Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers – NBA, September 20, 2020

By Admir Aljic in NBA
| September 20, 2020 12:16 am PDT

The 2020 NBA Playoff Western Conference Finals continue Sunday night with Game 2 between the third-seeded Denver Nuggets and top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

The opening contest Friday was a one-way street, as the Lakers won it 126-114 as 7-point favorites while leading by as many as 27 points.

The Nuggets will try to bounce back Sunday and avoid a 2-0 hole, so we should see a great battle and a much more interesting finish than we saw in Game 1. Therefore, I’m bringing you the best Nuggets vs. Lakers betting pick for Game 2 of their Western Conference Finals series.

Nuggets vs. Lakers Odds

BET ODDS
Nuggets +7.5 -110
Lakers -7.5 -110
Nuggets to Win +270
Lakers to Win -320
Over 213.5 -110
Under 213.5 -110

The Nuggets depleted a lot of energy in the previous two rounds. In case you haven’t heard, they overcame a 3-1 deficit in each of the previous two rounds, becoming the first team in NBA history to make such a feat.

Still, that means the bookies believe the Nuggets won’t have enough firepower to compete with the Lakers, who won both their playoff series in five games after losing the opener. Therefore, we got the Lakers at 7.5 points, but this time, the totals are moved from 210.5 to 213.5 points.

LA Lakers Analysis

The Lakers had a clear plan to attack the rim as much as they can in Game 1, and they executed it well. They earned 37 free-throw attempts while scoring 54 points in the paint and shooting 53.0% from the field.

Anthony Davis tortured the Nuggets’ D for 37 points while making 12 of his 21 field-goal attempts and going 12-for-15 from the charity stripe.

The Lakers were aggressive on the defensive end, forcing the Nuggets into 16 turnovers, but they also had a great sparkle off the bench. Rajon Rondo handed out nine dimes, while Dwight Howard finished the game with 13 points and a pair of blocks and steals.

Denver Nuggets Analysis

The Nuggets have been playing some terrific defense during their come-back runs this postseason, but they couldn’t cope with the Lakers last Friday. Nikola Jokic got in the foul trouble early, while the Nuggets struggled to defend Anthony Davis all night long.

Furthermore, the Nuggets shot only 9-for-26 from beyond the arc, and just three guys scored in double digits including Jokic and Jamal Murray.

They have to improve offensively in Game 2, for sure, but the key for the Nuggets’ eventual success is on the other side of the ball. Denver must be more aggressive on the ball, and the Nuggets desperately need to slow down the pace as much as they can.

Nuggets vs. Lakers Pick

I’m not sure if the Nuggets have enough freshness to execute their game plan in this series. They’ve done some outstanding job so far, but playing 14 games through the first two rounds will cause fatigue problems, no doubt.

Therefore, I have to take the Lakers to win, and -170 odds on a five-point spread seem nice. I think the Lakers will continue to dominate the Nuggets defensively, but the second game of the series should be tighter than the opening blowout. I won’t mess with the totals, too.

The Lakers are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five meetings with the Nuggets.

Pick
  • Lakers -5.0
    -170

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