Thursday NBA Betting Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Playoff Bets for Lakers vs. Nuggets Game 4 (Sept. 24)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers plays defense against Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.
- Looking to bet tonight's Western Conference Finals Game 4 matchup? We're here to help.
- Our NBA crew is targeting three bets, including a first-quarter spread, full-game spread, and the first-half total.
- Check out our for each of our three favorite bets for Lakers vs. Nuggets Game 4.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets face off for a pivotal Game 4 matchup on Thursday. The Nuggets can either tie up this series at 2-2 with a win, or fall into a familiar and desperate 3-1 hole with a loss.
So, where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for tonight’s Western Conference finals matchup:
- 9 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
Thursday NBA Betting Picks
Brandon Anderson: Lakers vs. Nuggets
|Lakers odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-250/+200 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||215.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
A lot of things went wrong for the Lakers in Game 3. Turnovers were a problem again, and the Lakers got embarrassed on the boards. But the biggest problem was that the Lakers just didn’t look engaged for most of the game until that insane four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, when they almost stole a game the Nuggets had dominated for three quarters.
I expect the Lakers to come out strong in Game 4 and send a message, and that will be led by an aggressive LeBron James. James knows how close he is to the NBA Finals. He also knows what the Nuggets just did to the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers when they had just a bit of hope. I don’t suspect he’s going to give them that sliver of oxygen.
Look for James to be focused early as the Lakers look to push the Nuggets around and bully their way to an early lead. Whether that holds up or not is to be seen — we already know the Nuggets are mentally strong and do not give up — but I’ll already be counting my winnings by the time that matters. I’ll play the -2 first quarter here at -115 and as high as -130.
The Pick: Lakers -2 1Q (-115)
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Malik Smith: Lakers vs. Nuggets
The Nuggets have been a wildly different team in the first half compared to the second half over this recent stretch of games. But much of that erratic play has been on the defensive end where they have been awful in the first 24 minutes and outstanding in the last 24 minutes.
Offensively, though, this team has been relatively consistent since the start of Round 2, posting a 108.9 Offensive Rating in the first half and 110.2 Offensive Rating in the second half.
According to our Bet Labs database, the first half over is 7-3 in the Nuggets’ past 10 games, and 4-1 in the past five. The one time they didn’t cover the first half, Game 2 against the Lakers, it went under the total by two points. The first half over is 8-2 in the Lakers’ past 10 games as well, which makes me feel more confident betting that this trend will continue in Game 4.
The Pick: Over 109.5 1H
Raheem Palmer: Lakers vs. Nuggets
The Lakers offense is struggling, scoring just 95.3 points per possession in the half court in Games 2 and 3. With the Nuggets packing the paint to stop Anthony Davis and LeBron James from getting baskets at the rim, shooting continues to plague this team as they shot 8-of-24 from beyond the arc in Game 2 and 6-of-24 in Game 3. It’s no wonder the Nuggets have won six of the past eight quarters by a combined 18 points.
On the other end of the floor, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have been unstoppable. The Nuggets have gone down 3-1 in every series, but I think that ends today. As of right now, they’re the better 3-point shooting team, they’ve out rebounded the Lakers and they’re superior at the free throw line. In a game of this magnitude, the little things matter.
The Lakers caught the Nuggets by surprise with their junk zone in the fourth quarter of Game 3, erasing a 20-point lead in the matter of minutes and I think the market would view Game 4 through a different lens without that late run.
The Lakers will always be overvalued in the betting markets and my projections make this line closer to Lakers -4. Give me the 6.5 points with the Nuggets and you can sprinkle a small percentage of your wager on the moneyline.
The Pick: Nuggets +6.5 (-110)