Nuggets – Lakers Betting Tip, Forecast & Odds NBA 21.04.2024

NBA Play-offs 2023/24, Sunday, 21.04.2024

This game will not be decided from beyond the arc, but directly at the board. And that’s where Nikola Jokic reigns supreme and should make the difference in this first playoff game for the defending champions.

In my Nuggets Lakers tip for Game 1, let’s get down to business! I’ll analyze the situation on the betting markets with you and show you why Los Angeles is keeping up at first, but should be left behind in crunch time at the latest.

This is a really tough nut for the Lakers to crack. And personally, I don’t have the impression that they can hold a candle to the defending champions.

Anthony Davis is of course a man who can take on Nikola Jokic at the board, but the Nuggets simply have too many options across the board to be stopped in Game 1.

Denver accumulated ten more wins in the regular season and also qualified directly for the play-offs, whereas the purple-and-gold had to take a detour via the play-in tournament

Watch out, Nuggets fans: Denver is missing experienced players like Jeff Green and Bruce Brown, who played a not insignificant role in winning the title in the previous season.

Therefore, young players like Christian Braun and Peyton Watson will be relied upon to fill their shoes as quickly as possible to help Nikola Jokic.

This is where I see some opportunity for the Lakers to capitalize. Nevertheless, the defending champions have had longer to prepare for this Game 1 and, with their own crowd behind them, this slight personnel deficit shouldn’t necessarily prove to be decisive for the game.

This is the one series in the playoffs where three-pointers won’t be the focus.

After all, the Nuggets were the only team this season to have a positive record (18-15) in games in which they scored fewer points from distance than their opponent.

The Lakers, on the other hand, even celebrated their most victories (23) when they scored fewer points from distance. Moreover, three-pointers are not necessarily part of the playing philosophy of either opponent.

Denver (35.2%) and L.A. (35.8%) ranked 30th and 28th respectively in terms of the percentage of their shots that came from beyond the three-point line – and these figures were even lower (32.9% and 31.0%) in the three head-to-head duels during the regular season.

“Three-pointers” won’t be completely meaningless, of course. The Lakers finally won their play-in game by beating the Pelicans by adding 15 points (42-27) from beyond the three-point line.

Still, I’m speculating that both teams will be looking to get to the board more …

By the way: The Lakers are currently playing perhaps their best basketball of the season. Since the All-Star Break, when they had a record of just “500”, the Californians have celebrated 17 wins and only lost 9 times, which is the sixth best record in the NBA in this period

In the match-up of the game, I expect Jokic to prevail. The Serbian averaged a triple-double per game against Anthony Davis in last year’s playoffs and there’s no reason to think he’ll suddenly drop off this time.

Los Angeles lacks the depth and firepower in their starting lineup to keep up with Denver’s experienced core. This is and remains the crux of the series in my eyes!

The sports betting providers favor the defending champions within their Nuggets Lakers odds for Game 1 with values of 1.32 to 3.40 on average.

Reasonable in my eyes, as I personally expect Denver to come out on top again by about a 10-point margin

After all, DEN has won each of the last eight head-to-head duels and actually brought Los Angeles to its knees by almost exactly ten points in February and March with 124:114 and 114:106 respectively.

Conclusion: Both teams will increasingly look for the basket, not least because they lack outstanding three-point specialists.

But that’s precisely why I think Denver has the advantage, as the team has a strong player in Nikola Jokic at the board, who has repeatedly dominated Anthony Davis in 1-on-1s in recent years.

If that proves to be the case this time as well, the purple-and-golds will lack the means to compensate for this deficit. However, they do not have any significant advantages over the visitors in any other team area.

My Nuggets Lakers tip: Denver wins with handicap -7.5.

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