The best NBA betting sites favor the Nuggets by five points over the Lakers. The Denver Nuggets will be clashing with the LA Lakers in the Western Conference finals after 3 years. Last time around, back in the ol’ bubble, the Lakers went on to win that series en route to winning the NBA title.
The tables have turned ever since. Nikola Jokic has become the two-time league MVP and the NBA’s top guy now. Meanwhile, the Lakers have had a rocky couple of seasons but are seemingly back on track.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Information
|Date :||Tuesday, May 16, 2023|
|Time :||8:30 P.M. ET.|
|Location :||Ball Arena, Denver, CO.|
|TV Coverage :||ESPN|
Lakers vs. Nuggets Game 1 Odds by MyBookie.ag
|Lakers||+5½ ( -110 )||222½ ( -110 )||+175|
|Nuggets||-5½ ( -110 )||222½ ( -110 )||-210|
Betting LA Lakers
The Lakers are road dogs at the best online sportsbooks. They eliminated the Golden State Warriors in 6 games. They beat the champions on the strength of their opening win at the Case Center in Game One.
After that, the Lakers set the rhythm and the pace. They did not allow the shaky Warriors to get their bearings back. Anthony Davis is crucial to the Lakers’ wins in the playoffs, and there is no denying that.
Anthony Davis may not draw as much attention as LeBron (but then who does?), but beyond the shadow of a doubt, AD is the top player in Los Angeles right now. He has been averaging 13.5 rebounds with 3.4 blocks and 21.5 points per game.
He has been shooting 86.4 percent from the free-throw line. Davis is the top contributor on the defense bar none. His effect on these two previous series has been incalculable. LeBron averages 22.8 points per game and has 10 rebounds, and Austin Reaves scores 14.7 points per game.
The Lakers were looking like a team that did not have enough steam to make the playoffs, but they obtained a few key rotation pieces at the trade deadline and received an unexpected boost from other players in the playoffs.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to be the touchstone players for this team, but Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker and Jarred Vanderbilt have all had a chance to shine. Los Angeles does not have too much pressure here since the lower seed and will get some days of rest prior to this matchup. That will allow James to get a second wind as he pursues yet another NBA Finals appearance.
Betting Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are home faves according to the best betting sites. They could have figured out the Suns a lot easier. They came too close for comfort in their first two trips to Arizona. All things considered, though, besting the unhealthy Suns in 6 games is not too shabby heading into the finals, where the Lakers are waiting.
Nikola Jokic is playing like a man possessed. The Jokester has been smashing a few multi-decade-old records, which were held by all-time legends like Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain. He has been averaging 30.7 points in the playoffs with 12.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists.
Nikola has been shooting 47.5 percent from beyond the acr, which is an insane number. He could use more help from Jamal Murray, who has been uneven and selfish, costing the Nuggets a couple of games versus the Suns.
Murray has been averaging 25.8 points per game in the postseason. His contribution on defense, on the other hand, is close to nil. He often takes some wild shots like he was a Harlem Globetrotter rather than a Denver Nugget (well, the nugget part may not be too far off, actually).
The Nuggets seemed a bit shaken up in the second round against the Suns when they were playing in Phoenix, but they gradually hit their stride again on offense and ultimately were much too deep for the Suns.
That will not be the case here. The LA rotation can and will go nine deep if need be. Jokic is proving why he won two MVPs back to back recently. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. remain valuable assets.
Lakers vs. Nuggets NBA Conference Finals Pick
Game One is something that the Lakers have been playing rather well in these playoffs. They won their first games against both the Grizzlies and the Warriors. The Nuggets have not lost at home yet; they are Lord of the Castle at Ball Arena this year.
As has been said, Davis is the top guy in the Lakers roster, but in this case, his presence is not going to make such a difference because Jokic is the big equalizer. We think that the Nuggets will win Game One and even cover the five-point spread.