The Los Angeles Lakers (17-3) head into Denver to take on the Nuggets (13-4) in a Tuesday matchup of the two top teams in the Western Conference standings. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are entering this game coming off a loss, which is rare for them this season. The Nuggets welcome LA boasting the best defensive rating in the NBA, though the Lakers are no slouch on D as well. It should look a lot like playoff basketball tonight, so let’s break down how to approach betting on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Lakers vs. Nuggets spread, over/under, money line
Spread: Nuggets (-2)
Money line: Nuggets (-127), Lakers (+108)
This will be one of the tougher games to predict on tonight’s slate. As mentioned, both teams rank in the top 5 in points allowed per game and its the top 2 teams in the West. James and the Lakers are coming off a loss to the Mavericks, though they play a much different style than Denver. The Nuggets will try to grind this one out and force LeBron into playing more halfcourt basketball. The Lakers will look to wear down Nikola Jokic and force the Nuggets into bad shots.
I think the Lakers getting points — even if it’s only 2.0 — is intriguing. LA is 8-1 on the road and Denver is 8-2 at home. There aren’t really any injury concerns, either. So if I’m looking at the spread, gimme the Lakers. The O/U is tricky, because both are good defensively, but this is a very low total for any NBA game. Plus, if it’s a close game, the threat of OT looms. I’m going to go against the grain here and go with the over, thinking LeBron dictates the pace more. Money line is same thinking as the spread, we’re getting plus money on arguably the best team in the NBA on the road in a tough matchup. It’s a coin flip essentially, so I’ll take the plus-money.
Prediction: Lakers 108, Nuggets 104
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