Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction - NBA Picks 5/18/23

Denver Nuggets (62-32) vs Los Angeles Lakers (52-44)

Game Info: Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 8:30 pm (Ball Arena)

Betting Odds: Denver Nuggets -5.5 -- Over/Under: 225.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets do battle in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at the Ball Arena on Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be hoping to square up the series after coming up short against the Nuggets in a 132-126 loss in Game 1 on Tuesday. Anthony Davis led the team with 40 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks, LeBron James racked up 26 points with 12 rebounds and nine assists, Austin Reaves scored 23 points and eight assists while Rui Hachimura chipped in with 17 points on eight of 11 shooting off the bench. As a team, the Lakers shot 54 percent from the field and 11 of 24 from the 3-point line, but they didn’t play defense to start the game and they were always fighting an uphill battle after allowing the Nuggets to pour in 37 points in the first quarter and 72 points in the first half. D’Angelo Russell scored just eight points while Dennis Schroder added just six points, but the Lakers just left themselves too much ground to make up after falling behind by 21 points.

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets will be aiming to take a 2-0 series lead after taking care of business on Tuesday. Nikola Jokic led the team with another triple double of 34 points with 21 rebounds and 14 assists, Jamal Murray added 31 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 points while Bruce Brown chipped in with 16 points. As a team, the Nuggets shot 54 percent from the field and 15 of 32 from the 3-point line as they took hit the ground running right from the tipoff and dominated the first half before they held off a late rally from the Lakers who poured in 34 points in the fourth quarter to keep the scores respectable.

Looking at the betting trends, the Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The Nuggets are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight Conference Finals games, 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record.

Head to head, the over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Denver and the Lakers are 4-10-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Denver.

The Lakers were able to keep the scores close at the end of Game 1, but that score is really flattering to what was actually a dominant game from the Nuggets. Jokic filled the stat sheet with another triple-double, but he also got plenty of support from his teammates with six players finishing in double figures in scoring. I’m sure the Lakers will come out with a better defensive effort to start the game, but the Nuggets looked so good in the series opener and the Lakers are only 4-10-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Denver. Give me the Nuggets to get the win and cover once again at home.

Peter’s Pick Denver -5.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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