Point Spread: -9.00 | -110.00 Denver (Home)
For the record, Lillard is undergoing abdominal surgery and will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks time. McCollum has missed the previous 16 games due to a lung injury and paternity leave. Denver isn’t about to take it easy on the undermanned Blazers. Not after blowing a 25-point lead and losing 87-85 to the Clippers on Tuesday. Coach Michael Malone ripped his team after it was outscored 32-19 in the final quarter by LA. So the Nuggets should be motivated from the “get-go” here. Earlier in the year, they hosted Portland and won 124-95 as a 6.5-point favorite. Considering all the absences for the Blazers tonight, I’m really surprised the home team isn’t favored by more.
It’s not just Lillard and McCollum that are out for Portland. They were without Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr on Tuesday, making the win over the Nets all the more shocking. Neither of those two are expected to play tonight either. Nor is Cody Zeller or Anfernee Simmons. Playing with a “skeleton crew” couldn’t come at a worse time as the team is about to embark on a six-game road trip. Denver is top five in the league in PPG allowed at home. This should get ugly in a hurry, so lay the points. 10* Denver