this time around.

I backed the Nuggets from the start to win this series, and after Game 4 I was convinced it will go 7 and there won`t be another road win. I have seen nothing to change my opinion. Look for Nikola Jokic to deliver again against a weakened Blazers frontcourt, and the Nuggets should advance.

My tip will be the simple Denver win. They might well cover the spread, but I don`t know if it will be a blowout, and I`m choosing more security on my bet for this clash. Prediction: Denver Nuggets – Portland Trailblazers 108 – 101.

Pick: Nuggets
Odds: 1.45 @ Pinnacle
Stake: 9
Possible profit: 4.05
Event date: 12 May

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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