2020 NBA Playoffs: Lakers vs. Nuggets odds, picks, Game 1 predictions from proven model on 61-33 roll


On Friday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets get together for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. LeBron James and Anthony Davis lead the way for the Lakers, with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray powering the Nuggets. Will Barton (knee) is out for Denver in Game 1. For Los Angeles, James (groin) is listed as probable, with Rajon Rondo (back) listed as questionable and Dion Waiters (groin) listed as doubtful. Tip-off is 9 p.m. ET at AdventHealth Arena in the Orlando bubble.

The latest Lakers vs. Nuggets odds from William Hill list Los Angeles as the seven-point favorite, up half a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points is 210, down two points from the opener. Before locking in any Nuggets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Nuggets. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Nuggets vs. Lakers:

  • Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Lakers -7
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets over-under: 210 points
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Lakers -280, Nuggets +240
  • LAL: The Lakers are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • DEN: The Nuggets are 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Lakers can cover

The Lakers have been tremendously balanced in the first two rounds of the postseason, dominating the competition. Los Angeles has the best net rating (+9.0) in the playoffs, with the No. 2 offense and the No. 3 defense overall. Offensively, the Lakers rank second in offensive rebounding, grabbing 29.5 percent of their own misses, and Los Angeles is also a top-three team in both effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage in the playoffs. 

On the defensive side, Frank Vogel’s team is wreaking havoc, forcing a turnover on 15.2 percent of possessions and ranking No. 1 in blocks per game (6.0) and No. 3 in steals per game (8.3) during the postseason. The Lakers use size and physicality to keep opponents away from the rim, allowing only 36.6 points per game in the paint, and Los Angeles has been stellar in transition defense, ranking third in the playoffs in allowing only 8.9 fast break points per contest. 

Why the Nuggets can cover

The Nuggets are playing extremely well, as evidenced by a 7-3 record in their last 10 games and back-to-back comeback victories over the Jazz and Clippers. In those 10 contests, Denver’s defense has markedly improved, allowing only 1.07 points per possession, and that has been key to the team’s transformation. The Nuggets are still an offense-first team, though, with Jokic averaging 25.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in the playoffs and Murray averaging 27.1 points, 6.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds. 

Denver holds a 54.5 percent clip in effective field-goal percentage, ranking fifth in the NBA Playoffs 2020, and the Nuggets are fourth in offensive rebounding, grabbing 27.4 percent of their own missed shots. Dating back to the regular season, the Nuggets were a top-five offense in the NBA on a per-possession basis, and there is every reason to believe they can score efficiently, even against a stellar Lakers defense.

How to make Lakers vs. Nuggets picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Murray both projected to outperform their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine

So who wins Nuggets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Nuggets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.





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