Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Feb 07, 2024

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

On Thursday night Nikola Jokic and the defending champion Denver Nuggets take to Los Angeles to play LeBron James and the Lakers.

Denver
57-25
AT
February 08, 2024, 10:00 PM ET
Staples Center
L.A. Lakers
47-35
Pointspread -2.5 -115
Moneyline -155
Over / Under o +233.5
Pointspread +2.5 -105
Moneyline +125
Over / Under u +233.5

One of the questions heading into this contest is what will the Lakers even look like by Thursday evening. Word on the street is that they and the Toronto Raptors are discussing a possible trade involving D’Angelo Russell, not to mention the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets. But Russell is a hot commodity, having helped the Lakers win three games in a row, most recently on Monday against the Hornets. As for the Nuggets, they’ve had a few days to get ready for this game after completing a weekend sweep of the moribund Trail Blazers.

Check the NBA odds as they develop.

Nuggets vs. Lakers NBA Betting Odds

Including the postseason, Denver has vanquished its Californian rivals six times in a row. Sandwiched between two regular season successes was a four-game sweep in last year’s Western Conference Finals.

Looking at the standings, the Nuggets’ 35-16 record isn’t much of a surprise. Everyone knows how good they are. What’s striking is that Denver is currently in a four-team tie for first in the conference. They, the Clippers, Thunder, and Timberwolves are involved in one of the best conference races in recent memory. That won’t impress people interested in spreads, as Denver is a disappointing 21-29-1 on the season. Case in point, they were heavily favoured twice against Portland last weekend and even though they won both games, it wasn’t by enough points to cover.

Los Angeles is beginning to show signs of life. Incidentally, it was right around the same time last season that they did the same. They return home after an impressive three-game road swing that saw them take down the Celtics and Knicks (and the Hornets, but still. A win is a win). Still, they’re only 23-29 ATS, making this a battle between teams that discourage betters from putting much faith in them.

Offensively, the Nuggets and Lakers rank similarly in many of the major statistical categories. The big difference is defence, as Denver only gives up 110.6 points a night (fourth) whereas L.A. coughs up 117.1 (18th).

Denver Nuggets

It’s been an interesting season so far for the Denver Nuggets. “Interesting” can be interpreted in many ways, both positive and negative.  The club is a solid 35-16 and well in position to finish first in the West if they can give themselves an extra push. Therein lies the knock, albeit a mild one, on these Nuggets.

More than once this season the team has had to give itself that proverbial push. Look no further than their weekend duels against the Portland Trail Blazers. On Friday Denver let Portland hang around all night before finally winning 120-108.

On Sunday the champs grabbed their first lead of the game late in the third quarter before ultimately winning 112-103. Peyton Watson, a 2022 first-round pick, had a nice night with 12 points. Unsurprisingly, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led the way with 29 and 21, respectively. The latter dished 10 dimes as well.

Kentaviuos Caldwell-Pope is listed as day-to-day (hamstring).

Los Angeles Lakers

If the Lakers’ three-game road trip is anything to go by, they aren’t dead yet. Given that they seem open to making some moves at the trade deadline, we may be writing about the purple and gold in a more glowing manner in the weeks ahead.

The tough win in Charlotte on Monday was the capper on their travels that saw them display grit, determination, and versatility. We mentioned how D’Angelo Russell is interesting trade bait. He had a fantastic 28-point night. Austin Reaves, who went bonkers in Boston last week, had 11 assists. Yes, Anthony Davis (26 points) and LeBron James (26 points) continue to be the main guys on the attacking front, but the Lakers are showing that they can be more than meets the eye.

Bad injury news, however. Jarred Vanderdbilt is out (foot sprain), as is Cam Reddish (ankle sprain).

NBA Prediction: Who Will Win Nuggets vs. Lakers?

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