Three years after their “bubble” showdown within the 2020 Western Convention Finals, the Nuggets and Lakers meet once more on the exact same stage after ousting two of the most important title favorites of this complete NBA season.

Denver blitzed the Suns within the second spherical to achieve its fifth convention finals in crew historical past – with every of the final three journeys ending by the hands of Los Angeles.

These Lakers will attempt to play spoiler as soon as once more after upsetting the Grizzlies and Warriors to achieve this level.

Right here’s how we’re betting Tuesday’s Sport 1 contest, which suggestions off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Nuggets vs. Lakers odds

(through BetMGM)

  • Nuggets -6.5 (-105), moneyline -250
  • Lakers +6.5 (-115), moneyline +200
  • O/U 222.5 (over -115)

Nuggets vs. Lakers prediction and evaluation

(8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Whereas this line suggests a comparatively sizable hole between these two groups forward of Sport 1, there’s lots to love about all sides forward of one of many extra compelling matchups of all the postseason.

For the Nuggets, every little thing runs via Nikola Jokic, who has taken his recreation to a different stage in these playoffs.

Within the second spherical, the two-time MVP averaged a ridiculous 34.5 factors, 13.2 rebounds and 10.3 assists on 59.4% capturing, whereas including a block and a steal per recreation and capturing 44.4% from behind the arc.

His heroics have carried Denver to the perfect report (8-3) and internet ranking (+8.6) of any crew this postseason, regardless of dealing with the longtime West favorites within the second spherical.

But he’s benefitted mightily from the robust play from the Nuggets’ bench, which is suited completely across the crew’s celebrity middle.

Denver Nuggets stars Nikola Jokic (proper) and Michael Porter Jr (left)

On the opposite aspect, Anthony Davis has achieved all of the heavy lifting for the Lakers via the primary two rounds.

His dimension pissed off the shooting-deficient Grizzlies in Spherical 1 and was an excessive amount of to deal with for the undersized Warriors in Spherical 2 – each together with his dominant scoring streaks on offense and his otherworldly protection as a rim protector.

Now he’ll face his hardest take a look at but making an attempt to corral Jokic, who has the dimensions and craftiness to problem Davis inside and the vary to drag Davis out of the paint, releasing up reducing lanes for the ever-active function gamers in Denver.

That labored to nice success for the Warriors within the convention semifinals, although their lack of dimension was their final undoing.

The Lakers have matchups to use on the offensive finish, too, although it stays an open query whether or not it’ll be sufficient.

Denver withstood supernova efforts from Devin Booker and Kevin Durant and in the end pressured the Suns’ function gamers to step up.

Betting on the NBA?

They couldn’t, and the Nuggets took full benefit en path to a six-game collection win.

Los Angeles’ supporting solid is healthier than Phoenix’s, however it’s nonetheless vulnerable to streakiness, particularly on the highway.

The Lakers’ bench has posted a +8.7 internet ranking in six dwelling video games this postseason and a -5.7 internet ranking in six away video games, they usually’ve shot 4.5 share factors worse on the highway.

Generally, it actually is so simple as home-court benefit within the playoffs.

The Nuggets are an ideal 6-0 straight up (5-1 towards the unfold) at dwelling this postseason, outscoring groups by a ridiculous 13.9 factors per 100 possessions, they usually’ve posted the perfect dwelling report within the league SU (40-7) and ATS (30-16-1) throughout all the season.

Nuggets vs. Lakers choose