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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Picks, Player Props and Odds (Game 1)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James guards Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

March 2, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) guards Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

  • The LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets begin their Round 1 series on Saturday
  • The Lakers vs Nuggets Game 1 odds favor the reigning champions to win convincingly
  • Read more about the Lakers vs Nuggets Game 1 picks, odds and player props below

The NBA playoffs kick off on Saturday, April 20, with an exciting Western Conference first-round matchup between the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers and the second-seeded Denver Nuggets. Game 1 airs at 8:30 PM ET on ABC from Ball Arena in Denver.

The Nuggets enter as 7-point home favorites, with the over/under in NBA Playoff odds standing at 226 points. Player props for Lakers vs Nuggets have been released, with Nikola Jokic favoring to continue his dominance in Los Angeles.

Let’s take a look at our Game 1 Lakers vs Nuggets picks and player prop predictions as we break down the odds.

Game 1 Lakers vs. Nuggets Odds

Team Scatter Moneyline Total
LA Lakers +7 (-110) +225 More than 226 (-110)
DEN Nuggets -7 (-110) -278 Under 226 (-110)

In the Lakers vs Nuggets Game 1 odds, Denver is a -278 moneyline favorite at home, giving them an implied win probability. Michael Malone’s team is also at -310 in the NBA Round 1 series odds.

The odds for the 2024 NBA Championship show the Nuggets at +300 to repeat, while the Lakers are +2500 longshots.

This will be the third playoff meeting between the Lakers and Nuggets in the past five years. Denver defeated Los Angeles in the 2024 Western Conference Finals en route to their first NBA title.

Injury report

  • Lakers: LeBron James (foot) and Anthony Davis (foot) are both likely. Jarred Vanderbilt (ankle) is questionable.
  • Nuggets: Jamal Murray (knee) is likely. Jack White (adductor) is out.

Lakers Betting Analysis

The Lakers needed a 110-106 play-in win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday to secure their playoff spot. LeBron James led the way with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists, nearly recording a triple-double. Anthony Davis added 20 points and 15 boards in the win.

Los Angeles enters the postseason with momentum, having won three straight games and twelve of its last fifteen games overall. In the 40 games James and Davis have played together, the Lakers are an impressive 28-12. As long as these two superstars are healthy, Los Angeles has a chance against anyone.

The key for the Lakers will be to slow Jokic down and not let him completely control the game with his scoring and playmaking. The Lakers have struggled mightily against the Nuggets over the past two seasons, losing 11 of their last 13 games, including eight in a row.

Nuggets Betting Analysis

The Nuggets are the defending NBA champions and earned the West’s second seed in the NBA Playoff Bracket. Denver won four of its last five regular season games, including a 126-11 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in their regular season finale.

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Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic put together another monster campaign, averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game. Jamal Murray also played well, scoring over 20 points in each of the last four games.

Denver will use their significant home-elevation advantage to wear down the older Lakers in Game 1. The Nuggets have been nearly unbeatable at Ball Arena this season, going 33-8. Jokic is an impossible fit for any team, but the Nuggets have Murray and Michael Porter Jr. needed as reliable second and third options.

NBA Playoffs 2024 Printable Bracket – Take your pick to win the NBA Finals

Lakers vs Nuggets player props

A wide selection of player accessories will be available for Saturday’s NBA game, including points, rebounds, assists and three-pointers made over/unders for numerous players. ‘Joker’ has the highest expected point total on the board, at 27.5.

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-pointers made
Aaron Gordon 13.5 (Ov -120 | Un +100) 6.5 (Ov -102 | Un -118) 3.5 (Ov -155 | Un +130) 0.5 (Ov -108 | Un -112)
Anthony Davis 23.5 (Ov -130 | Un +110) 12.5 (Ov -142 | Un +120) 2.5 (Ov -122 | Un +102) 0.5 (Ov +114 | Un -135)
Austin Reaves 14.5 (Ov -122 | Un +102) 3.5 (Ov -115 | Un -105) 4.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108) 1.5 (Ov -170 | Un +142)
Christian Braun 6.5 (Ov +100 | Un -120) 2.5 (Ov -162 | Un +136) OUT 0.5 (Ov -105 | Un -115)
D’Angelo Russell 15.5 (Ov -115 | Un -105) 2.5 (Ov -148 | Un +124) 5.5 (Ov +120 | Un -142) 2.5 (Ov -155 | Un +130)
Gabe Vincent OUT OUT OUT 0.5 (Ov -115 | Un -105)
Jamal Murray 24.5 (Ov +105 | Un -125) 4.5 (Ov +120 | Un -142) 6.5 (Ov +100 | Un -120) 2.5 (Ov -142 | Un +120)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 10.5 (Ov +102 | Un -122) 2.5 (Ov +114 | Un -135) OUT 1.5 (Ov -166 | Un +140)
Le Bron James 24.5 (Ov -125 | Un +105) 7.5 (Ov -125 | Un +105) 8.5 (Ov -102 | Un -118) 1.5 (Ov -135 | Un +114)
Michael Porter Jr. 16.5 (Ov -135 | Un +114) 6.5 (Ov -148 | Un +124) OUT 2.5 (Ov -148 | Un +124)
Nikola Jokic 27.5 (Ov -102 | Un -118) 12.5 (Ov -125 | Un +105) 9.5 (Ov -102 | Un -118) 1.5 (Ov +142 | Un -170)
Peyton Watson OUT 2.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108) OUT 0.5 (Ov +235 | Un -290)
Reggie Jackson 6.5 (Ov +110 | Un -130) OUT 2.5 (Ov +114 | Un -135) 0.5 (Ov -130 | Un +110)
Rui Hachimura 13.5 (Ov +100 | Un -120) 4.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110) OUT 1.5 (Ov +110 | Un -130)
Spencer Dinwiddie OUT OUT OUT 0.5 (Ov +100 | Un -120)
Taurus Prince OUT 2.5 (Ov +124 | Un -148) OUT 1.5 (Ov +160 | Un -192)

Odds for NBA players starting April 20 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Here are a few player props we like for Saturday’s Lakers vs Nuggets Game 1:

D’Angelo Russell over 15.5 points

We like to focus on LA’s D’Angelo Russell to stay hot after the 28-year-old guard put up 21 points (7-14 FG, 5-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT) in the play-in win over New Orleans. In his last ten games of the regular season, he averaged 17 points, 1.5 more than his over/under for this game.

Nikola Jokic over 12.5 rebounds

Despite the challenge Davis faces, Jokic, the reigning Finals MVP and likely 2023-2024 regular season MVP, is ready to assert his dominance on the glass against the Lakers. In last year’s Western Conference Finals, Jokic averaged 14.5 rebounds per game, surpassing that mark in three of four games.

He finished the regular season strong, averaging 13.9 rebounds over the last eight games and exceeding that threshold six times. In this primetime matchup, expect Jokic to make a statement by outplaying his rebounder and solidifying his status as one of the league’s most dominant rebounders.

Lakers vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction

The Nuggets won the season series 3-0, but the last two meetings were decided by margins of 10 and eight points. Los Angeles actually held double-digit leads in the fourth quarter of both games before faltering in the final stretch.

If they can avoid those late-game collapses and knock down open shots, the Lakers can certainly come in as 7-point underdogs on Saturday. I’m also leaning toward the over, as both teams ranked in the top 10 in offensive efficiency this season.

LA vs DEN Game 1 Choices:

  • Lakers +7 (-110)
  • More than 226 (-110)

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Brady Trettenero

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Editor-in-Chief NHL & NCAAF

Editor-in-Chief NHL & NCAAF

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