Free NBA Pick: Lakers vs. Nuggets NBA Odds
Looking for Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets free NBA picks & NBA Odds? NBA betting sees the Lakers taking on the Nuggets on Thursday, May 18th, at Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Lakers Nuggets matchup.
2023 NBA Handicapping Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
(0-1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets (1-0)
Date: Thursday, May 18th
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Venue: Ball Arena Denver, Colorado
Moneyline NBA Odds: Lakers +185 | Nuggets -215 (Bet Now!)
NBA Betting Odds: Nuggets -5.5
Today’s NBA Betting Total: 226.5
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Game 2 of the Western Conference finals tip off with the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers trying to even the series versus the top-seeded Denver Nuggets after they won 132-126 to open the series.
Through two rounds the Lakers are sporting the top-ranked playoff defense while Denver ranks fifth. Conversely, the Nuggets possess the top-ranked offense and net rating while LA ranks eighth and third respectively.
At this time, the Lakers are 49-45-2 overall against the spread this season. Also, they are 22-25-1 ATS as the away team. At this time, the Nuggets are 51-42-1 against the spread this season. Also, they are 30-17-1 ATS as the home team
The teams split the season series 2-2 but notably, Denver hasn’t faced the revamped LA roster given they completed the season series before the trade deadline.
In the four meetings, Nikola Jokic averaged 23.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 9.75 assists, and 2.25 steals in just over 35 minutes per game. Anthony Davis sat one game averaging 18.3 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.6 steals in just over 30 minutes (exiting early in one game).
This is the eighth time the clubs are facing each other in the postseason with LA winning all prior series and the most recent meeting being in the 2020 Orlando bubble when the Lakers won 4-1 and advanced to win the title.
Los Angeles Lakers
Through the first half of Game 1 the Lakers struggled to mount any defense and the altitude seemed to be playing havoc with both their lungs and their minds.
Anthony Davis was the one Laker who produced throughout the entire game delivering arguably his best effort of the playoffs with 40 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
With Denver up by 18 at the half, Darvin Ham made an adjustment to put Rui Hachimura on Nikola Jokic which paid immediate dividends and allowed LA to cut the deficit to three in the final frame.
LeBron James flirted with a triple-double offering 26 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, and was the key driving force in the second half dictating the offense.
On the negative side, LA allows opponents to score an average of 116.6 points per game ranking 20th. Their opponents shoot 46.9% from the field and 34.4% from behind the arc ranking 10th and second respectively.
Another key point is the Lakers score 117.2 points per game which rank sixth-best while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from the perimeter ranking 10th and 25th respectively.
To summarize the injury report…
- Mo Bamba (questionable—ankle)
Nikola Jokic may not have the same popularity as most of the superstars in the league but he let all the casual fans know what the Joker buzz is all about serving up an insane triple-double of 34 points, 21 rebounds, and 14 assists.
Jokic had more rebounds at the half than the entire Lakers team and while Ham made the Hachimura adjustment it may have worked to stop him from scoring but it also might have tipped their hand too early because now Michael Malone has time to make his own ad
Jamal Murray played in spite of an ear infection that kept him bedridden all weekend and delivered 31 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Michael Porter Jr. registered a double-double of 15 points, and 10 rebounds while showcasing an improved defensive side of his game with two blocks and made the play of the game diving for a loose ball that resulted in a dunk solidifying the victory.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who was with the Lakers when they won a title was key with 21 points and dogged defense while Bruce Brown scored 16 off the bench.
On the positive side, Denver possesses one of the two best offenses in the league highlighted by scoring 115.8 points per game ranking 12th. Denver is shooting the best field goal percentage of 50.4% as well as the fourth-best perimeter efficiency of 37.9%.
Denver allows opponents to score 112.5 points per game which ranks eighth while limiting foes to 47.8% from the field and 34.4% from deep ranking 20th and third respectively.
To summarize the injury report…
- Collin Gillespie PG (OUT—leg fracture)
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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Trends:
- All in all, the Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
- Also, the Lakers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against Denver.
- By comparison, Nuggets are 10-3 SU in their last 13 games.
- In conclusion, the Nuggets are 9-0 SU in their last 9 games at home.
Free Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Prediction:
With one game in the books it was the Nuggets who maintained their trend of winning at home via the top-ranked playoff offense while the Lakers took a half to rediscover the top-ranked playoff defense.
As noted above, Darvin Ham made a move to take AD off Jokic but in doing gave Michael Malone evidence he’ll undoubtedly make adjustments to prior to Thursday.
Ham will likely start Hachimura so he can keep AD as a rover defensively but Malone will also use the film from the second half to remind his squad they need 48 minutes of defensive intensity and odds are they’ll figure out a counter to deal with Rui on offense.
My guess is Malone counters with more Murray and Jokic actions that pull AD into pick-and-roll sets against the Nuggets duo who have been unstoppable in that action.
LA will come out more aggressive on Thursday but the big question is how playing every other day will impact LeBron and AD specifically who each played over 40 minutes along with Reaves while Jokic was the only Nugget to play over 40 minutes.
Denver can play better defense and MPJ has a height advantage on everyone but AD so look for him to get more touches. The Nuggets lost just seven games all season on their home court and are unbeaten at Ball Arena in the postseason.
4* Free Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Pick: Nuggets ATS
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