After the first 4 or 5 games back for each team in the NBA, many of us are beginning to wonder who the favorites really are with the playoffs now looming very large. The teams who looked like an absolute lock to make a deep run prior to the resumption of play are now the ones who are struggling to adapt to life in the bubble. That said, those teams still have an ability to step it up a gear, but they had better do that before the end of this 8-game run, as trying to make that move when the playoffs begin is easier said than done. There is a definite belief among NBA fans that we might just see some big surprises this playoff season, with many now thinking that some dark horse team might emerge and take a serious run at the NBA title. One team that might well fall into that category is the Denver Nuggets, and they will get a real test on Monday night when they go up against the conference leading LA Lakers. It is LA who are in as a 5-point favorite, with the point total set at 221.
When: Monday, August 10 at 9 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
NBA Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are currently the #3 team in the West, which is where they stood when the season went into the lockdown. There were some concerns about the Nuggets after they were hammered 125-105 by the Miami Heat in their first game back, but they have rebounded nicely, winning 3 of their last 4 games, with the latest being a win over the Utah Jazz as a 1-point underdog. The Nuggets appear to be somewhat comfortable in the #3 spot, even though they have the Houston Rockets on their heels, sitting a game and a half behind, but they still have a shot at #2. They are just a game back of the Clippers for that spot. The Nuggets have had some decent success versus teams from the Pacific Division, winning 6 of the last 9.
Why bet on the LA Lakers
There is no way that the LA Lakers can be caught at the top of the Western Conference, but they are going to need to pick up their game if they are to make any sort of impact in the playoffs. The Lakers have struggled to adapt to life in the bubble and come into this game on a 3-game losing streak. They really have not been a very good bet of late, having won just 1 game in their last 5. They have also not been a very good bet against the spread, covering just once in their last 7 games. It has been more of the same versus the Nuggets, with the Lakers going 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games versus Denver. In their last 10 conference games, the Lakers have seen the UNDER hit 8 times.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These two may well end up being on a collision course for a playoff date, so this game is important in helping set the tone. I think it is Denver who will get the win in this one.
Denver Nuggets 110 LA Lakers 106