Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game 3 Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated May 19, 2023

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

The Western Conference shifts to L.A. for Game 3 on Saturday between the Nuggets and Lakers. Denver aims to take a 3-0 series lead.

May 20, 2023, 8:30 PM ET
Staples Center
L.A. Lakers
Pointspread +5.5 -110
Moneyline +183
Over / Under o +222.5


Betting Action


Pointspread -5.5 -110
Moneyline -220
Over / Under u +222.5


Betting Action


The Lakers had a real shot at claiming Game 2 in Denver, leading for much of the night. Nevertheless, L.A. is the latest side to get the “Nuggets experience,” losing 108-103. Denver is extremely difficult to slow down and they’ve barrelled their way through to home wins every time in the playoffs.

Heading into the third bout, the NBA odds place the Lakers as -5.5 favourites. The number crunching has led to an expected total of 223.5.

Nuggets vs. Lakers NBA Playoffs Betting Odds

The Game 2 victory has given Denver a significant boost on the series odds. They’re currently viewed as -500 favourites whereas they previously sat at -294. As for the Lakers, the group has dropped to +317 (+211 heading into the second contest). The series outcome with the best price is Nuggets in five at +208.

Now the series takes on a similar plotline to Denver’s previous round. Against the Suns, it was a matter of defending home court, with teams searching for ways to steal a road game. Winning Game 2 improved Mike Malone’s team to a perfect 8-0 at home this spring. Although the team has played only five away matches, the record is is a mediocre 2-3. What’s more, the Lakers have been terrific at home themselves this postseason with a 6-0 record and a few blowout wins to boot.

Denver Nuggets

Denver’s 108-103 win in the second match was a testament to why this could be their year. They are a remarkable home side, and as long as they hold home-court advantage in a series, there is no reason to not pin them as a favourite.

The visitors led by as many as 11. It’s not a substantial figure, especially in today’s NBA, but for long stretches, when Denver made buckets to narrow the margin, the L.A. fired right back to preserve a double-digit or near-double-digit lead. Interestingly, although the Nuggets didn’t shoot especially well from long range overall (36.8 per cent), they erupted in the fourth quarter, i.e. when it mattered most. Jamal Murray’s redemption continued in Game 2. Of his 37 points, 23 were earned in the final period. He was 6-for-7 in the fourth, which included four three-point shots, all daggers that turned a deficit into a slim lead, then a slim lead into a slightly more comfortable one.

Nikola Jokic earned a “tepid” triple-double with 23 points, 17 boards, and 12 assists. Michael Porter Jr. also came to the rescue in the final period, hitting from long range too and finishing with 16 points. Bruce Brown, with 12 points, continues to be a valuable asset as a substitute.

Los Angeles Lakers

L.A. showed vim and verve in both games played in Colorado. In each instance, they had a chance at sneaking away with a win despite the odds. Even so, they now trail 2-0 for the first time in this playoff run.

It definitely adds complexity to the series. The Lakers are such a good home team that returning to Arena tied 1-1 has proven to be monumentally important to their success. Now, even if they win both Games 3 and 4, the series will be tied 2-2. Rui Hachimura may prove to be a more important figure than previously imagined in this matchup goes along. He came off the bench for 21 points, making his first six shots. Both LeBron James and Austin Reaves were tied for the team lead in points with 22 apiece. It’s also clear that when Anthony Davis is a bit off (4-for-15, 18 points) it hurts the Lakers.

L.A. must also deal with psychological gamesmanship. They mounted a comeback in Game 1 but failed. Then, they suffered a Denver comeback in Game 2, resulting in defeat. If the Lakers do not play well for 48 minutes, they aren’t going to beat the Nuggets.

Game 3 Prediction: Who Will Win Nuggets vs. Lakers?

NBA Predictions