Lakers vs. Nuggets Prediction: Betting Odds, Spread & Pick

Getty Lakers forward LeBron James.

The red hot Los Angeles Lakers travel to the Mile High City for a potential playoff preview on Tuesday night as they take on Denver Nuggets. This game might have lost a little bit of its luster as both teams are coming off losses. The Lakers were the hottest team in the NBA, having won 10 straight games before Sunday’s 114-100 setback to the Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets have gotten off to a hot start but are also licking their wounds a bit after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday before falling 100-97 in overtime.

The Nuggets rely heavily on their defense, which is allowing just 101.8 points per game, fewest in the NBA. Offensively, they spread it around the floor as five players averaging double-figures in scoring, led by guard Jamal Murray at 18.5 points per game. The Lakers are led by the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and Lebron James. Davis leads the team averaging 26.1 points per game and is shooting nearly 50% from the floor.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Nuggets a 60.6% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s Western Conference showdown between the Lakers and Nuggets.

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Lakers vs. Nuggets Game Details

Date: Tuesday, December 3
Time: 9:05 p.m. ET
Location: Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
Spread: Nuggets -2
Total: 207.5

*All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook


Line Movement

This line opened at Nuggets -1 and has been bet up slightly to Nuggets -2 at most books, according to VegasInsider.com. The action is favoring the Lakers who are receiving a majority of the bets and money, according to The Action Network. This indicates a slight reverse line move favoring the Nuggets.

The total opened at 211 and has been bet down to 208 at most books with the action split as the majority of the bets are on the over but the majority of the money is coming on the under. This indicates the sharp money is favoring the under.


Betting Trends

  • Lakers are 17-3 SU and 11-9 ATS this season
  • Nuggets are 13-4 SU and 8-8-1 ATS this season
  • Under is 12-8 in Lakers games this season
  • Under is 12-5 in Nuggets games this season
  • Lakers are 8-1 SU and 4-5 ATS on the road this season
  • Nuggets are 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS at home this season

*All trends are courtesy of Covers


Analysis & Picks

I’ll be keeping a close eye on Nikola Jokic in this matchup. The Serbian center is a walking triple-double and is clearly the best all-around player on the floor for the Nuggets. However, he has been passive at times this season and made just 3 of 11 shots from the field in Saturday’s loss to the Kings. When Jokic plays well, the Nuggets win games, and I expect him to be more aggressive in this matchup against one of the league’s best teams. Denver is 8-2 at the Pepsi Center this season and the line movement favors them in this matchup. It’s tough to bet against Lebron but this feels like a good spot to fade the Lakers and jump on the Nuggets as a short-home favorite.

PICK: Nuggets -2 (-110)


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Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith


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