LA Lakers at Denver Nuggets Game 1 Analysis & Prediction ATS

LA Lakers at Denver Nuggets Game 1 Analysis & Prediction ATS

Darin Zank
Date: May 16, 8:30 pm
Location: Ball Arena

Betting Odds

Point Spread: LAL +6/Den -6
Total: 222.5

The Denver Nuggets find themselves four wins away from their first-ever berth in the NBA Championship Series. But to get there, they must dispatch the last-place team in the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the Western Conference finals, which begins Tuesday night in Denver.

Which way are we going here with our free NBA playoffs betting pick?

NBA Playoffs Betting Odds

The NBA playoffs betting lines opened Denver at -4.5 for Tuesday’s Game 1, with an over/under of right around 222.5. Early betting action then bumped the Nuggets to -6.

Denver is also lined as a -145 favorite to win this Western Conference finals, with Los Angeles getting +125.

Western Conference Finals Game 1 Betting Preview

Los Angeles played through injuries and make-shift line-ups this season to go 43-39 and sneak into these playoffs as a No. 7 seed. But the Lakers, a little healthier and a little more cohesive, opened this postseason by beating Minnesota in overtime in a play-in game, then defeated Memphis in six games in a first-round series. LA then reached these Western Conference finals by knocking off defending NBA champion Golden State in six games in the conference semifinals, clinching that series with a 122-101 Game 6 romp last Friday.

So Los Angeles is 9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS in these playoffs.

Denver, meanwhile, posted the best record in the West this season at 53-29. The Nuggets then opened these playoffs by disposing of the Timberwolves in five games in a first-round series, then beat Phoenix in six games in the conference semis, clinching that series with a 125-100 Game 6 romp on the road last Thursday.

So Denver is 8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS this postseason.

Lakers-Nuggets Season Series

These two teams split four meetings this season, both SU and ATS, both teams winning and covering twice on their home courts. But we should point out that LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed one of those games the Lakers lost due to injuries.

Denver outshot Los Angeles from the floor in those four games combined 48 percent to 45 percent.

Also, the Unders played 3-1 in Lakers-Nuggets games this season, which averaged 226 total points against an average over/under of 233.

NBA Betting Trends

Denver played 34-7 SU, 25-15 ATS at home during the regular season, and it’s 6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS at home this postseason.

Los Angeles played 20-21 SU, 19-22 ATS on the road during the regular season, and it’s 2-4 both SU and ATS on the road this postseason.

Totals Report

The Under went 44-37 in Nuggets games this season, which averaged 228 total points.

The Over went 43-38 in Lakers games this season, which averaged 234 points.

Lakers at Nuggets Game 1 Pick ATS

Denver has the current League MVP and the best player on the floor in this series. The Nuggets are also the younger team, the deeper team, and the healthier team. Denver also won and covered both games at home against LA during the regular season. We’re giving the points with the Nuggets Tuesday night.  

Free Pick: Take Denver
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