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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Game 3 Betting Preview


In a thrilling Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Denver Nuggets 105-103 and take a 2-0 series lead. Tonight, Tuesday, September 22nd we have Game 3, with tipoff at 9PM ET.




The Nuggets erased a 16-point lead to take a 103-102 lead on a basket by Nikola Jokic, who scored his team's final 11 points, with 20 seconds remaining in the game. 


After a hectic offensive possession, the Lakers found themselves facing an inbounds play with 2.4 seconds left. The ball found its way to Davis, who hit the game-winner. He scored the last 10 points of the game for the Lakers on his way to a game-high 31.


The Nuggets did everything they needed to even the series by holding the Lakers to their lowest winning point total in the playoffs. They were able to keep the game close down the stretch. Unlike our Game 1 free pick, they kept Los Angeles off the foul line in the second half. 


Denver shot a respectable 76% from the line but missed some key free throws late in the game. Those might have changed the outcome after the Nuggets only managed to make eight three-pointers for the game.


The Lakers failed to cover the 7.5-point spread, and the 205 combined points fell far below the over/ total of 213.5. Denver has rallied in a series before, coming back from 3-1 down against the Jazz and the Clippers. But, if the Nuggets are going to make another comeback, they will need to duplicate the effort they delivered Sunday night.

Game 3 Preview

Despite the close, relatively low scoring Game 2, the Lakers are still 6.5 point favorites at online sportsbooks, and the over/ under is at 214. That's virtually unchanged from the first two meetings of the series. The NBA moneyline for this one has the Lakers at -270 and the Nuggets posted at +210.


The Nuggets are in an almost must-win situation. They have to avoid going down 3-0, a deficit that has never been overcome by an NBA playoff team. 


They made 12 steals and forced 23 Lakers turnovers in Game 2. If they play defense like that again, they have a chance to get back into the series.


In their comebacks in the first two series, it was defense that fueled their success. In their six elimination games so far in the playoffs, Denver's opponents have averaged just 97 points. That includes a meager offensive output of just 83.5 in Game 7s. 


Denver did a good job of limiting contributions from the Lakers' supporting staff. It also shut down LeBron James after intermission.


The Lakers will need to cut down on the turnovers and use their size advantage to improve on their 34 points in the paint in Game 2. That was less than the 38 that the Nuggets produced on the inside.


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Rebounding was solid for Los Angeles, with James leading the way with 11. The Lakers as a team were able to best Denver 44-31 on the glass, including 13 on the offensive end.


For the playoffs, the Lakers are averaging 114 points a game, with a total score of 219 per contest. The Nuggets score about 107 points a game and have combined to average 216 with their opponents. 


The Lakers' win on Sunday was their slimmest margin of victory in the playoffs, with their previous low of eight points coming on two occasions. Until Game 2, if you like the Lakers to win, giving the points and taking the over was a winning strategy. Is it still the right way to go?

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