Game 1 of the Lakers vs. Nuggets series looked like it was heading towards a blowout in the first half, but the Lakers climbed back into the game after some great in-game adjustments. Despite coming up short, they narrowed the gap and ended up dropping Game 1 by six points in a game that totaled nearly 260 total points (259).
While the comeback is certainly a reason for optimism for Lakers’ backers, I’m standing firm on the Nuggets’ side, as I think the current lines available offer value thanks to some recency bias favoring the Lakers.
LAKERS VS. NUGGETS BETTING ODDS
|Spread||+5.5 (-112)||-5.5 (-108)|
LAKERS VS. NUGGETS BEST BETS
Nuggets -5.5 (-108, FanDuel)
With a win in Game 1, the Nuggets have moved to a perfect 7-0 at home in the postseason with an overall record against the spread (ATS) of 7-5-0 (58.3% cover rate).
While the Lakers made necessary in-game adjustments to crawl back into Game 1 and will likely look to replicate them in Game 2, I trust the Nuggets’ proven ability to adjust between games and build on their average margin of victory in Game 2’s this postseason of 9.5 points.
The big reason why I expect the Nuggets to handle the Lakers is the looming regression we should expect to see on the Lakers’ side. While they likely won’t be out-rebounded as dramatically as they were in Game 1, they also won’t shoot 45.8% from deep again after shooting 34.5% in the regular season.
Nikola Jokic also had his way with the Lakers. While the switch to Rui Hachimura as his primary defender slowed him down a touch and allowed Anthony Davis to operate as a help-side defender more, it’s hard to envision Jokic not absolutely cooking Hachimura in extended minutes in Game 2. Even if he prevents him from scoring as much, the ability to open up the court for shooters to knock down open shots will put the Lakers in an incredibly tough position.
I’m banking on the better team taking care of business where they’ve done it best, at home, once again in Game 2, and will look to target the Lakers in Game 3.
Risk: 1.05 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.
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