Here are the Lakers vs Nuggets Betting Odds and an overview of this Conference Finals series.
The Eastern and Western Conference Finals this year are exact replicas of those from 2020. The Denver Nuggets will play the Los Angeles Lakers in the West, but this time, the Nuggets will have the home-court edge.
Lakers vs Nuggets Series Betting Odds
These are Lakers vs Nuggets betting odds, brought to you by YouWager.lv:
Los Angeles Lakers: +130 | Denver Nuggets: -155
Los Angeles Lakers +1.5: -185 | Denver Nuggets -1.5: +150
Over 5.5 Games: -210 | Under 5.5 Games: +170
Lakers vs Nuggets Series Analysis & Predictions
After a disastrous start to the season, the majority of analysts had given up on the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the team made some outstanding trade deadline decisions, and several people—including myself—saw the team’s comeback coming from a mile away. If they can defeat Nikola Jokic and company, they suddenly have a chance to return to the NBA Finals. Let’s look at the variables that, in my opinion, will influence this series.
Denver Has Been Dominant at Home
A club cannot start a postseason series unless it has achieved a road victory. For this year’s Western Conference Finals, this NBA adage has additional significance. The Denver Nuggets have won 40 of their home games this season, an NBA record, and by an average margin of 10.3 points. Without Nikola Jokic on the court, they suffered three of their seven home losses.
The Lakers defeated the Nuggets twice in Los Angeles this season, but they were defeated by double-digit scores in both games in Denver. LeBron James has only won twice in his six games with the Lakers in Denver, both of which were in the 2019–20 season before the COVID–19 pandemic. Since then, James has not had a victory in Ball Arena.
Denver Has Controlled the Glass in the Playoffs
The Lakers crushed the Memphis Grizzlies on the glass, but they had some trouble with the Golden State Warriors’ small-ball offense. But the Denver Nuggets have had no issues at all in the rebounding department; in fact, their postseason team rebound percentage of 54.1% is the highest in the NBA, up from their regular season average of 51.4%, which was fourth-best.
Denver leads all playoff teams in second-chance points allowed (9.1) thanks to its ability to dominate the glass. Even though the Lakers rank ninth in second-chance points scored per game (14.2), they haven’t depended on additional opportunities much in the postseason.
Perimeter Shooting Could Define the Series
Since neither of these teams is particularly strong at long-range shooting, each team’s good performance could have significant effects. The Nuggets are only tenth in 3-pointers made per game (11.3), but they are an outstanding second among playoff teams in 3-point conversion rate (37.9%). In terms of how frequently (33.7%) their squad attempts field goals from beyond the arc, they are ranked fifteenth.
Contrarily, the Lakers are only 11th in the league in terms of 3-point conversion rate (33.1%), yet they are only a small distance behind the Nuggets in terms of 3-pointers made per game (10.4). Even though it is only by one place and two percentage points, the Lakers are ahead of the Nuggets in terms of the percentage of team field goal attempts that have come from beyond the arc (35.7%). The small number of perimeter shots made by both teams would, however, be significant if one side were to gain a competitive advantage from beyond the arc.
Interior Scoring (and Defense) Will Define the Series
Interior scoring and defense will likely decide this series. In terms of the percentage of their points that have been scored in the paint (46.3%), the Nuggets are second among playoff teams. The Lakers come in fifth place (44.8%). Denver is slightly ahead of L.A. in second place (50.3) in terms of points scored in the paint per game among all playoff teams (53.6).
Both clubs’ interior defenses are strong but not particularly standout. In terms of points in the paint allowed per game, the Lakers are ninth among playoff teams (46.7), just ahead of the Nuggets (47.3). Both teams improved in this area since the regular season; the Nuggets were rated 21st overall, while the Lakers were ranked 23rd in terms of points in the paint allowed per game (52.8).
Because of Anthony Davis, the Lakers have probably protected the paint better in the playoffs than they did during the regular season. When he was on the floor for 48 minutes during the playoffs, they only allowed 43.3 points in the paint as opposed to 55.7 when he wasn’t. When Nikola Jokic was on the floor for 48 minutes, the Nuggets gave up 47.1 points in the paint, but 45.7 when he wasn’t.
Lakers vs Nuggets Series Betting Picks
Let’s get right to it. The home-court advantage and relative advantage on the glass are the Nuggets’ two main advantages. Although neither club shoots many threes, the Nuggets have been significantly more effective from beyond the arc than the Lakers. Both teams have depended heavily on their ability to score inside the arc, but the Lakers have demonstrated a greater ability to stop the Nuggets from doing so when center Anthony Davis is on the court.
Now let’s explore the markets I’m aiming at with this series.
Nikola Jokic O/U 28.2 Points Per Game
Jokic should play more passing and less scoring if Davis stays healthy for the entire series. Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, he is averaging 30.7 points per game, but Davis will now be a strong interior defender for him. In Denver’s first-round matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert to challenge him, Jokic averaged just 26.2 points per game.
During the playoffs, a staggering 60.4% of Jokic’s points have been made in the paint. His percentage of points from midrange shots is only 5.3%. Jokic shot a pitiful 3-for-13 (23.1%) from outside the arc against the Lakers during the regular season, despite having made some impactful shots in the postseason. Trust Davis to stay healthy and bench Jokic as the series’ leading scorer.
Lakers vs Nuggets Prop Bet Pick: Nikola Jokic Under 28.2 Points Per Game.
Team to Win Game 1/Series Double
LeBron James in another NBA Finals would be amazing, but the Lakers are heavily favored in the betting lines. Pinnacle, a savvy book, has the Nuggets at worse odds than you’ll find at practically every other bookmaker in the United States—-158 to win the series outright. The books are aware that readers expect James and crew to take action.
But let’s aim for a Game 1/Series double rather than wagering on the series as a whole. The Nuggets have won all of their Game 1 victories thus far by margins of at least ten. Additionally, they defeated the Lakers at home twice during the regular season, each time by a double-digit margin. I must lock in this play for a half unit because we can get Denver to win Game 1 and the series at odds of +110.
Best Lakers vs Nuggets Series Bet: Nuggets Game 1/Series -105 at YouWager.lv.