The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets duke it out in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at the Ball Arena on Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles Lakers stumbled their way through most of the regular season, but now they are just one round away from another NBA Finals berth after beating the Warriors by 4-2 in the second round. LeBron James has been leading the way with averages of 23.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game during these playoffs, Anthony Davis is averaging 21.2 points, 14.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game, D’Angelo Russell is averaging 15.7 points and 5.0 assists per game while Austin Reaves is averaging 15.4 points and 4.3 assists per game. As a team, the Lakers shot 112.4 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and just 33.1 percent from the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets finished off their regular season with a bit a slump, but they’ve been on a tear since the playoffs began and they will be brimming with confidence after dismantling the Suns in six games in the second round. Nikola Jokic has been leading the way with averages of 30.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game, Jamal Murray is averaging 25.9 points and 6.5 assists per game, Michael Porter Jr is averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while Aaron Gordon is averaging 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. As a team, the Nuggets are scoring 115.8 points per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Looking at the betting trends, the Lakers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games playing on three or more days rest, 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Nuggets are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 home games, 5-1 ATS in their last six games playing on three or more days rest and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Denver and the Lakers are 1-5-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Denver.
The Lakers were good enough to get past the Warriors despite an inconsistent series from Anthony Davis, but their wins came on the back of their defense. The Nuggets are coming into this series fully rested and looking good after they made light work of the Suns and they have won all six of their home games in these playoffs. The Lakers are also just 1-5-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Denver, so I’ll happily side with the Nuggets to draw first blood with a win and cover at home in this spot. The Lakers’ role players aren’t nearly as dangerous on the road and I think we’ll see another example of that here.