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Nuggets Aim to Capitalize on Struggling Lakers

Jerami Grant #9 of the Denver Nuggets with a slam dunk over Utah Jazz during double overtime at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.

Bettors who have faded the Lakers since they clinched top spot in the Western Conference are running really hot at the moment – but oddsmakers don’t like those good times to continue as Los Angeles tangles with Denver on Monday at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando. The Lakers have dropped three straight since securing the West’s top seed and have struggled mightily on offense.

Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: August 10, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AdventHealth Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT, ALT, SPSN
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -5.5 | O/U 222 (Line History)
  • Nuggets vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Los Angeles opened as a 5.5-point favorite – the sixth time in seven games the Lakers have been favored since the restart – and that line has only dipped slightly to -5 in most spots. The opening total of 222 has fallen by 1 point at the majority of sportsbooks.

Denver News & Notes

Good teams find ways to overcome key injuries or absences – and the Nuggets are a very good team. Despite being without guard Gary Harris and forward Will Barton for the previous five games, Denver has held its head above water with a 3-2 SU record (3-2 ATS) in the bubble to remain locked into the No. 3 spot in the crowded Western Conference standings.

One of the biggest factors in the Nuggets’ continued success? The incredible (and unexpected) play of forward Michael Porter Jr., whose late-season surge as a rookie has fans wide-eyed and loving it. Porter is averaging 29.3 points and 12.5 rebounds over his past four games and is coming off a 23-point, 11-rebound showing in Denver’s wild 134-132 double-overtime win over Utah.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Don't look now, but the Lakers suddenly look little like the team that rolled to a 50-14 record before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the regular-season schedule. Los Angeles is an underwhelming 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS since play resumed, and has scored more than 110 points just twice over that span while coming in under the 100-point plateau on three occasions.

And while it’s easy to see the Lakers struggling on offense and point directly at team leader LeBron James, this team needs more from Anthony Davis. The all-world big man scored 34 and 42 points, respectively, in the Lakers’ two wins over the Clippers and Jazz, but is averaging an unfathomable 12 points in the four losses and is coming off an eight-point dud last time out.

Betting Pick: Nuggets +5

Denver is playing terrific basketball at the moment, and has the defensive chops to extend the Lakers’ offensive woes. This should be a close one – certainly close enough for Denver to convert the cover.

Shark Bites
  • Davis has averaged 30 points in 3 games vs Denver this season.
  • Porter is shooting 56.3 percent over his last 4 games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Denver’s last 5 games.