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Nuggets,Lakers Game 2 Total Still Too Low

Denver Nuggets vs LA Lakers Betting Odds

Being an underdog hasn't bothered the Denver Nuggets one bit – but they have work to do if they hope to avoid another major series deficit in the Western Conference final. The Nuggets look to rebound from a sound defeat in Game 1 as they tangle with the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 on Sunday night; the Lakers prevailed 126-114 behind 37 points from Anthony Davis.

Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: September 20, 7:30 pm ET
  • Arena: AdventHealth Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -7.5 | O/U 214 (Line History)
  • Nuggets vs. Lakers (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers opened as 7.5-point favorites and that line has yet to move; it's a half-point higher than the Game 1 line. The total of 214 has slipped a half-point to 213.5 at the majority of sportsbooks.

Denver News & Notes

Free throws were a major problem for the Nuggets – not that they couldn't make them (they went 24-for-28 in defeat), but that they gave the Lakers far too many, especially in the pivotal second quarter. Los Angeles went to the line a whopping 24 times (which Denver head coach Mike Malone correctly referred to as "an extremely high number") en route to a 70-59 halftime lead.

The Nuggets also got away from what had made them successful in each of the previous two rounds. Jamal Murray was a virtual non-factor in the second half and finished with 21 points in 29 minutes, while talented center Nikola Jokic had just two assists after averaging 7.0 per game during the regular season and close to six assists during Denver's incredible postseason run.

LA Lakers News & Notes

The Lakers made inroads against Portland and Houston despite having to do without versatile point guard Rajon Rondo in the early stages of their playoff run. But with Rondo in the fold, Los Angeles has hit another gear – and with good reason, as Rondo is averaging 10.0 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 47.3 percent from 3-point range.

Those stats all work for any team's sixth man, but it's the assists that make him especially dangerous. He had nine of the Lakers' 33 assists in the Game 1 victory, with those helpers coming on just 44 made field goals. With Rondo likely matching up often against the Nuggets' second unit, we like him converting the Over on his assist total prop of 6.5 Sunday night.

Betting Pick: OVER 213.5

We don't know which version of the Nuggets will show up in Game 2 – but we're willing to bet that it will be more effective on the offensive end, which should send this game above the total for a second straight game.

Shark Bites
  • LA Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Denver's last 9 games.
  • Davis (LAL) has nine double-doubles in 11 playoff games.