The Nuggets didn’t take too kindly to the media’s focus on what the Lakers could have done to win Game 1 instead of Denver actually winning the game. In response, they went out and dominated the fourth quarter of the following game to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. With the threat of a sweep growing bigger by the second for the Lakers, we put together some of the best player prop and first basket scorer bets for Game 3 tonight. To take advantage of our picks, check out the current bonuses on the top sportsbooks.
West Finals Betting: Nuggets vs. Lakers Game 3 predictions, odds | Nuggets vs. Lakers same-game parlay picks
Nuggets vs. Lakers Game 3 First Basket Scorer + More Player Props
Anthony Davis beat Nikola Jokic to the ball in the opening tip in both games, but Denver was able to steal the tip in Game 2. The Lakers, however, still struck first in both contests.
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In Game 1, LeBron James scored the first basket after a long rebound from a missed three-point attempt from Austin Reaves. In Game 2, the Lakers struck first via a breakaway dunk after a quick steal. Davis has been dominant with the opening tip, winning six of the last seven for the Lakers. His opening tip win percentage is 59% compared to 48% for Jokic, which all bodes well for the Lakers’ chances of gaining possession first.
So far, Los Angeles’ stars haven’t been the focus of the opening possession, although James scored first in Game 1. Reaves has had a few looks early thanks to the defensive sets of Denver. He took the first shot of Game 1, and the second shot of the game for the Lakers in Game 2. The ball is finding Reaves right now, and he is making opponents pay, shooting at least 55% from three in each of his last three games. Considering the Nuggets’ focus on James and Davis, Reaves makes sense here, especially with how hot he has been lately.
Best Player Prop Bets for Nuggets vs. Lakers Game 3 on Saturday
Both teams have been getting good contributions from their supporting casts. As for the stars, Jokic and Jamal Murray are the most consistent to this point. Los Angeles’ star power has been inconsistent, but they usually bounce back after bad performances.
Austin Reaves to Score Over 20 Points (+200 on DraftKings)
Reaves has topped the 20-point mark in three straight games and four of his last five games. He has done so by shooting lights out from deep, not having shot below 50% from beyond the arc in nearly two weeks. He is also logging big minutes early in this series. He finished the last round playing 33 minutes per game. In two games so far, he is averaging 39 minutes an outing.
There are a variety of reasons to like Reaves covering this option.
Anthony Davis to Score Over 30 Points (+250 on FanDuel)
Davis has struggled to put together back-to-back quality games for the bulk of the playoffs. However, he hasn’t had consecutive bad games either. In Game 1, he scored 40 points on 60% from the field. He didn’t have the best offensive performance in Game 2, but that has more to do with him than Denver’s defense. He missed several shots at point-blank range and seemed to be completely out of rhythm.
If the Lakers don’t win tonight, the series is essentially over. To avoid this, they’ll need Davis to be aggressive. Fortunately for fans in LA, he has already proven in Game 1 and plenty of times before that he can be effective scoring the ball against Jokic and company.
Jamal Murray Over 3 Three Pointers (+123 on Caesars)
Murray has scored 20 or more points in the fourth quarter of a playoff game four times now, including last night. That’s in large part due to an eruption from deep. He finished the game shooting 6-for-14 from three-point range, which marked the seventh time this year he has connected on at least three shots from beyond the arc in the postseason.
Los Angeles has its hands full with Jokic, who is creating opportunities for his teammates at an impeccable clip. Thanks to Murray’s hot streak and the spacing he is able to operate with, his odds of covering this wager seem favorable.
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