The 2020 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals goes on Thursday night with Game 4 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, so we have prepared all need-to-know betting tips and notes along with the latest odds update.
The top-seeded Lakers have a 2-1 lead after dropping the previous game on Tuesday. The third-seeded Nuggets have already pulled off some massive upsets, so you don’t want to miss Thursday’s showdown in the NBA bubble.
The Lakers opened as 6-point favorites with their moneyline odds at -250 on BetDSI, while the Nuggets are listed as +210 underdogs. BetOnline offers a 214.5-point line on the totals with both over and under at -110 odds.
The Lakers miss Dion Waiters (groin), while the Nuggets are still without Will Barton (knee).
What’s at Stake?
The Nuggets have a chance to tie the series after trailing 2-0, while the Lakers can take a commanding lead and get a step away from the 2020 NBA Finals.
This is a familiar spot for the Nuggets, as they overcame a 3-1 deficit in each of the previous two rounds against the Jazz and Clippers. On the other side, the Lakers are an experienced team that shouldn’t feel pressured after a tough loss in Game 3.
The Lakers had an easy job in the opener, thrashing of the Nuggets 126-114, but they barely avoided an upset in Game 2, as Anthony Davis hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to secure a 105-103 win.
Los Angeles has dominated Denver in the paint through the first two games, especially in the opener. The Lakers scored 64 points in the paint in Game 3, but that time, it wasn’t enough. They completely lost the battle on the glass and posted 19 rebounds fewer than their opponents.
Anthony Davis had 27 points but grabbed only a couple of boards. On the other side, Nikola Jokic accounted for 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Jamal Murray had a big game with 28 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists.
Jokic and Murray are a key duo for Denver, but the Nuggets needed somebody else to step up in order to beat the Lakers. Jerami Grant scored 26 points in Game 3, while Monte Morris added 14 off the bench.
Furthermore, the Nuggets shot 54.8% from the field and 37.9% from deep in Game 3 which are excellent numbers, considering the Lakers’ stout defense. LA shot 51.8% from the field, but the Lakers were only 6-for-26 from downtown (23.1%).
If they want to get back on the winning path, the Lakers will have to make some jumpers from beyond the arc. The Nuggets are a young team capable of playing tough, physical defense, so they will continue to double-team Davis and live with some open threes.
Interestingly, the Lakers couldn’t get things going on Tuesday even though LeBron James had a triple-double of 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.
The Nuggets played Tuesday like they didn’t have to go all seven games in the first two rounds of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. As I’ve mentioned, there are some young and very talented players on their roster, and I expect the Nuggets to continue with an aggressive approach on both sides of the ball.
Also, I’m pretty sure the Lakers will continue to attack the rim, and if they shoot the ball well, the Nuggets will be in trouble. Anyway, I don’t expect any team to dominate as the Lakers did in Game 1, so I’m taking the Nuggets to cover an 8-point spread.
Denver is 6-3 ATS in its last nine meetings with the Lakers, though LA has won straight up four of the previous five.