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NBA playoff preview and tips: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets - Game one

Nikola Jokic's Denver Nuggets and Anthony Davis' Los Angeles Lakers will do battle at Ball Arena in Game One of the Western Conference Finals.

The Nuggets and the Lakers both enjoyed the weekend off after wrapping up 4-2 series wins over the Suns and Warriors respectively to set up a much anticipated Western Conference Finals clash.

Standout Trends

Over is 5-1 in Denver's last 6 Conference Finals matches.

Over is 8-3 in Denver's last 11 against a team with a winning record.
Over is 35-15-1 in LA's last 51 road games against a team with a winning home record.

Over is 14-6 in LA's last 20 games.

Suggested Bets

Over 222.5 points

Denver Nuggets -4.5

Lakers @ Nuggets - Game One verdict

Looking at the regular season mini-series, this contest was dominated by the home sides. Both sides played host twice and won those games by double digits, but SX.Bet make Denver Nuggets a much smaller favourite.

The Lakers ran out 126-108 and 121-110 winners in their home stand, while the Nuggets triumphed 122-109 and 110-99. The totals in Denver were 230 and 270, both of which snuck under.
As good as the Nuggets versus the Warriors could have been, they seem less of a match for Denver and would have struggled to claim a win on the road.

This Western Conference Finals will pit Anthony Davis against Nikola Jokic and that's a battle of the bigs that everyone wants to see. Jokic is making NBA history, averaging 30.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists in the postseason.

Davis hasn't and won't match those numbers on the offensive ends, but his defensive play has shown why he's one of the best and why the Lakers have a chance. He may be the one to slow the Joker down.
An interesting stat that's doing the rounds since this matchup was confirmed is Davis and Jokic have both more than 62% from the field when guarding each other across the four regular season games.
The issue with the Warriors and the same reason they'd have lost to Denver, is Anthony Davis was about to worry less about the basket and help with double teams and closing spaces.

He will be preoccupied with Jokic for the entirety of this season, so LA are going to need others to stand up and be counted if they want to slow Denver down. Jarred Vanderbilt could be crucial on defence, while LeBron James will need to pick up major slack on offence.

The reality is, Denver average 118 points per game on their home court and no one has slowed them down. The Lakers match that on the road and concede just as many.
These two teams combined for 228 points in the last 10 meetings and 232 points in their last three meetings. The totals in Denver were 236.5 and 230.5 and went under, but the former of those by just two points.

There's a time and a place for defence in this series, but we don't think it's game one. Both teams will want to flex their muscles early and we think the bookmakers total will go over in game one. Also, we want to back Denver until we see proof LA can slow them down.

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