Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Predictions: NBA Playoff Picks
Tonight’s WCF game will tell us all we need to know about any magic left in Denver’s tank. The Lakers can continue to make their push towards the finals by going up 2-0. Plus, LeBron is motivated by the whole Giannis winning the MVP thing.
Nuggets +7.5 @ -106
There will be one gigantic difference between game 1 and tonight’s matchup, one that changed the entire dynamic of the series opener. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic aren’t going to be in early foul trouble. That alone is enough for this team to fight back – down any lead as we’ve seen – and push the Lakers deep into the fourth quarter. They were down 27 in game 1 and still found a way to only lose by 12. By having both of their stars more readily available, the Nuggets will keep things close – long enough at least – to cover that line. It’s big because of how bad LA was up last time, but it’s a different story without the Murray/Jokic combo. The Nuggets will be a little pressed to come out firing but having everyone intact will be the biggest difference as to why they cover.
Over 216 @ +112
The Lakers are more motivated now than any time before these playoffs, LeBron James alone. While Anthony Davis dominated in game 1, the game tonight will belong to James. The MVP snub conversation is enough to fuel his performance tonight, making sure the entire world is watching him dominate. Tonight has (near) triple-double type play written all over it for James. The other part of this is how well Davis played and should continue to take advantage of Denver down low. The Nuggets will have more star power throughout the game, something that should add to a couple of high-scoring quarters. I think you’ll see 4-5 guys at 25+ points tonight, which is a lot, but definitely enough to send this game over 216. We should expect a lot of points – it’s a star-driven game 2 tonight.
Anthony Davis Over 27.5 Points @ -110
Here’s the best part about LeBron being angry with the NBA world, he isn’t going to go out and drop 60 points on Denver. This bet is all about the player who benefits the most – after James himself – from this emotion. James will be the main facilitator tonight, and make sure Davis is in every single possible position to score. Davis also went wild last game putting up 37 points. If Denver gets in any foul trouble, you can expect the night for Davis to get even better. While LeBron might not be putting up any record scoring numbers tonight, James may ensure his teammate AD gets the final word. Denver really doesn’t have much to throw at Davis, so outside of him getting in any real foul trouble, the Lakers are going to go with him as much as they can – especially early in the game. This should be a huge night for Davis, hovering around 40 points.