In the opening game of the Western Conference Finals we have an unlikely matchup as the Los Angeles Lakers are facing the Denver Nuggets. LA eliminated both Portland and Houston 4-1 wins but both times lost Game 1. Denver eliminated the Jazz and the Clippers with 4-3 wins and are coming in this series having played four more games than their opponents.
Date/Time: 09-18-2020, 21:00 EDT
Spread: Los Angeles Lakers -7 Total: +210
Lakers finished the regular season with a 52-19 record (36-34-1 ATS). They were first in the West. They have won eight of their last nine matches. In their last game they won the Rockets in Game 5, 119-96, eliminating them. They were a 6.5-point favorite and managed to cover the spread.
Anthony Davis leads the team both in scoring with 27.6 ppg and in rebounding with 10.9 per game. LeBron James adds 26.6 ppg, 10.3 rebounds and a team-high 8.8 assists per game.
Nuggets finished the regular season with a 46-27 record (33-36-4 ATS). They were third in the West. They have three consecutive wins. In their last game they won the Clippers in game 7, 104-89, eliminating them. They were an +7.5 underdog and successfully beat the odds.
Jamal Murray leads the team both in scoring with 27.1 ppg and in assists made with 6.4. Nikola Jokic adds 25.4 ppg, 6 assists and a team-high 10.8 rebounds per game.
LA leads Denver 3-1 wins this season.
In their only bubble matchup, they won by three points.
Lakers are better both offensively (113.5 to 110.6) and defensively (107.3 to 109).
They also have a better field goal percentage (48.2% to 47.2%) and grab more rebounds (45.9 to 43.8).
On the other hand, Nuggets are better in 3-point percentage (36.4% to 35%), assists made (26 to 25.4) and in turnovers committed (13.7 to 15.3).
Bookmakers give the Lakers a -7 spread but don’t expect them to beat the odds. They have lost both of their previous opening games and Nuggets have proven to be an extremely tough opponent. They will surely force a closer game than that.
Nuggets vs Lakers Game 1 Prediction: Denver Nuggets +7 (-108)