As we look at Nuggets vs Lakers betting for the Western Conference finals, the Los Angeles Lakers once again find themselves up 3-1 in a series. This time, they’re one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. But their opponents, the Denver Nuggets, have already come back from two 3-1 series deficits, as they look to shock the world and make history in the process.
Here is a preview for Saturday night’s Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Nuggets and Lakers. Los Angeles is the favorite once again, listed as a five-point favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook and -210 on the moneyline.
Game 1 was dominated by Los Angeles. Led by a huge 37-point, 10-rebound effort from Anthony Davis, the Lakers cruised to a 126-114 win to open up the series. LeBron James had a game-high 12 assists to go along with 15 points, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provided an offensive spark with 18 points.
For the second game, the Lakers won with more heroics from Davis, as the big man hit a game-winning three as time expired to give Los Angeles a 105-103 victory. Davis finished the game with 31 points, while James also chipped in 26 points. For Denver, Nikola Jokic scored a team-high 30 points while Jamal Murray also added 25 points.
Facing a potential 0-3 hole, the Nuggets battled to get a win in the series, taking Game 3 by a score of 114-106. It was another impressive effort by Murray, who finished with 28 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Jokic also had a 22-point, 10-rebound stat line, while Jerami Grant managed to score 26 points as well. For Los Angeles, which battled back to make it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, James had a 30-point triple-double.
Game 4 was arguably the biggest back-and-forth contest of the series thus far. But once again, thanks to an impressive performance from Davis and his 34 points, the Lakers pulled out the 114-108 win.
In addition to another solid game from James, Los Angeles’ depth helped it win the game, as Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma all reached double figures in points. Denver also had five players reach double figures, most notably Murray and his team-high 32 points.
Nuggets vs Lakers Betting Keys to Victory
Denver will win if: It wins the battle in the paint. Using Game 4 as an example, Denver was hurt by second-chance buckets and was unable to completely close the gap in the score as a result.
Los Angeles had 25 second-chance points on Thursday compared to six for Denver. Securing those extra rebounds on defense will go a long way.
Offensively, the Nuggets should continue to work the offense down low to Jokic. Getting Davis or Howard in foul trouble would be good, plus evening up the free-throw discrepancy could be the difference in the ballgame.
Los Angeles will win if: Davis is at his best. Simply put, the Nuggets haven’t found an answer for Davis through four games this series. In the three Lakers wins, Davis has 37, 31 and 34 points, shooting both inside and outside and going on significant spurts of total domination.
He is the most important player for Los Angeles, and so far, the team doesn’t lose when he’s at his best. The Lakers will also be in good shape if the role players like Rondo and Howard play like they did in Game 4, making their team too deep for Denver.
Nuggets vs Lakers Betting Pick
The Nuggets are getting respect in this game, especially after back-to-back comebacks in series where they trailed 3-1. And Denver has yet to show a bad effort in any game this series.
But thanks to the performance of their role players and how good Davis has been, I don’t see the Lakers following in the footsteps of the Jazz and the Clippers. Los Angeles certainly isn’t sleeping on Denver, so it will make it a point to shut the Nuggets down and not give them any more time to salvage the series. When looking at the Nuggets vs Lakers betting, we like Los Angeles.