Nuggets vs. Lakers Betting Odds & Pick: Will Los Angeles be Motivated to Win?

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Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers

  • Check out our betting preview for Monday night's NBA matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers.
  • At full-strength, Los Angeles is a difficult matchup for Denver, but the Lakers' myriad injuries and suspect motivation create uncertainty in this matchup.
  • Read on for game odds, comprehensive analysis, and injury updates before tipoff.

Nuggets vs. Lakers Betting Odds

Nuggets odds +5.5 [BET NOW]
Lakers odds -5.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +188/-230 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 221 [BET NOW]
Time 9 p.m. ET
TV TNT

Odds as of Monday at 7:45 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Lakers locked up the top seed in the West, but they’re looking for a spark heading into the playoffs. This is an important game for Denver as it controls its own destiny seeking the 2-seed in the West. Additionally, Denver desperately does not want to fall to the 4-seed as that would likely mean a date with the Lakers in the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have had a rash of injuries throughout the restart, so let’s try to make this clear:

  • Jamal Murray is back.
  • Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) are both out.

Murray returned for his first game in five months in an overtime win against the Jazz. He had an incredible game as he put up 23/12/8.

Per Cleaning the Glass, Denver is shooting 75.2% at the rim since the restart. This is an incredible mark and it will be interesting to see whether or not it can continue this against the Lakers’ strong interior defense.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers’ injury report feels like it’s the entire team. Since the Lakers clinched, they have the luxury of being able to rest players as they enter the playoffs.

The following seven Lakers are listed as probable for this matchup: Lebron James (groin), Markieff Morris (hip), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle), Dwight Howard (knee), Anthony Davis (ankle), Danny Green (hip) and Alex Caruso (neck).

The Lakers have looked awful and disjointed during the restart, highlighted by a bubble-worst 46.8% eFG%. They’re due for positive regression as their adjusted eFG% would be second best (54.9%), but their struggles cannot be blamed solely on some bad luck. The Lakers have a -7.1 Net Rating and their Offensive Rating is 97.9 (worst in the bubble) per NBA.com.

Sure, the Lakers clinched and don’t anything to play for. However, it begs the question: Can the Lakers turn it on?

 Betting Analysis & Pick

The Lakers are a nightmare matchup for the Nuggets. The Lakers’ length and athleticism present major issues for the Nuggets personnel. The entry lob pass is difficult for the Nuggets to defend, and without the shooting of Barton and Harris the Nuggets will struggle to drain the open looks from beyond the arc that the Lakers concede to opponents.

The emergence of Michael Porter Jr. definitely helps the Nuggets in the athleticism department, but if he has to defend Lebron and score on him, Porter will have his hands full all night.

If this game matters to the Lakers I’m absolutely taking them, but I’m not sure how motivated they truly will be to win this game. I’m going to keep an eye out on their injury report and whether Frank Vogel will commit to particular minutes limits for his star players.

If Lebron does not play but Anthony Davis does, I will be taking the Nuggets. Additionally, when Lebron does not play the Lakers’ pace skyrockets. Per NBA.com, their average pace is 101.28 on the season, but when Lebron is off the court their pace  jumps to 105.14.

This could present some value on the over as well.

Betting LeanNuggets +5.5 [Bet now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

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