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After being swept out of the Western Conference finals by the Denver Nuggets last season, the Los Angeles Lakers will get a chance at revenge on Saturday when the teams meet in Game 1 of their 2024 NBA playoffs first-round series in Denver. The seventh-seeded Lakers (47-35), who are coming off a 110-106 win over New Orleans in a play-in matchup on Tuesday, are riding a three-game winning streak. The second-seeded Nuggets (57-25), the defending NBA champions, have won four of their last five games. This is the third time in the past five years the teams will be meeting in the postseason, and the Lakers have won seven of the eight playoff series between them. Los Angeles leads the all-time series 138-91, including a 25-12 edge in the postseason. 

Tipoff from Ball Arena in Denver is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. Denver is a 7-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Nuggets odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 223.5. Before making any Nuggets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 88-58 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,600. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Nuggets and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the NBA odds and betting lines for Lakers vs. Nuggets: 

  • Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Nuggets -7 
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets over/under: 223.5 points 
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Lakers +229, Nuggets -286
  • LAL: The Lakers went 27-25 this season against Western Conference opponents 
  • DEN: The Nuggets went 33-8 at home, and are 67-15 at Ball Arena over the past two years 
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Nuggets can cover

Veteran center Nikola Jokic continues to dominate. The eight-year pro nearly averaged a triple-double with 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game in 79 appearances. He posted an amazing 68 double-doubles and 25 triple-doubles on the year. He reached double-digit scoring 75 times, including 28 games with 30 or more. In a 116-107 win over Minnesota on April 10, he scored 41 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists.

Point guard Jamal Murray has also found the range of late, scoring 20 or more points in each of the last four games. In a 121-120 loss at San Antonio on April 12, he poured in 35 points, while adding five rebounds and four assists. He has reached 10 or more points 54 times this season, including eight with 30 or more. He has posted 11 double-doubles. In 59 games, all starts, Murray is averaging 21.2 points, 6.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds. See which team to pick here.

Why the Lakers can cover 

Small forward LeBron James nearly had his second triple-double in a row on Tuesday in the play-in game win over New Orleans. In that game, James scored 23 points, while adding nine rebounds and nine assists. He had 28 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds in Sunday's 124-108 win over the Pelicans. In 71 games, all starts, James is averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 35.3 minutes. He has been productive against the Nuggets this season. In three games, he is averaging 24 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and 1.7 steals.

Power forward Anthony Davis has also been dominant of late, posting three consecutive double-doubles. In Tuesday's play-in win over the Pelicans, Davis scored 20 points, while grabbing 15 rebounds. He had 30 points and 11 boards at New Orleans on Sunday, and 36 points and 14 rebounds in a 123-120 win at Memphis on April 12. In 76 games, all starts, Davis is averaging 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals in 35.5 minutes. See which team to pick here.

How to make Lakers vs. Nuggets picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 224 combined points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick and analysis at SportsLine

So who wins Lakers vs. Nuggets, and which side of the spread cashes in well over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Nuggets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,600 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.