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Lakers vs Nuggets Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2023

The 2023-24 NBA season will begin with a rematch of the Western Conference Finals. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will head to Colorado to take on Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Oct. 24 (7:30 p.m. ET).

Denver got the best of Los Angeles when the two sides last met, with the Nuggets earning the sweep en route to winning the 2023 NBA Finals. However, the Lakers made several notable improvements over the summer, and Denver may still be suffering from its championship hangover.

If nothing else, it will be an opening night to remember. Here are the latest odds and top bets to place ahead of Lakers vs Nuggets.

Lakers vs Nuggets NBA Opening Night Odds

NBA odds used for these best bets are current as of Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. ET and were found at DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: Nuggets (-218) • Lakers (+180)
  • Spread: Nuggets -5.5 (-108) • Lakers +5.5 (-112)
  • Total Points: Over 228 (-110) • Under 228 (-110)

Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction

Nuggets 112, Lakers 104

Denver may have taken a small step back this summer with Bruce Brown departing for the Indiana Pacers, but I still wouldn’t gloss over this team’s depth. The Nuggets’ starters have mastered the art of team basketball, and Christian Braun appears poised to build off a strong postseason.

On the other hand, Los Angeles added numerous role players, including Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, and Christian Wood. While they’re all more well-known around the league, they don’t have the chemistry that Denver’s second unit possesses.

With that said, the main reason I’m picking the Nuggets here is their top-end talent — most notably Jokić and Jamal Murray. The former nearly averaged a triple-double in four regular-season meetings with the Lakers last season, while Murray is fresh off a stellar performance in the playoffs.

There’s also Denver’s home-court advantage, which is among the best in the NBA. The Nuggets went 34-7 at Ball Arena last season, including a perfect 9-0 against Pacific Division foes.

Lakers vs Nuggets Best Bets

Nuggets -5.5 (-108)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Nuggets went 31-20-1 against the spread in home games last season (including playoffs), further demonstrating their strength at Ball Arena. We can also expect this to be an especially raucous home crowd as the franchise hangs its first-ever championship banner in the rafters.

Denver is the better team, and it’ll be in a better position to win on opening night. The Lakers will be motivated to knock them off, but even with strong outings from James, Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves, it likely won’t be enough to pull off the upset.

Look for the Nuggets to defend their home floor and make this your NBA bet of the day.

Under 228 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Three of Denver’s four regular-season matchups with Los Angeles went Over this total last season, with the lone exception being their first meeting on Oct. 26. Teams are still trying to figure out what they’ve got at this early stage of the season, so it’s not unusual for games to be especially low- or high-scoring.

As for this year’s opening night matchup, I’m siding with the Under. The Nuggets remain an underrated group defensively, while the Lakers may struggle to attain offensive cohesion.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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