Lakers vs Nuggets NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 2]

Denver looks to take 2-0 series lead when they host L.A. on Monday

LA Lakers (0-1) at Denver (1-0)
When: Monday, April 22nd 2024
Where: Ball Arena,
Denver, CO

Time: 10:00 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Denver -7/225.5

The Denver Nuggets will look to hold homecourt advantage in their first round Western Conference series on Monday night when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2. Denver has owned L.A. over the last couple of seasons and it continued in Saturday’s Game 1. The Lakers looked up to the task early, but the Nuggets came out after halftime and took control in the 114-103 victory. LeBron James and Anthony Davis padded their stats, but L.A. got almost nothing from the rest of the roster.

Denver has beaten Los Angeles nine straight times including a four-game sweep in last year’s Western Conference finals. L.A. used several different looks at guarding Nikola Jokic, but the big man proved to be too much in recording 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Denver covered the game as a 7-point favorite and the same line has been set for Game 1. The Nuggets have covered six games in a row against the Lakers and the Under is 7-3 in the last 10. Game 3 will be Thursday night in Los Angeles.


The Lakers bench was outscored 17-11 in Game 1, with all of the points coming from Taurean Prince. James and Davis combined for 59 points, 20 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 1, but the rest of the team had little impact. After scoring 19 points in the first half on Saturday, James had just eight in the second half and didn’t attempt a shot in the fourth quarter until the final minute. D’Angelo Russell shot 1-for-9 from 3-point range and 6-for-20 overall in scoring 13 points. Russell was 2-for-15 from long range in the four games in last year’s playoff series.


Rui Hachimura, Davis and James all took turns guarding Jokic, but to no avail. Jokic had zero turnovers and two steals in his 39 minutes and was 15-for-23 from the field. Among the starters, only Michael Porter Jr. (8-of-15) and Jokic hit more than 50 percent of their shots. Jamal Murray went 9-for-24 from the field, but he still managed to put up 22 points and 10 assists. All five starters did score in double-figures and had a plus-minus rating of +9 or better.

I backed the Nuggets (-7) in Game 1 and I’ll do the same in Game 2. The Lakers matchup poorly with Denver and it shows every time they play. L.A. has to get more from their role players or this series will be over quickly. Look for Denver to get off to a better start in Game 2 and cruise to a victory.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Nuggets -7