The NBA Playoffs have moved into the conference finals, and Friday brings us Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers face the Denver Nuggets to open their series, with tip at 9 p.m. ET.
DraftKings Sportsbook is getting together a group of media insiders to offer up their predictions for the contest. Most notably, former NBA star Carlos Boozer will be taking part. Here the ten prop bets insiders will be picking for the Friday evening’s Game 1 in Orlando.
- Who will win: Nuggets OR Lakers
- Who will cover the spread: Nuggets (+6.5) OR Lakers (-6.5)
- Nuggets-Lakers total points: Over 212.5 OR Under 212.5
- Who will have more points: LeBron James OR Jamal Murray
- Nikola Jokic points: Over 24.5 OR Under 24.5
- Anthony Davis points: Over 26.5 OR Under 26.5
- Who will have the most assists: Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Any other player
- Who will have the most rebounds: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Markieff Morris, Michael Porter Jr., Nikola Jokic, Any other player
Each media member made picks, and below is their lock pick for Saturday. We’ll update as new picks come
DraftKings Sportsbook has numerous media members offering up their predictions for opening night based on these prop bets. Each member provided their best bet and some reasons why.
Here is a look at media best bets.
2020 NBA Media pool picks, Lakers-Nuggets
|Outlet||First Name||Last Name||Lock Pick||Rationale|
|Outlet||First Name||Last Name||Lock Pick||Rationale|
|Casino.org||Steve||Bittenbender||@freelancehack||Lakers spotting 6.5 points||I think Denver makes this a competitive series, but I think the Nuggets will have an emotional let down Friday after rallying from consecutive 3-1 deficits. The Lakers come into this series well-rested, and I think LeBron James and company will come out sharp.|
|RotoWire||Nick||Whalen||@wha1en||LeBron to finish with the most assists||Considering how well Nikola Jokic is playing, I wouldn't be shocked if this prop is close, but James' ceiling as a passer is quite a bit higher. In the playoffs, he already has five games with at least nine assists, including a postseason-high 16 in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers. James tends to treat Game 1's as feel-out games, typically opting to function more as a distributor than primary scorer. Look for the Lakers -- and James, in particular -- to make a concerted effort to feed Anthony Davis early.|
|Forbes||Tommy||Beer||@TommyBeer||Lakers to win||The Nuggets have been on fire of late, but they've had trouble early in series (fell behind 3-1 to Utah and Clippers) I think the Lakers come out locked in and cool off the red-hot Nuggs|
|VSiN||Kelley||Bydlon||@KelleyVSiN||Lakers -6.5||After an epic comeback to knock off the Clippers in the last series, I think it’s a lot to ask of the Nuggets to turn around three days later and be fully prepared for the Lakers who have been resting and waiting since Saturday. I’d be hesitant to lay anything over 7, but at 6.5 it’s a play for me on the Lakers.|
|(TBC)||Davis||Mattek||@DavisMattek||The Lakers to win the game and cover the spread||They are the better team at the top and AD is a terrible matchup for Jokic because he will have to work on defense and it’s a little harder for him to get to his spots on offense.|
|Associated Press||Jimmy||Golen||@jgolen||Nuggets to cover|
|Field Level Media||Jeff||Reynolds||@ReynoldsJD||LeBron leading in assists||LeBron looks to get his teammates involved first, takes over if needed|
|Fantasy NBA Today||Dan||Besbris||@danbesbris||Anthony Davis OVER 26.5 Pts||The Lakers don't win this game or this series without Anthony Davis going bananas. He has a huge advantage on the offensive end against either Nikola Jokic (if he's playing center) or the combination of Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant or Michael Porter Jr. (if he's at power forward). AD should be able to beat Jokic with speed and simply shoot over the other players listed. Oddly, the Nuggets player that would give him the most trouble is Mason Plumlee but I don't expect to see him on the floor much because he's a massive offensive hole. I made most of my plays in this contest on the idea that the Lakers gameplan to play single coverage on defense, which should limit Jokic's passing impact (at least compared to his work against the Clippers' double-teams), and offensively, I think we see a fair amount of LeBron James drawing doubles (he will eat Gary Harris or Jerami Grant alive), and that will create openings for shooters, Davis, and some glass-crashing opportunities for AD, as well.|
|Forbes SportsMoney||Matt||Rybaltowski||@mattrybaltowski||Anthony Davis Pts: Over||Despite their remarkable run, the Nuggets have struggled to guard athletic big men in the bubble (see: Rudy Gobert). Davis has had several days to rest and appears ready to exploit the Nuggets' weakness in the paint. Neither Jokic, nor Millsap can contain him.|
|PlayPicks||Nate||Weitzer||@nweitzer7||Nuggets +6.5||Denver is riding a ton of momentum and the Lakers haven’t been great coming off layoffs.|
|PlayNJ||Bill||Gelman||@bill_gelman||Denver +6.5 points||This team is clicking at the right time. It would not shock me if the Nuggets win the game outright.|
|PlayUSA||Grant||Lucas||@GrantDLucas||Lakers to cover the 6.5-point spread||At some point, you'd think, that emotion and fatigue would finally catch up with Denver, which has overcome 3-1 deficits in each of the first two rounds. While LA hasn't played well in Game 1s to this point, they're rested. And staunch defensively.|
|Gambling.com||Lou||Monaco||@loumonaco||Lakers win!||Nuggets are playing with a lot of momentum, passion and energy. They are on a high right now. Lakers bring them back to earth a bit. Lakers win!|
|FOX Sports - The Gambler||Sean||Brace||@Sean_Brace||Murray more points than LeBron||Murray has been the rising star throughout this playoff run & has put the entire Nuggets franchise on his back. But, also the simple fact that it being game 1, I can see Bron looking to get everyone involved, rather than scoring.|
|TheLines||Chris||Sheridan||@sheridanhoops||N/A||These teams played four times during the regular season, and the over hit three times when it was set at 223 1/2, 220 1/2, and 208. Both teams are well-rested, and I am expecting a high-scoring affair with both teams looking to show they have the better offense -- because both are offensive-oriented teams rather than defensive oriented teams, and the Lakers to not haave Avery Bradley, one of their best defenders, with them in the bubble.|
|RotoWorld||Louis||Cangiano||@JaguarDFS||Lebron James to show up||James has averaged 28.7 points, 11.3 assists, and 6.7 assists over three games played against the Denver Nuggets this season.|
|DFS Army||Kevin||Epstein||@ffootballgeek||Rajon Rondo||His minutes have been trending up and he can produce Draftkings points and fill up the stat sheet without needing his shot to fall. Love the value he opens up for my lineups.|