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Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets pick against the spread, best player prop first round NBA playoffs

We go over some of the best betting options for the NBA first round 2021 NBA playoff matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets are even at two games, each heading into their Game 5 matchup in Denver on Tuesday, June 1st. Portland took the fourth game of this series with a 20-point win despite a tough shooting night for Damian Lillard. Even as the home team and the No. 3 seed in the West, the Nuggets are very slight favorites, so this series can go in any direction.

Denver continues to struggle with injuries at the worst possible time. In addition to losing Jamal Murray late in the regular season, the Nuggets have not been able to utilize Will Barton or PJ Dozier in this postseason.

Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets, 9:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Pick ATS: Trail Blazers +1.5

Portland barely avoided the play-in tournament as the No. 6 seed in the West, but they have a good shot at pulling off a victory in Game 5. The Trail Blazers are a much healthier team than Denver, and they have covered the spread in five of their last seven games. The fact that Portland won Saturday’s game relatively easily despite Lillard shooting just 1 of 10 from the floor with 10 points should make the Nuggets nervous heading into Tuesday night.

Player Prop: Damian Lillard O8.5 assists (+127)

Lillard is averaging 9.6 assists per game and has notched four double-doubles in five playoff matchups against the Nuggets. He’s only fallen short of reaching double-digits in dimes once and has thrived against the Nuggets' weak defensive backcourt, which features Facundo Campazzo and Austin Rivers.

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