Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction: Game 2 Odds, Pick (Monday, April 22)

Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction: Game 2 Odds, Pick (Monday, April 22) article feature image

Pictured: Anthony Davis of the Lakers and Aaron Gordon of the Nuggets for Action Network’s odds, picks, and prediction for Game 2.

Lakers vs. Nuggets Prediction: Game 2 Odds

Monday, April 22
10 pm
Lakers Odds
Nuggets Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Lakers vs. Nuggets on Monday, April 22 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

It’s time for Lakers vs. Nuggets Game 2. There was no surprise early as the Nuggets took care of business, 114-103, against the Lakers in Game 1. However, it wasn’t always a breeze for the defending champs, despite the fact that they easily covered the -6.5 closing line.

Books opened the Nuggets as 7-point favorites for Game 2, but that was immediately bet to 7.5.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers picked up right where they left off in last season’s Western Conference Finals, where the first major adjustment made by head coach Darvin Ham was to put Rui Hachimura on two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, allowing Anthony Davis to play more roaming, help defense. The Lakers led with that matchup on Saturday and came out of the gate strong. The Lakers led by three at half, but the Nuggets mounted a significant comeback in the third quarter. At the 4:41 mark of the third, Denver led by one. Then, the Nuggets ripped off a 13-3 run to close out the quarter with all 10 starters playing the majority of the 12 minutes.

D’Angelo Russell went 6-for-20 from the field and I expect to see his role diminished, as it was last season. Gabe Vincent, who played only seven minutes in Game 1 because of foul trouble, could be the recipient of that extra run. Taurean Prince played 20 minutes in Game 1 and could also see more action moving forward. Notably, Anthony Davis (32 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 12-for-23 from the field) and LeBron James (27 points, six rebounds and eight assists on 10-for-16 shooting) both played great games, but it wasn’t nearly enough to compete with Denver’s ceiling.

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Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets seemed to struggle in the first half and it wasn’t until well into the third quarter that they started to find a rhythm. Once they did, the Lakers could do little to counter offensively. Russell didn’t give enough back on the offensive end to make up for his defensive deficiencies.

It’s not surprising that Denver outmatched Los Angeles. Denver is just a better, more complete team than the Lakers.

The Nuggets only coughed up four turnovers. They ranked ninth in turnover percentage and committed the fifth-fewest turnovers in the league this season, but still averaged 12.6 per game. Denver's turnovers will likely rise throughout the series, which should lead to more transition baskets for the Lakers.

I also see Murray playing much more efficiently than his 9-for-24 performance on Saturday (although he was 4-for-9 from 3), which should lead to more scoring overall and a better Nuggets showing before they head to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4.

Lakers vs. Nuggets

Betting Pick & Prediction

Ultimately, I didn’t see anything in Game 1 to make me think the Lakers can hang with the Nuggets. Russell was, once again, practically unplayable and Los Angeles' third-most consistent scorer. That’s a bad sign for the Lakers' chances in this series and if they do get a game off the defending champs, it won’t be in Denver. I’ll take the Nuggets -7.5 and would play them to -8.5.

Pick:Nuggets -7.5
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Jun 23, 2024 UTC