Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is greeted by a teammate after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. The Blazers won 124-107.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is greeted by a teammate after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. The Blazers won 124-107.|Steve Dykes | Associated Press
NBA

Tuesday NBA picks: Trail Blazers vs Nuggets, and Spurs vs Lakers — Portland looks to be in playoff mode, should you take the points?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

2-1 Monday, 86-81-1 overall.

Trail Blazers (+4.5) @ Nuggets (225.5)

Pick: Trail Blazers +4.5

How can we not back a team on a four-game winning streak that has revitalized its playoff hopes catching 4.5 points? Let’s not forget this is the same Portland team that got to the Western Conference Finals last year. Of the three teams battling for the West’s final playoff spot, the Trail Blazers certainly look like the most dangerous eight seed. They picked up impressive victories last week over Houston, the Lakers and capped it off with a 17-point win in Utah. Portland also won its Western Conference semifinal series with Denver last year in seven games, including a Game 7 victory in the Mile High City. The Nuggets are a good team, but able to relax a little more right now, as evidenced by an overtime loss in Detroit on Sunday. The Trail Blazers have already shifted into playoff mode with 32 games left in their regular season. That makes them the more appealing side in this game especially with the points.

Spurs (+12) @ Lakers (226.5)

Pick: Spurs +12

From one of those teams in the mix for the eight seed to another out West. The San Antonio Spurs enter Tuesday night even with the Trail Blazers in the loss column and two games behind the Grizzlies in the loss column. While this is the second night of a back-to-back for the Spurs, they’re playing in the same building they played in Monday. The Clippers rallied in the second half to beat the Spurs 108-105 but San Antonio still comfortably covered the nine-point spread. This number is simply way too steep to even consider the Lakers. San Antonio lost one game by more than 12 points in January and just two games by more than 12 in December. The Spurs might miss the playoffs, but they’re not a dumpster fire. Gregg Popovich’s team is going to play hard for him regardless of their record and that means that they’ll be in enough games to cover numbers this big.

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