Denver Nuggets (43-21) head into Staples Center for an NBA Western Conference showdown against the LA Lakers (36-28). Lakers are without LeBron James and Dennis Schroder tonight. Nuggets are still without Jamal Murray, Monte Morris and Will Barton. Zeke Nnaji is listed as questionable for the Nuggets.
The Line: Denver Nuggets (-192) vs. LA Lakers (+167)
Denver has the best center in the entire NBA with Nikola Jokic. He has a favorable matchup tonight against Andre Drummond. Expect the Nuggets to work the ball inside early and establish Jokic in the paint. Michael Porter Jr. better known as “MPJ” has been consistently contributing on both ends of the court. MPJ will be matched against Anthony Davis who is listed as probable on the injury report.
Lakers are thin at guard and the bench edge is with the Nuggets by a long shot. Denver ranks 2nd in assists per game. Opposed to the Lakers who rank middle of the pack at 15th in assists per game. Even down Jamal Murray, Denver has continued to move the ball well. Denver has a straight up 19-11 record away. Lakers have a 17-15 record at home.
Nuggets opened at -2 (-110) ATS. Since then it has moved to -4.5 and some books have it at -3.5. I’m going to nudge the line back near -2 in case of a flat performance by the Nuggets. However, maintaining value is key in this spot. We want to avoid the premium on the Nuggets ML but keep are chances as high as humanly possible at cashing our ticket.
Preston’s Best Bet: Denver Nuggets -2.5 (-132)
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