- Denver is a 5.5-point favorite in the Lakers vs Nuggets odds ahead of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday
- The Nuggets took Game 1 and moved from -160 favorites to -260 to advance to the NBA Finals
- Don’t miss the Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2 predictions, odds, betting splits, and same-game parlay picks below
Game 1 of the Western Conference Final played out pretty much how everyone expected. Nikola Jokic dominated from start to finish, posting yet another triple-double, while the Lakers defense continued to struggle away from home.
Depending on when you bet the game however, you could have wound up disappointed if you had a Denver spread ticket. The Nuggets opened as 4.5-point favorites, but closed as the 7-point chalk. They wound up taking the series opener 132-126, pushing all those -6 tickets, and making a loser out of all the -7 bets.
Game 2 goes Thursday in Denver, with the Nuggets once again listed as the sizeable home chalk per the NBA betting lines.
Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2 Odds
|LA Lakers||+5.5 (-115)||+180||O 227 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||-5.5 (-105)||-210||U 227 (-110)|
The Nuggets are currently a 5.5-point favorite, in a contest with a total of 227. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 pm ET at Ball Arena in Denver, CO, with ESPN providing the broadcast coverage.
Odds as of May 17 at DraftKings. Claim a DraftKings promo code to bet on Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2.
Los Angeles vs Denver Betting Splits and Trends
Oddsmakers actually opened the Game 2 spread as Denver -6.5, but LA money has driven the line down a point. As of Wednesday evening, the majority of the tickets are on the Lakers (58%), but the Nuggets are drawing slightly more of the ATS handle (54%). Denver is 5-1-1 against the spread this postseason as home favorites, while LA is 2-4-1 ATS as road underdogs.
Total wise, there has been a major move. The contest opened with an over/under of 223.5, but that’s been bet up all the way to 227. Game 1 eclipsed the total by 35.5 points, while the over is 5-2 in Denver’s seven home playoff games so far.
Lakers vs Nuggets Series Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+220|
As for the series odds market, the Nuggets 1-0 lead has propelled them from -160 favorites to -260 to advance in the NBA playoff bracket. Denver has the second shortest NBA Championship odds, and that price has been shortened from +240 to +180 in light of their Game 1 victory.
LAL vs DEN Betting Analysis
As good as Jokic was in Game 1, and he was brilliant, LeBron James had a three-point attempt to tie the game with 45 seconds left. Ultimately James’ shot didn’t fall, but the second half adjustments the Lakers made could set them up for future success.
LA cut a 21 point deficit down to three points on two separate occasions, but could never even the score. James finished with 26 points, 12 boards and nine assists, while Anthony Davis poured in 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
From down 21 to losing a thriller. The Denver Nuggets played a perfect game and only won by 6. I trust LeBron, AD, Darvin Ham and the crew to make the correct adjustments.
Can’t wait for Thursday. Lakers in 7. pic.twitter.com/jsDl1H6UP3
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) May 17, 2023
Davis’ defense on Jokic in the first half was part of the reason the Lakers fell into such a deep hole. Denver put up 72 first half points, the most LA has allowed in a half all postseason. With AD guarding Jokic, the Nuggets averaged 1.45 points per play and shot 66% from the field. That forced the Lakers to pivot, moving Rui Hachimura onto Jokic.
With that strategy in place, Denver averaged just 0.67 points per play over 15 possessions, shooting only 20% from the field. Needless to say, that will earn Hachimura much more playing time in Game 2.
Jokic finished with 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists, outrebounding LA by himself 16-13 in the opening half. He became the first player in NBA playoffs history to record multiple 30-point triple-doubles in the same year while shooting 70% from the field. He’s accomplished the feat in back-to-back games, after putting on a similar clinic in the series finale versus the Suns.
Nikola Jokic’s last 6 games:
34 PTS – 21 REB – 14 AST – 71% FG
32 PTS – 10 REB – 12 AST – 72% FG
29 PTS – 13 REB – 12 AST – 60% FG
53 PTS – 4 REB – 11 AST – 67% FG
30 PTS – 17 REB – 17 AST – 58% FG
39 PTS – 16 REB – 5 AST – 57% FG
He’s averaging 36/14/12 on 71% TS. Wtf 😂 pic.twitter.com/qpsbmk204T
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) May 17, 2023
Jamal Murray splashed 31 points on 12-of-20 shooting, while former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 points. Denver finished the game with a 54.9% shooting percentage, while burying 47% of its threes.
Lakers vs Nuggets Predictions
The Nuggets lead the playoffs in offensive rating averaging over 120 points per 100 possessions. They’ve scored at least 118 points in four consecutive games, and will make the necessary adjustments to combat any type of moves made to slow down Jokic.
LA meanwhile, has been bleeding points on the road. They’ve allowed at least 121 points in each of their last three games as visitors, and their defensive rating is 19 points worse away from home than in LA.
Lakers vs Nuggets Same-Game Parlay
|Nikola Jokic to Record a Triple-Double||-165|
|Austin Reaves 2+ Threes||-120|
As a result, we’ll target another high scoring game in our Lakers vs Nuggets same-game parlay. Our first leg is over on an alternate total of 220.5, and we’ll pair it with another triple-double for Jokic. He’s recorded one of those in four of his last five games, and in two of his last three meetings versus LA.
Our final leg will be 2+ threes for Austin Reaves, who is seeing a ton of open looks thanks to James and AD soaking up all of the opposing team’s attention. Reaves has splashed 15 threes in his last four games, shooting 58% from beyond the arc.
Pick: Same-Game Parlay (+250)