The Denver Nuggets have already overcome 3-1 series deficits against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers to make the Western Conference Finals. Now they're looking to dig themselves out of another 3-1 hole against the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 5 will take place on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET in Orlando's NBA bubble and the Lakers will be looking to close the series out early to earn some rest before taking on the Heat or Celtics. The Lakers are 11-3 during the 2020 NBA Playoffs, but they've only covered once during the first four games of the series.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets are an impressive 11-3-1 against the spread in their last 15 games. The Lakers vs. Nuggets odds from William Hill list Los Angeles as the 5.5-point favorite after that line originally opened at -6. The over-under is down to 215 from 215.5 in the latest NBA odds. Before making any Nuggets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It's also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Lakers -5.5
- Lakers vs. Nuggets over-under: 215 points
- Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Lakers -200, Nuggets +175
- LAL: The Lakers are 5-4-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 6-3-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Lakers can cover
No team has a more potent duo in the NBA than the Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis. James is averaging 25.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game in the playoffs, with Davis adding 28.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and all-world defense. That pairing leads the Lakers to an elite level on both ends, with top-five units on a per-possession basis. Los Angeles is dominating on the offensive glass in this series, generating a bevy of second-chance points, and the Lakers are grabbing more than 30 percent of their own missed shots in the playoffs.
From there, Los Angeles ranks in the top three in both free-throw rate and overall shooting efficiency, all while assisting on 62.4 percent of its field goals. Defensively, the Lakers are physical and long, leading the playoffs in blocked shots per game (5.6) and landing third in steals per game (8.7). Overall, Los Angeles allows fewer than 1.07 points per possession in the playoffs, carrying over their top-three defensive rating from the regular season.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver has certainly acquitted itself well with its back against the wall, winning six consecutive elimination games and covering in all six of those games as well. Jamal Murray has averaged 32.7 points per game during those elimination games and he's been heating up in the last two games of this series, shooting 59.5 percent from the floor while going off for 60 points during that span.
The Nuggets will be looking for more from Nikola Jokic as well and he's responded well in elimination games for Denver. Jokic is only averaging 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game so far in the series, but he averages 25.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists during elimination games in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
How to make Lakers vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Murray both projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Nuggets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.