Lakers vs. Nuggets Opening Series Odds, Prediction and Pick (Trust Defending Champs)

Breaking down the bettings odds for the first-round series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We have a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals in the first round of the playoffs after the Los Angeles Lakers earned the No. 7 seed (by way of the play-in tournament) to face the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets. 

Last season, this matchup was expected to be close in the WCF, but Denver swept the Lakers en route to its first title in franchise history. 

Now, the Nuggets clock in as massive favorites to advance to the second round, but can they knock off LeBron James and company? 

Here’s a look at the odds for this series as well as my best bet to place on it: 

Lakers vs. Nuggets Series Odds

  • Denver Nuggets: -310
  • Los Angeles Lakers: +250

Lakers vs. Nuggets Series Correct Score Odds

  • Nuggets in 5: +285
  • Nuggets in 7: +340
  • Nuggets in 6: +425
  • Nuggets in 4: +500
  • Lakers in 6: +650
  • Lakers in 7: +900
  • Lakers in 5: +2000
  • Lakers in 4: +3000

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Lakers vs. Nuggets Series Prediction and Pick

Let’s not get carried away with the Lakers close to the regular season. 

They still struggled against Denver going 0-3 against them this season, making it seven straight losses dating back to last season’s Western Conference Finals. 

Sure, Darvin Ham has found something by going to his best lineup of Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the Lakers still finished the season 19th in the NBA in net rating.

Denver? Well, it clocked in at No. 4. 

The Nuggets are one of the best home teams in the NBA, and they are a matchup nightmare for the Lakers. Davis has posted a plus/minus of minus-17, minus-11 and minus-11 in his three meetings with Nikola Jokic this season. 

Ultimately, the Lakers’ Play-In game told us a lot. 

The team can play well in stretches, but it won’t put anyone away, and it needed a Zion Williamson injury to earn the No. 7 spot. While I respect Los Angeles for not ducking Denver and getting the No. 7 seed, I don’t think it takes down the defending champs in this series. 

Pick: Denver Nuggets, Nuggets in 5 (+285)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.