The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday appeared headed toward a decision to send the controversial Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork to the Senate floor without a recommendation, effectively preserving the options of some of the committee's undecided members, including Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.).

Byrd said yesterday he will vote against any attempt in the committee to endorse Bork or oppose his confirmation and will support only the neutral "no recommendation" stance.

Such a course, he said, "gives senators who are undecided more time without having to vote in a way that others can draw inferences from," he said. He added that he believes the other three uncommitted senators "would much prefer this" because it would leave them "with some flexibility and time without inferences on how they're going to vote" in the final showdown on the Senate floor.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the committee chairman, said no decision had been made on the recommendation, which Byrd first voiced in a television interview Monday night. An informal canvass of committee members showed opinion divided on the idea.

But it also appeared increasingly likely that neither Bork's supporters nor his opponents will be able to muster a majority in the committee, leaving the no-recommendation course the only practical option. This would almost certainly be the case if the other three undecided senators -- Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Howell Heflin (D-Ala.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) -- adopt Byrd's position.

"That strikes me as all right," Heflin said of Byrd's proposal. Heflin is believed to be the uncommitted committee member most eager to avoid taking a stand now, giving him more time to test political crosscurrents in Alabama.

"It doesn't trouble me," DeConcini said. "We have an obligation to get it on the floor. I don't care how we do it."

However, DeConcini said that even if the committee makes no recommendation on the nomination, he will announce his position when the committee acts.

Specter said that after weeks of study and two weeks of hearings "the Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to vote." But he said that if there is no committee recommendation, he may delay announcing his position on the nomination.

As attention began to shift from the Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor and maneuvering intensified, these developments also occurred:Senate Majority Whip Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), seeking to reinforce the impression that the nomination is in serious trouble, said of Bork, "I think he's licked."

Cranston said his vote count, which includes senators leaning for or against, showed 49 likely to oppose, 40 likely to support and 11 undecided.

Reflecting the increasing optimism of Bork's opponents, Cranston also played down the likelihood that Democrats would be forced to resort to a filibuster.

"It might prove easier to get 51 votes against in an up-or-down vote than 41 votes to sustain a filibuster," he said. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) said he will vote against "because I doubt that {Bork} has the commitment to civil rights and individual liberties on which the decency and well-being of our American community depends."

Bradley, whose opposition was expected, is frequently mentioned as a likely future Democratic presidential contender. His statement, with its strong emphasis on civil rights, could increase pressure on Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to oppose Bork.

Strategists on both sides see the influential Nunn, even more than Heflin, as the key vote among southern Democrats at the center of the increasingly fierce battle.

Both sides appear poised to declare victory if the Judicary Committee takes no formal position.

"I think it's a terrible bruise for a nominee if he doesn't come out of the committee with an overwhelmingly favorable vote," Biden said. "Anything short of 9 to 5 for confirmation is a clear indication of deep trouble."

Judiciary Committee Republicans, clearly fearing that they lack votes for an endorsement, also appeared to warm to the idea of sending the nomination to the floor with no recommendation.

Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), one of Bork's strongest supporters, said early yesterday that he preferred "an up-or-down vote." Later, asked about the no-recommendation possibility, he said:

"I don't find any fault with it. If the four undecided votes want to remain so, that's what it is going to be. It could be a good resolution."

President Reagan, described as determined to salvage the nomination by lobbying senators, passed up a chance to urge confirmation during a White House bill-signing ceremony. Senate Republicans said Reagan's intervention could tip the balance toward Bork, but Democrats appeared unconcerned.

"I think there is a certain amount of naivete in the White House," a senior Judiciary Committee Democratic aide said. "This is not the kind of thing the president can come in on and pork-barrel."