The Los Angeles Lakers look to continue their homecourt dominance when they face the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday night in primetime. For LA it’s a return to glory as they host a game in this round for the first time since winning it all in 2010. Behind Anthony Davis and LeBron James the Lakers won their record-tying 17th NBA Championship in 2020, though that took place inside the Florida bubble. Beating the No. 1 seed won’t be easy with Nikola Jokic doing his best to get Denver to its first NBA Finals. Including their win over Minnesota the Lakers are 7-0 at home and they are one of the best NBA spread picks with six straight payouts. LA won both regular season meetings in the City of Angels covering the NBA betting line each time. For updated game odds and player props for a same game parlay visit BetRivers sportsbook.
Daily NBA Picks
Denver at LA Lakers, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
With a balanced attack like they showed in Game 1, the Nuggets are going to be a tough out. Nikola Jokic and his teammates had no problems penetrating and dissecting the Lakers defense, which played a major role in their series win over Golden State. Jokic hit 12 of 17 shots and all three three-pointers for 34 points. For good measure he added 21 rebounds and 14 assists for his sixth triple-double of this postseason.
Like the Lakers, Denver opened the playoffs with seven straight home wins easing the pressure of winning on the road. While some people will say seeding means nothing others will argue the opposite. The teams present a good case for each side. The Nuggets lost Game 3 of their opening round series in Minnesota, 114-108, in overtime, which wasn’t all that bad since they were up three games to none at that point.
Losing twice in Phoenix and failing to cover the spread as an underdog NBA pick, the Nuggets got one when they needed it, clinching the series with a dominant 125-100 win in the desert in Game 6. Denver earned the best record in the West despite being below .500 (19-22) on the road during the regular season. Two of those losses were to the Lakers.
In four regular season games Jokic had his typical numbers nearly averaging a triple-double. He scored 23.3 points with 12.3 boards and 9.8 assists. Now, though, the Nuggets are at full strength and not dependent on their big man. Jamal Murray fought off an ear infection to score 31 points in Game 1 and all five starters and one key reserve reached double figures helping Denver cash the OVER on the NBA betting line for the seventh time.
Everything went right for the Nuggets in Game 1 yet the Lakers were still able to whittle a 21-point deficit down to three late in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t quite get over the hump and will look to up their defensive game. In order to take away part of Jokic’s game the Lakers will likely incorporate a bigger lineup meaning more minutes for Rui Hachimura. A trade deadline acquisition that helped turn the Lakers season around, the former Gonzaga star averaged 9.6 points in 22 minutes during the season.
The move also freed up Anthony Davis, who overcame a tough start to score 40 points in the opener. AD’s point total on a prop will be in the mid-20s and without the shackles of defending Jokic we could see another big game making this a solid NBA parlay pick. Davis is averaging 22.6 points this postseason, though a few rough outings impacted his numbers.
Denver is a good offensive team averaging the second most points this postseason. But they were unconscious in Game 1 and their road struggles can’t be overlooked. LA’s been one of the best teams since overhauling the roster at the deadline and getting so close to another trip to the Finals will bring out the best in James making the Lakers my NBA pick against the spread.
NBA Same Game Parlay Picks: LA Lakers / UNDER
Check out the latest NBA betting odds at BetRivers.