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Nuggets Not Going Down Without a Fight

Nuggets vs Lakers Betting Odds Game 5 September 26, 2020 Jamal Murray

The Denver Nuggets find themselves in a familiar position as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference final on Friday. The Nuggets dropped a 114-108 decision in a hard-fought Game 4 and are now down three-games-to-one in the best-of-seven – just like they were in Round 1 against Utah and Round 2 vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.

Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: September 27, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AdventHealth Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -6 | O/U 215.5 (Line History)
  • Nuggets vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers are, at least for the time being, right on the same -6 line they carried into Game 4 (which ended in a push); the total of 215.5 has dropped one point.

Denver News & Notes

The Nuggets did what they had to do on offense, shooting nearly 51 percent from the floor while connecting on 20-of-23 free throws. So what went wrong? Putting the Lakers on the line a whopping 35 times certainly didn't help matters, especially after seeing Los Angeles make 28 of those foul shots (after coming in averaging just 73.4 percent from the stripe in the playoffs).

Getting more of an offensive contribution from Nikola Jokic will also go a long way in ensuring that Denver stays alive in the conference final. Jokic was limited to 17 points and four assists in that Game 4 defeat; he dealt with foul trouble but still attempted just 13 shots in 36 minutes. That ties the fewest attempts he's had in any game during the Nuggets' playoff run.

LA Lakers News & Notes

Foul shooting has been a major factor in this series – and the Lakers finally got things figured out in Game 4, both in terms of quantity and quality. LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined to take 28 free throws and were rewarded for their aggression with 24 combined points; LeBron's 14 attempts Thursday were the most since he had 17 foul shots in Game 3 vs. Portland.

The Lakers also made a lineup change that paid dividends – and could make another appearance in Game 5. Dwight Howard started at center in place of JaVale McGee, and his presence made things easier for James and Davis in terms of focusing on offense and aggression. Howard finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and might have earned another start Saturday.

Betting Pick: Denver +6 (-110)

The Nuggets have been the epitome of a tough out in the postseason, and we see no reason why that won't continue in a series that has become incredibly even from a scoring standpoint.

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Shark Bites
  • Denver are 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 games.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in the last 7 games in this matchup.
  • Denver is 6-0 SU and ATS when facing elimination.