Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Predictions: NBA Playoff Picks
Here we go! The Lakers finally tasted their own blood, and we see if it enrages them to the point of blowing out the Nuggets. Maybe Denver’s punch in game 3 was enough to keep LA stunned for one more game, or maybe they have awoken the beast.
BET: Lakers -6 @ -109
This game tonight is all about regressing back to the mean. Playing the consistency factor, let’s see what happened last time and if any of it is sustainable. Big picture here is the Lakers are going to bounce right back and beat up on the Nuggets. This will be the game that truly separates the teams. Denver did exactly what they were supposed to last game, take advantage of an opening by LA. Now it’s the Lakers turn led by LeBron James and anyone else who wants to grab a rebound. That’s another big reason why I love LA tonight to cover the number; the lack of rebounding won’t be that glaring of an issue. If there’s one thing I trust, it’s the ability for James and his team to adjust to what went wrong last game. Expect the Lakers to fire back and put this thing out of reach. They were close to cutting that big lead down to nothing, don’t think they aren’t coming out fired up tonight.
BET: Nuggets 1Q ML @ +170
We have to be somewhat realistic in expectations for the Nuggets but winning the first quarter is absolutely doable. You should expect Jamal Murray to do everything in his power to continue his high scoring efforts from game 3, add the big man getting involved and I love Denver early. It won’t be sustainable throughout the game, but the Lakers still aren’t at that point of extreme pressure. Yes, they should come out firing - the OVER 1st qtr would be a good number to also watch – but Denver will be more collected. They got a huge night from Jerami Grant. Don’t expect that to go to waste when they first tip off tonight. Denver will try and balance out the heavy focus on Jokic/Murray to shift over to Grant. That will actually take some pressure off Murray, allowing him to take advantage of floor spacing.
BET: Lakers 4Q ML @ -139
The Lakers found themselves down big in game 3 only to narrow that gap, pretty significantly down the stretch. LA is going to be in one of two positions come the 4th quarter. The first is holding on to a lead and doing everything they can to keep Denver off their heels. They’ve seen it before, and nobody is taking the Nuggets lightly late in games or a series. Anthony Davis and the Lakers bench are both going to have to give more than last game, which is bound to happen – or at least not be absent two games in a row. Even with a lead the Lakers won’t let up, as we’ve seen Rajon Rondo lead a second unit to glory. The other scenario would be down a bunch of points to the Nuggets. They just came down from 20 against Denver in game 3, so while that would be asking a lot for any team, the Lakers are one run away from cutting a lead down. That in its own right would be good enough to at least win the 4th quarter, if not the game.