Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers begin their playoff assault against a pesky Denver Nuggets team in the opening round. The Lakers are -5 point favorites over the Nuggets with an over/under point total set at 202.5.
Head to head, the Nuggets are 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings and 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles. The Lakers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5, but just 3-11 ATS in their last 14 home games and 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games overall. The Nuggets on the other hand are 25-8 ATS in their last 33 games as a road underdog, 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 36-15 ATS in their last 51 road games.
For a while their it looked as if the Denver Nuggets would miss the playoffs altogether after a bad run of form and injuries. However, the league’s top scoring team regrouped to win eight of their last 10 games to end the regular season to ensure they would be a part of the playoff picture. The Lakers on the other hand did enough to win the Pacific Divison to clinch the third overall seed, however their play of the road this season has to be a concern. Los Angeles was virtually unbeatable at home, however it was a different story when they hit the road as they ended up with a sub .500 record away from home.
Looking at past results, the Lakers and Nuggets have split their last 10 meetings, however Los Angeles has taken the last two meetings between the two. One thing that stuck out at me over those 10 games was how close each contest was as seven of those were decided by six points or less.
I’ll get straight to the point, I like the Nuggets in this one. Don’t get me wrong, the Lakers have been great at home this season, but that doesn’t translate to great against the spread stats as they have only covered in seven of their past 23 games at Staples Center. Denver finished the regular season really strongly and I think their primed to take Los Angeles to seven games in this series. Look for the opener to be a close one.
Denver Nuggets +5 Los Angeles Lakers