Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Game 2 Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated May 18, 2023

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

Game 2 between Los Angeles and Denver is Thursday night. The Nuggets look to claim a significant 2-0 series advantage before the setting switches to California.

L.A. Lakers
May 18, 2023, 8:30 PM ET
Pepsi Center
Pointspread +5 -110
Moneyline +167
Over / Under o +225.5
Pointspread -5 -110
Moneyline -200
Over / Under u +225.5

L.A. put up a terrific second half fight in the face of Nikola Jokic’s awesomeness in Game 1, but still fell 132-126. The series remains in Colorado for Game 2, where the Nuggets have successfully defended home court all throughout the playoffs (7-0).

The NBA odds have the Nuggets pinned as -5.5 favourites, with the total tabulated at 226.5.

Lakers vs. Nuggets NBA Playoffs Betting Odds

The series table has Denver as the favourite to emerge out of the Western Conference. Mike Malone’s ensemble sits at -294, whereas Darvin Ham’s group carries a +211 price tag. Interestingly, the most likely outcome, as per the prices, is Denver in seven at +295.

The element of surprise is gone. That sounds a little dramatic, but what we mean is that few thought L.A. would take out Memphis in the first round, and the Lakers shocked the Grizzlies in Tennessee in the first match. The same thing happened in the second round in Game 1 in San Francisco versus the Warriors. Now they find themselves down 1-0 rather than up by that score. The Lakers are an impressive 9-5 against the spread in these playoffs.

As alluded to, the Nuggets haven’t failed once at home during this impressive playoff run. Their 7-0 home record is all the more impressive considering that they’ve typically smashed the opposition, save for Game 5 against Minnesota and Game 1 in this series versus the Lakers. Denver is 7-5 ATS in the postseason.

Los Angeles Lakers

Losing is never fun, especially in the playoffs, but LeBron James and company can hang their heads high despite Game 1’s result. What looked to be a total blowout at one point morphed into an arresting and lively affair that practically went down to the wire.

For Los Angeles to have fought back as valiantly as they did to make it a six-point contest – they trailed by 20 in the third – speaks volumes to how psychologically different this Lakers club is from where they were earlier in the year. It was definitely a shooters night, with both L.A. and Denver performing very well from the field – the Lakers were 54.8 per cent overall and 45.8 from beyond the arc. Rebounding hurt the visitors however, as the Nuggets corralled 47 attempts off the glass to the Lakers’ mediocre 30. Only five offensive boards meant precious few second chances when attacking. James and Anthony Davis were really the only ones rebounding anyways, as the former grabbed 12 and the latter 10.

Davis, for that matter, was a terrific 14-for-23 for a whopping 40 points. Austin Reaves continues to make his mark in these playoffs, tallying 23 points of his own thanks in large part to a 5-for-9 night from three.

Denver Nuggets

The legend of the Joker grows. We’re passed the stage when one can stop expecting something amazing from him. He always has a trick up his sleeve.

Among the many great moment from Game 1, the one that has received the most replay value is of course the three-point shot over Anthony Davis as the third quarter ended. It was a desperation attempt, make no mistake about it, but as the old expression goes, to be great one need a little bit of luck. Despite that mesmerizing shot which put the Nuggets up by 14, they nevertheless struggled to contain the Lakers in the final frame. Some lessons need learning about how to better nullify Davis and Austin Reaves, who smoked the Nuggets defence a few times with long range shots.

Jokic had a triple-double – what else is new – with 34 points, 14 assists and 21 rebounds. Jamal Murray pitched in with 31 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope haunted his old team by tallying 21. Six players notched double-digits in points, always a good sign.

Game 2 Prediction: Who Will Win Lakers vs. Nuggets?

NBA Predictions