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Lakers, Nuggets Putting the D in Denver

Lakers vs Nuggets Betting Odds December 3rd 2019

Both the Lakers and Nuggets are coming off losses, but that won’t prevent Tuesday’s encounter at Pepsi Center from feeling like a potential Western Conference Finals preview. Los Angeles and Denver sit atop the conference standings and are poised to stay there as they prepare for the first of four regular-season meetings in 2019-20.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets

Opening Odds Analysis

The Nuggets opened this matchup at -2.5, marking just the second time all season the Lakers have been an underdog (they prevailed 119-110 in overtime vs host Dallas at +1 back on November 1). The total is set at 210.5.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Lakers enter their Mile High City showdown with the Nuggets as one of the top road teams in the country at 8-1 SU (though just 4-5 ATS). But that W-L mark will be put to the test as they play eight of their next nine games away from Staples Center. And it starts with a difficult matchup against a Denver team that is a sparkling 8-2 SU (but just 5-5 ATS) at Pepsi Center.

Just about everything is working for the Lakers at the moment, but one interesting development in Year 2 of the LeBron James era is how much the offense has run through him this season. James is averaging a career-best 10.9 assists through the Lakers’ first 20 games, while his 3.8 turnovers per game is only slightly higher than his career average of 3.5.

Denver News & Notes

No team has been stingier than the Nuggets, who enter the week having allowed a scant 101.8 points per game. And while they’ve been stout from just about everywhere on the floor, they’ve been particularly difficult to score on from beyond the arc, limiting opponents to a league-worst 30.9 percent success rate from three-point range so far.

And while the Lakers rely heavily on the two-man tandem of James and Anthony Davis to provide the scoring punch, the Nuggets have a much more balanced attack – five players average at least 11 points per game, led by Jamal Murray (18.5 ppg). But Denver could use a little more proficiency from the foul line, where it ranks 27th in the 30-team NBA at 73.6 percent.

Betting Pick: UNDER 208.5

Both teams are defensively stout while ranking 22nd and 30th in pace for the season. Possessions could be scarce here, which puts the UNDER squarely in play.

Shark Bites
  • Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • Denver is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The UNDER has hit in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games.