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Lakers vs. Nuggets Game 2: Are Bettors All-in on the Joker?

Last Updated: July 1, 2023

This article originally appeared at FanDuel.

Get set for Western Conference Finals Game 2 with a big Nuggets vs. Lakers prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.

The 2023 NBA Playoffs continue on Thursday, May 18 with the second game of the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers.

Game 1 of this series was nothing short of an all-time thriller. The Lake Show trailed by as many as 21 points in the third quarter but made a furious comeback attempt and had the game within three points with a minute to go. The Nuggets eventually held them off, though, and won by a score of 132-126.

Time to lock prepare for Game 2 in the Mile High City with our big Lakers vs. Nuggets prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from FanDuel.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Game 2 Info

  • Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
  • US TV coverage: ESPN
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Lakers vs. Nuggets Odds & Spread: Game 2

All NBA betting lines, odds, and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: LAL: (+188) | DEN: (-225)
  • Spread: LAL: +5.5 (-108) | DEN: -5.5 (-112)
  • Total: 227.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

The Nuggets enter this contest as notable home favorites on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds. This 8:30 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 227.5 points with both sides available at -110 odds.

FavoriteSpreadFavorite Spread OddsUnderdog Spread OddsTotalOver Total OddsUnder Total OddsFavorite MoneylineUnderdog Moneyline

DEN vs. LAL Betting Trends

  • The Nuggets have covered the spread in a game 45 times this season (45-34-1).
  • The Lakers have been underdogs by 5.5 points or more 23 times this year and are 8-14-1 ATS in those matchups.
  • Denver’s games have gone over the total 37 times this season.
  • LA has eclipsed the over/under 52.5% of the time this year (42 of 80 games with a set point total).
  • The Nuggets have covered the spread in a higher percentage of its home games than away games. It has covered 25 times in 40 opportunities at home, and it has covered 20 times in 40 opportunities in road games.
  • The Lakers have performed better against the spread at home (20-19-1) than on the road (19-20-1) this year.

Lakers vs. Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Game 2

Game 1 was simply a shooting masterpiece from both sides. Denver defended home court by shooting 54.9% from the floor and 46.9% from 3-point range. Not to be outdone, LA kept pace with a 54.8% shooting percentage, including a 45.8% mark from beyond the arc. Both offenses looked stellar.

Expect to see defensive adjustments made ahead of Game 2, however. The Lakers still rank second in the postseason in terms of opponent field goal percentage (43.1%) despite Tuesday’s outcome. Keep in mind they figured out how to defend Nikola Jokic late, too, holding him to 3 points in the final quarter.

It’s hard to fade a team that has won nine straight home games, but I’m going against the Nuggets. LA took Denver’s best punch in Game 1 and nearly came out on top. LeBron James owns a record of 37-13 in Game 2s in his career and should do everything he can to guide the Lakers to victory here.


Game 1 Denver Nuggets vs. LA Lakers Best Bet

Jokic took over early in Game 1 as he tallied 12 rebounds, 8 points and 5 assists in just the first quarter. He finished the contest with 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists as he continues to lead Denver. The two-time NBA MVP is averaging 31.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game in this postseason.

Jokic has now posted a triple-double in four of his last five games played, and yet it is a prop bet that comes with only slightly juiced odds. Even if the Lakers focus on shutting down Jokic’s scoring chances, he will still have plenty of opportunities to pass to open teammates and crash the glass.

LAKERS vs. NUGGETS BEST BET: Nikola Jokic to record a triple-double (-140)

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