Friday, September 18, 2020, AdventHealth Arena, Kissimmee, Florida, 9 p.m. ET
Nuggets at Lakers Betting Preview for Game 1:
Nuggets (+7/-110), Lakers (-7/-110)
All eyes are on the Nuggets to see what kind of energy they will bring to the Western Conference finals opener against the Lakers. The Nuggets have already fought off six elimination games this postseason.
The Nuggets were in a 3-1 hole in each of their first two series, but they got their defense together quicker in the conference semifinals against the Clippers. L.A. scored 120 points in the opener, but Denver held them to 100.3 points per game over the final six games. The Clippers averaged 125.7 points in their first seven playoff games.
Offensively is where Denver put things away. The Nuggets shot 49.4 percent in Game 7 vs. the Clippers, and an impressive 61.1 percent in the third quarter. In Game 6 Denver shot 54.1 percent to 41 percent for the Clippers, and shot 61.1 percent in the second half while winning Game 5.
Los Angeles Lakers
Well rested and with a clear view of what the Nuggets do best, the Lakers are in prime position heading into the series opener. The Lakers have played just 10 playoff games, to 14 for the Nuggets, and haven’t taken the court since Saturday.
LeBron James, at 35, is on a mission with 26.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game since the playoffs started. His wingman Anthony Davis has delivered 27.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
James added playmaker duties this season with a career high 10.2 assists, but he’s getting help in that department now that veteran point guard Rajon Rondo (10.6 points, 7.0 assists in the playoffs) has returned from hand and back injuries.
Nuggets at Lakers Betting Pick for Game 1
Without their backs to the wall, the Nuggets do not figure to have as much invested emotionally in Game 1, especially coming off two high-energy series comebacks.
The Nuggets were an open book in their comeback against the Clippers, showing exactly what they look like when they are at their best. The Lakers were watching and they have enough veteran savvy (and talent) to counter it.
Nuggets at Lakers Betting Pick:
Lakers 111, Nuggets 103
Nuggets at Lakers Best Bet for Game 1
The series does not figure to be too high scoring, but Game 1 could be. The Lakers have been waiting to turn things loose and the Nuggets likely don’t have the legs to play the kind of defense they did when closing out the Clippers. At least not at this point of the proceedings.
Nuggets at Lakers Best Bet: Lakers -6.5/OVER 212.5 (+260)