Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for NBA Playoffs Game 2 (LA Steals a Win With Defensive Adjustments)

Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for NBA Playoffs Game 2 (LA Steals a Win With Defensive Adjustments)


The 2022-23 NBA Playoffs continue on Thursday, May 18 with Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.

Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2 Info

  • Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Ball Arena -- Denver, Colorado
  • Coverage: ESPN

Game 1 of this series was nothing short of an all-time thriller. The Lakers trailed by as much as 21 points in the third quarter but made a furious comeback attempt and had the game within 3 points with a minute to go. The Nuggets eventually held them off, though, and won by a score of 132-126.

Lakers vs Nuggets Odds & Spread

  • All NBA betting lines, odds and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
  • Moneyline: LAL: (+188) | DEN: (-225)
  • Spread: LAL: +5.5 (-108) | DEN: -5.5 (-112)
  • Total: 227.5 -- Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

The Nuggets enter this contest as notable home favorites on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook's odds. This 8:30 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 227.5 points with both sides available at -110 odds.

Nuggets vs Lakers Betting Information
Favorite Spread Favorite Spread Odds Underdog Spread Odds Total Over Total Odds Under Total Odds Favorite Moneyline Underdog Moneyline
Nuggets -5.5 -110 -110 226.5 -110 -110 -235 +194

Lakers vs Nuggets Betting Trends

  • The Nuggets have covered the spread in a game 45 times this season (45-34-1).
  • The Lakers have been underdogs by 5.5 points or more 23 times this year and are 8-14-1 ATS in those matchups.
  • Nuggets games have gone over the total 37 times this season.
  • The Lakers have eclipsed the over/under 52.5% of the time this year (42 of 80 games with a set point total).
  • Denver has covered the spread in a higher percentage of its home games than away games. It has covered 25 times in 40 opportunities at home, and it has covered 20 times in 40 opportunities in road games.
  • Los Angeles has performed better against the spread at home (20-19-1) than on the road (19-20-1) this year.

Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction & Pick

Game 1 was simply a shooting masterpiece from both sides. Denver defended home court by shooting 54.9% from the floor and 46.9% from three-point range. Not to be outdone, Los Angeles kept pace with a 54.8% shooting percentage, including a 45.8% mark from beyond the arc. Both offenses looked stellar.

Expect to see defensive adjustments made ahead of Game 2, however. The Lakers still rank second in the postseason in terms of opponent field goal percentage (43.1%) despite Tuesday's outcome. Keep in mind they figured out how to defend Nikola Jokic late, too, holding him to 3 points in the final quarter.

It's hard to fade a team that has won nine straight home games, but I'm going against the Nuggets. LA took Denver's best punch in Game 1 and nearly came out on top. LeBron James owns a record of 37-13 in Game 2s in his career and should do everything he can to guide the Lakers to victory here.

Final Score Prediction: Lakers: 116 | Nuggets: 112

Lakers vs Nuggets Best Bet

Nikola Jokic took over early in Game 1 as he tallied 12 rebounds, 8 points and 5 assists in just the first quarter. He finished the contest with 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists as he continues to lead Denver. The two-time NBA MVP is averaging 31.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game in this postseason.

Jokic has now posted a triple-double in four of his last five games played, and yet it is a prop bet that comes with only slightly juiced odds. Even if the Lakers focus on shutting down Jokic's scoring chances, he will still have plenty of opportunities to pass to open teammates and crash the glass.

Bet: Nikola Jokic to Record a Triple-Double (-140)

Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.