Lakers vs Nuggets Betting Odds, Conference Finals Preview
Here are the Lakers vs Nuggets Betting Odds and a preview of the series between these two teams for the Conference Finals.
This year’s Eastern and Western Conference Finals are exact duplicates of their 2020 counterparts. In the West, the Denver Nuggets will face the Los Angeles Lakers, but this time, the Nuggets will have the advantage of playing at home.
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
Most analysts had given up on the Los Angeles Lakers after a terrible start to the season. However, the team made some excellent trade deadline choices, and many people, including myself, anticipated the team’s comeback from a great distance. They suddenly have a chance to make it back to the NBA Finals if they can defeat Nikola Jokic and company. Let’s examine the factors that, in my opinion, will have an impact on this series.
Denver Has Been Dominant at Home
Without a road victory, a team cannot begin a postseason series. This NBA saying has extra meaning for the Western Conference Finals this year. An NBA record 40 of the Denver Nuggets’ home games have ended in victories, with an average margin of victory of 10.3 points. They lost three of their seven home games without Nikola Jokic on the court.
This season, the Lakers defeated the Nuggets twice at home, but both times in Denver, they were routed by double-digit margins. In his six games with the Lakers in Denver, LeBron James has only achieved two victories, both of which were in the 2019–20 season before the COVID–19 pandemic. James hasn’t won in Ball Arena since that time.
Denver Has Controlled the Glass in the Playoffs
The Lakers dominated the Memphis Grizzlies on the glass, but they struggled against the small-ball offense of the Golden State Warriors. The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, have had no problems at all when it comes to grabbing rebounds; in fact, their postseason team rebound percentage of 54.1%, which is higher than their regular season average of 51.4%, which was fourth-best in the NBA, is the highest in the league.
Due to its ability to control the glass, Denver has the lowest second-chance points allowed per game (9.1) among all playoff teams. The Lakers are eighth in the league in second-chance points scored per game (14.2), but they haven’t relied heavily on extra opportunities during the postseason.
Perimeter Shooting Could Define the Series
Each team’s success could be noteworthy because none of these teams is very adept at long-range shooting. The Nuggets rank second among playoff teams in 3-point conversion rate (37.9%), despite being just eleventh in 3-pointers made per game (11.3). They are rated fifteenth in terms of how frequently (33.7%) their team attempts field goals from beyond the arc.
Contrarily, despite being just slightly behind the Nuggets in terms of 3-pointers made per game (10.4), the Lakers are only ranked 11th in the league in terms of 3-point conversion rate (33.1%). The Lakers lead the Nuggets in terms of the proportion of team field goal attempts that have come from beyond the arc (35.7%), despite the difference being just one position and two percentage points. However, if one team were to develop a competitive advantage from beyond the arc, the minimal quantity of perimeter shots made by both teams would be important.
Interior Scoring (and Defense) Will Define the Series
Defense and interior scoring will probably decide this series. The Nuggets rank second among playoff teams in terms of the proportion of their points that have been scored in the paint (46.3%). The Lakers are ranked fifth (44.8%). In terms of points scored in the paint per game among all playoff teams, Denver is slightly ahead of L.A. in second place (50.3).
Interior defenses for both clubs are solid but not particularly noteworthy. The Lakers are ninth among playoff teams in terms of points in the paint allowed per game (46.7), slightly ahead of the Nuggets (47.3). The Nuggets and Lakers were both rated higher than they had been during the regular season in terms of points in the paint conceded per game (52.8), with the Nuggets coming in at number 21 overall and the Lakers at number 23.
The Lakers have probably done a better job of defending the paint in the postseason than they did in the regular season thanks to Anthony Davis. During the playoffs, they only allowed 43.3 points in the paint when he was on the court for 48 minutes as opposed to 55.7 when he wasn’t. The Nuggets gave up 47.1 points in the paint while Nikola Jokic was on the court for 48 minutes, but 45.7 when he wasn’t.
Lakers-Nuggets Series Betting Picks
Let’s begin straight away. The Nuggets’ two key advantages are their home court advantage and their relative advantage on the glass. The Nuggets have been substantially more successful from beyond the arc than the Lakers, despite neither team taking many threes. Both teams have relied largely on their ability to score within the arc, but when center Anthony Davis is on the court, the Lakers have shown a superior ability to prevent the Nuggets from doing so.
Let’s now investigate the markets that this series is intended at.
Nikola Jokic O/U 28.2 Points Per Game
If Davis stays healthy for the duration of the series, Jokic should play more passing and less scoring. He is averaging 30.7 points per game through the first two rounds of the playoffs, but Davis will now be a powerful inside defender for him. Jokic averaged just 26.2 points per game in Denver’s first-round matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert to oppose him.
A startling 60.4% of Jokic’s points during the playoffs have come in the paint. Only 5.3% of his points come from midrange attempts. Despite making some significant shots in the finals, Jokic struggled mightily in the regular season against the Lakers, going just 3-for-13 (23.1%) from outside the arc. Count on Davis to maintain his health and sit Jokic, who is the series’ top scorer.
Lakers vs Nuggets Prop Bet Pick: Nikola Jokic Under 28.2 PPG.
Team to Win Game 1/Series Double
Although another NBA Finals featuring LeBron James would be incredible, the Lakers are significantly favored in the betting odds. Pinnacle, a shrewd book, offers the Nuggets worse odds—-158 to win the series outright—than you’ll find at virtually every other bookmaker in the United States. Readers anticipate James and company taking action, and the books are aware of this.
Instead of placing a wager on the entire series, let’s aim for a Game 1/Series double. All of the Nuggets’ Game 1 triumphs so far have been by margins of at least ten points. They also won by double-digit margins against the Lakers twice at home during the regular season. Denver can win Game 1 and the series at odds of +110, thus I must lock in this play for a half unit.
Best Lakers vs Nuggets Series Bet: Nuggets Game 1/Series -105 at YouWager.lv.