The Denver Nuggets' hopes of a perfect five-game road trip were dashed at San Antonio on Friday, but they still own a 7-3 record away from home. The Los Angeles Lakers (16-6) have been less than spectacular on their own court this season as they fell to 4-4 with a loss to Golden State before embarking on a seven-game trek against Eastern Conference teams. The Nuggets (12-8) attempt to continue their road success while the Lakers look to perform better at home when the teams clash in Los Angeles on Thursday. Denver will be without P.J. Dozier (hamstring) and Gary Harris (adductor).
Tip-off at Staples Center is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Los Angeles as a five-point favorite, down half a point from the opening line. The over-under is 216.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Nuggets odds, down three points from the opener. Before making any Nuggets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 73-44 roll on top-rated picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Los Angeles -5
- Lakers vs. Nuggets over-under: 216.5 points
- Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Los Angeles -200, Denver +175
- LAL: The Lakers are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall contests
Why the Lakers can cover
Los Angeles is tipping off a five-game homestand that includes four meetings with Western Conference rivals, against whom it is 10-4 this season. The Lakers have won seven of their last 10 overall contests, averaging 108.3 points on 46.5 percent shooting in that span. LeBron James has scored 21 or more points in five straight contests and is averaging a team-leading 25 on the season.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 11 points in Los Angeles' 107-99 victory at Atlanta on Monday, marking the ninth time he has reached double digits this campaign. The 27-year-old shooting guard went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc in the win after going just 3-for-16 over his previous five contests. Anthony Davis recorded a team-high 25 points against the Hawks on 10-of-14 shooting while Montrezl Harrell went 8-for-9 from the field and finished with 19 points, his highest output in nine outings.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is well-rested after having its meeting with Detroit on Monday postponed due to ongoing contact tracing within the Pistons' roster. The Nuggets last played on Sunday, when they registered a 128-117 home victory that ended Utah's 11-game winning streak. Nikola Jokic came up with another magnificent performance, matching his career high with 47 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.
The 25-year-old is averaging 26.8 points per game, hitting double digits in each of his 20 contests while scoring at least 20 on all but four occasions. Jokic is first in the NBA with 20 double-doubles and entered Wednesday one behind Dallas' Luka Doncic for the league lead in triple-doubles with five. The Nuggets are one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA with an average of 116.6 points as they are making a sizzling 48.3 percent of their field goals.
How to make Nuggets vs. Lakers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with with teams projected to combine for 223 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Nuggets vs. Lakers spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.