Two of the top-three teams in the NBA Western Conference standings meet up on Monday in the Orlando bubble at 9 p.m. ET when the Los Angeles Lakers (51-18) face the Denver Nuggets (46-24). The Lakers have locked up the No. 1 seed, while the Nuggets currently occupy the No. 3 seed, one game behind the Clippers and 1.5 games ahead of the Rockets. Denver will be without Will Barton (knee) and Gary Harris (hip). Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ribs) is out for Los Angeles.
William Hill lists Los Angeles as a five-point favorite, up half a point from the opening line, in the Nuggets vs. Lakers odds. The over-under for total points is 221, down half a point from the opener. Before locking in any any Lakers vs. Nuggets picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Lakers -5
- Lakers vs. Nuggets over-under: 221 points
- Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Los Angeles -200, Denver 175
What you need to know about the Nuggets
It may have taken double overtime to finish the job, but the Nuggets ultimately scored a 134-132 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Denver got back in the game with a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 29-15 deficit. Nikola Jokic dropped a double-double on 30 points and 11 boards in addition to seven assists. Denver held on for the win after squandering a six-point lead with 19 seconds left in regulation. Michael Porter Jr. had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Jamal Murray returned on Saturday after missing four straight games with a hamstring injury. Murray had 23 points, grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and added eight assists. He hit a key 3-pointer in the second overtime.
What you need to know about the Lakers
The Lakers are unquestionably among the league's elite teams, but they haven't played particularly well in Orlando. Since sneaking past the Clippers in their first game, they've lost four of five. They've failed to hit the 100-point plateau three times during that span.
Motivation is certainly a question mark since the've wrapped up the top spot in the West. But they should be looking to build some momentum as the playoffs inch closer. And, barring any late lineup adjustments, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both expected to play on Monday. Davis has been particularly effective against Denver this season, leading the team with an average of 26.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.31 blocks in their three matchups, which the Lakers won two of.
How to make Lakers vs. Nuggets picks
The model has simulated Lakers vs. Nuggets 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning over on the total. It has also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Lakers vs, Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Lakers vs. Nuggets spread you need to jump on Monday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.