The Lakers were able to win a couple of games against short-handed Oklahoma City but needed overtime in both games after requiring two OT sessions last Saturday to win in Detroit. The Pistons and Thunder entered the weekend a combined 16-33, ranking among the bottom-two in their respective conferences, so the defending champs haven’t been at their best despite running their win streak to six games. Anthony Davis has missed time due to an Achilles injury he’s being cautious with, so it remains to be seen whether he suits up for this Valentine’s night matchup against Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets.
Denver got crushed the last time it saw L.A., falling 114-93 at Staples Center on Feb. 4, beginning a three-game skid it was able to end against lowly Cleveland on Wednesday night. The second half of Sunday’s nationally-televised NBA offers up a revenge opportunity for the home team and Lakers at Nuggets picks and predictions seek to isolate whether Denver can avoid a fourth consecutive defeat against LeBron James and his crew.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Denver Nuggets Odds
|BetMGM Sportsbook||Point Spread||Moneyline||Totals|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-2.5 (-115)||-150||O 217.5 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||+ 2.5 (-105)||+125||U 217.5 (-110)|
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- Time/Venue: 10:05 p.m. ET, Ball Arena
- TV: ESPN
Nuggets Current Form And Sports Betting Results
Denver jumped all over the visiting Cavaliers in ending a three-game losing streak, leading 34-17 after a quarter and squashing any hopes of a comeback by opening the second half with a 12-4 run, ultimately building up a 100-66 edge entering the fourth.
After facing short-handed Oklahoma City on Friday, Nuggets odds may now take a hit as they’ll now see their schedule intensify since they’ll hit the road for eight of the next 10 after this Lakers matchup. The NBA has only released its schedule through March 4, but Denver’s lone home games in Colorado following Sunday will be played on Feb. 23 and Feb. 25 against the Blazers and Wizards. Visits to Boston, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Indiana lie ahead, and it’s likely that they’re going to be underdogs in those games when Nuggets betting odds are released prior to those road matchups.
Nikola Jokic is on the shortlist of prime MVP candidates despite Denver entering the weekend seventh in the Western Conference. He’s averaged 26.9 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists but was held to just 13 points by L.A. at Staples, shooting a season-low 37.5 percent (6-for-16) while facing a variety of different coverages.
Lakers at Nuggets picks and predictions will hinge on gauging Denver’s ability to solve the issues that allowed L.A. to rally from a 58-46 halftime deficit on Feb. 4. The Lakers’ defense held the Nuggets to just 35 second-half points as they ended up shooting barely over 39 percent in their lowest-scoring effort of the season. Outside of that anomaly, betting the high side has been a steady moneymaker in games involving Denver since the ‘over’ is 17-6 on the season and cashed in eight of nine entering Friday’s date with Oklahoma City.
Lakers Current Form And Sports Betting Results
Davis’ absence has forced LeBron James to play more than he wanted to over the past week considering he’s dealing with nagging injuries. Although he hasn’t missed a game all season, James was averaging less than 34 minutes per game entering February but has played 46, 43, and 41 minutes over the past week due to all the extra sessions.
James’ turnovers are up since he’s had less help and the ball in his hands more, resulting in 17 miscues over three games prior to Friday’s meeting with Memphis, by far the most errors he’s committed over a three-game span.
The Grizzlies entered Staples Center with a 10-10 mark, so L.A. has only seen one team with a record above .500 in February and rose to the challenge in hammering Denver thanks to that aforementioned dominant second half. A look at Lakers’ ATS results offers up another indication that their level has come way down in recent weeks since they entered the Memphis game just 2-7 against the number, covering against the Nuggets and by a single point as a 7-point chalk against the Hawks at State Farm Arena.
Lakers at Nuggets sports bettors should take into account that L.A. has won four of five against Denver since Davis joined James in purple and gold but won 128-104 on Dec. 22, 2019 at Staples in part because LeBron sat out. The Lakers will be playing just their second road game of the month after wrapping up a 5-2 trip – their longest of the season – with that 107-99 win in Atlanta on Feb. 1. One great Lakers betting trend to be aware of is that the ‘under’ is 12-2 in their road games per BetMGM lines since they’re really locked in on the defensive end in opposing arenas.
Betting Line Analysis
The Lakers opened as a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings and FanDuel against the Grizzlies on Friday and saw the number bet down to seven points with Davis listed as questionable. L.A. has been favored in all but one game this season (Jan. 21 at Bucks) and will almost certainly be a short favorite in Denver if Davis is scheduled to return and James isn’t sitting.
Lakers at Nuggets betting odds should see this total set in the 215-218 range since it is a primetime game and the most recent meeting saw Denver held under 100 points. The figure for that over-under on Feb. 4 wound up closing at 217 at BetMGM.
Denver saw a total of 222.5 set for its Friday night home date with OKC, where it was listed as an 11.5-point favorite due to the Thunder arriving at the Mile High city short-handed for the final game of a 3-game road trip that started with the two matchups against the Lakers at Staples.
Injuries/Rotational Adjustments To Watch
Davis’ inclusion in Sunday’s Lakers lineup is likely to provide the most important variable in Lakers at Nuggets betting odds. Kyle Kuzma has been starting in his place, while reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, veteran Markieff Morris and young Talen Horton-Tucker have received more playing time. Key backup guard Alex Caruso (jammed fingers) is expected to be back in the fold for the trip to Denver.
The Nuggets have dealt with Michael Porter Jr. contracting the coronavirus, point guard Jamal Murray struggling with knee soreness and shooting guards Gary Harris (adductor strain) and P.J. Dozier (hamstring) being forced to miss games. It remains to be seen whether Harris or Dozier can make it back, but Porter and Will Barton are in line for minutes if they remain out. 20-year-old rookie guard R.J. Hampton should also get some run.
Nuggets/Lakers Handicapping Notes And Pick
L.A. will be looking to get its two-game road swing off to a strong start at Ball Arena. It is the final instance of multiple away games before the back-half of the NBA schedule is announced following March 4. The Lakers have won and covered all three of their road openers on trips where they’re playing multiple games and the ‘under’ has cashed each time. With Davis likely back for a statement game in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals, look for that trend to continue. Lay the points with the road favorite.