Nuggets vs Trail Blazers NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions April 21

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Updated: April 21, 2021

Nikola Jokic continues his stellar campaign as the odds-on MVP favorite, coming off a 47/15/8 demolition of Memphis in an OT win Monday night.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers are hopeful star guard Damian Lillard will be back in action when they host the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center Wednesday night. 

Lillard hasn’t suited up since April 13 due to a hamstring injury, leaving the Blazers to go 1-2 SU (2-1 ATS) without him, but rumblings out of Portland are calling for his return. Denver is fighting through its own injury issues but rides a three-game win streak into Wednesday’s road tilt.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Nuggets vs. Trail Blazers on April 21. 

Nuggets vs Trail Blazers odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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Denver opened as a 1.5-point road favorite and ticked up as high as -2.5 before money came in on Portland and moved this spread back to its opener. The total hit the board at 225.5 points and has remained steady outside of some minor adjustments to the vig. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Nuggets at Trail Blazers betting preview

Injuries

Nuggets: Jamal Murray G (Out), Monte Morris G (Out), Austin Rivers G (Questionable).
Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard G (Questionable), Jusuf Nurkic C (Questionable), Zach Collins C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Nuggets are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Trail Blazers.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Lillard’s return comes at a desperate time for Portland. On top of dropping two of three without Dame, the Trail Blazers have only one win in their last five contests and are 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 overall.

Granted, a good chunk of those losses came against elite teams – Milwaukee, Utah, and the L.A. Clippers (twice) – but even with Jamal Murray sidelined, this Denver squad is holding its own in fourth place in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets catch Portland playing the second night of a back-to-back set, losing a heartbreaker versus L.A. on Tuesday. And while fresh legs are coming off the injured list for tonight, the bulk of the Blazers will be left dragging their toes against an active Denver squad.

The Nuggets’ biggest advantage is on the boards, where they own a rebounding rate of 52.1 percent – fourth-highest in the league. Denver also boasts the second-highest offensive rebound rate and has averaged 14 offensive boards per game during its current three-game winning streak. 

The Trail Blazers sit 24th in overall rebound rate and allow foes to pick up 14 second-chance points per game (23rd) on the season. Denver enters Tuesday averaging 14.1 second-chance points (5th) this year but has pumped that stat up to 16.6 in April – best in the NBA this month. Those extra buckets off the boards will add up against this slim spread.

PREDICTION: Denver -1.5 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Not only are the Blazers expected to have Lillard back on the court, but center Jusuf Nurkic as well. Nurkic sat out Tuesday’s tilt with the Clippers due to a sore knee and his big body will prove useful against the Nuggets’ MVP frontrunner. 

Nikola Jokic, who ripped Portland for 41 points when these teams met on February 23 (without Nurkic and Zach Collins) is a one-man band in the Mile High City since Murray went down with a season-ending knee injury. He’s coming off a 47-point effort in an overtime victory against Memphis and with the way the Trail Blazers play defense – which isn’t great – merely slowing down Jokic is a best-case scenario for the Blazers. 

While the Nuggets’ offensive output takes a hit from injuries in the backcourt, Denver is hanging its hat on defense to survive down the stretch. Losing Murray and Monte Morris is a collective 31.5 points per game off the board, however, that means more minutes for top perimeter defenders Will Barton and Facundo Campazzo. 

The Nuggets did allow 116 points in regulation to Memphis on Monday but have limited foes to just 110 points per outing in April, tightening that to 103 points against over three road games this month – playing Under in each of those outings.

These Western foes played Under a 230.5-point total back in February and are 2-4 Over/Under in their last six meetings overall.

PREDICTION: Under 225.5 (-110)

Player prop pick

Will Barton has been Denver’s finger in the dam went it comes to its crumbling backcourt. The veteran shooting guard is normally the Nuggets’ top perimeter defender but is being asked to take on a larger scoring role with Murray and Morris out. 

He’s averaging 15.7 points per game this month and is coming off a 28-point effort in the recent Memphis win. However, with Lillard suiting up for the Blazers, Denver will depend on Barton to slow down Dame and his fellow perimeter threat C.J. McCollum. 

Barton scored only nine points versus Portland back in February and averages just under 13 points per matchup with the Trail Blazers during his career. Denver will need his energy focused on defense tonight.

PREDICTION: Will Barton Under 15.5 points (-112)

Nuggets vs Trail Blazers betting card

  • Denver -1.5 (-110) 
  • Under 225.5 (-110)
  • Will Barton Under 15.5 points (-112)

Picks made on 4/21/2021 at 9:15 a.m. ET

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