Lakers vs. Nuggets Betting Preview: Series Odds, Player Props

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin

Following a win over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Play-In Tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers are slated to take on the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. This will be a rematch of last year's Western Conference Finals in which the Nuggets swept the Lakers en route to winning the NBA title.

Los Angeles finished with a 47-35 record to secure the No. 7 seed in the West while Denver is the No. 2 seed with a 57-25 record. The defending champions continue to lean on Nikola Jokic (26.4 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 9.0 APG), who could be on his way to winning his third NBA MVP award.

Will the All-Star duo of LeBron James (25.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.3 APG) and Anthony Davis (24.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG) prevent the Nuggets from winning back-to-back titles? Or will Jokic, Jamal Murray (21.2 PPG, 6.5 APG), and Michael Porter Jr. (16.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG) prove to be too much for the Lakers for the second straight year?

Ahead of what could be an interesting playoff matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets, let's take a look at the series odds and give some analysis for both teams.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Lakers vs. Nuggets Betting Odds: Moneyline, Total Games, and Correct Score

  • Series Moneyline:
    • Nuggets: -350
    • Lakers: +280
  • Total Games:
    • 4 (+400)
    • 5 (+195)
    • 6 (+230)
    • 7 (+270)
  • Series Correct Score:
    • Nuggets 4-0 (+490)
    • Nuggets 4-1 (+240)
    • Nuggets 4-2 (+460)
    • Nuggets 4-3 (+410)
    • Lakers 4-0 (+3200)
    • Lakers 4-1 (+1700)
    • Lakers 4-2 (+650)
    • Lakers 4-3 (+1200)
  • Correct Score After Three Games:
    • Nuggets 3-0 (+230)
    • Nuggets 2-1 (+105)
    • Lakers 3-0 (+2100)
    • Lakers 2-1 (+260)

Lakers vs. Nuggets Player Props

Most Total Points:

  • Nikola Jokic: +195
  • LeBron James: +270
  • Anthony Davis: +280
  • Jamal Murray: +330

Most Total Rebounds:

  • Anthony Davis: +100
  • Nikola Jokic: +110
  • LeBron James: +1400
  • Aaron Gordon: +1900

Most Total Assists:

  • Nikola Jokic: -175
  • LeBron James: +145
  • Jamal Murray: +2300
  • D'Angelo Russell: +3500

Most Total Made Threes:

  • Jamal Murray: +145
  • D'Angelo Russell: +220
  • Michael Porter Jr.: +240
  • LeBron James: +1600
  • Austin Reaves: +1900

Lakers vs. Nuggets Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings, pace, and shot distribution via DunksAndThrees.

  • Los Angeles Lakers:
    • nERD: 54.1 (17th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.4 (20th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 113.9 (13th)
    • Pace: 101.3 (6th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 38-44
    • Shot Distribution and Efficiency:
      • Rim: 38.9% (4th) - 64.4% (10th)
      • Mid: 26.1% (16th) - 42.3% (22nd)
      • 3PT: 35.1% (26th) - 34.6% (25th)
  • Denver Nuggets:
    • nERD: 65.9 (4th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 116.9 (5th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 114.2 (18th)
    • Pace: 98.5 (21st)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 37-42-3
    • Shot Distribution and Efficiency:
      • Rim: 39.0% (2nd) - 66.5% (3rd)
      • Mid: 24.9% (12th) - 43.4% (13th)
      • 3PT: 36.1% (21st) - 37.9% (4th)

Nuggets vs. Lakers Analysis

When looking at the advanced metrics, the Nuggets are the far superior team in just about every category. Denver leads the league in efficiency with a 57.3% effective field-goal percentage while also producing top-four shooting percentages from deep and at the rim.

With Jokic at the controls on offense, the Nuggets prefer to play a bit methodically, operating at the 10th-slowest pace (98.5) in the NBA. On the other end of the court, the Lakers would love to make the Nuggets run a little more in this series as LA plays at the sixth-fastest pace (101.3).

Simply put, Los Angeles is going to need to knock down outside shots at an efficient rate and force Jokic to remain active on the defensive end of the floor to keep this series competitive. The problem for LA is that the Nuggets surrender the second-lowest three-point attempt rate (36.0%).

D'Angelo Russell (18.0 PPG, 6.3 APG) could prove to be the difference between advancing or going home for Los Angeles. The former No. 2 overall pick has shot a career-best 41.5% from beyond the arc this season in his second stint with the Lakers, and he went 5-for-11 from three-point range in the win over the Warriors in the Play-In Tournament.

On the other hand, the Nuggets want to take efficient shots at the rim and make their three-point shots at a high rate when they take them. Considering the Lakers will understandably center their attention on trying to slow down Jokic, Murray could be in store for a busy series.

During the regular season, the Lakers didn't have much success versus the Nuggets, losing all three meetings by eight-plus points. So, dating back to last regular season -- including the playoffs -- Los Angeles has lost eight consecutive contests to Denver.

In all three matchups this season, the Nuggets recorded an effective field-goal percentage of 55% or higher. Additionally, Denver had an offensive rebound rate of 30% or higher in the two most recent meetings, so keeping them off the offensive glass will be paramount for Los Angeles.

Entering the first game of the series, the Nuggets own the second-shortest odds to win the NBA Finals (+300) while the Lakers have the 10th-shortest odds to win the NBA Finals (+2900).

Even though it can be foolish to count out LeBron in the playoffs, it will be an uphill climb for him and the Lakers against this Denver team.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.