Nikola Jokic smashed more records as the Joker and Jamal Murray lead the Denver Nuggets to a high-scoring game one victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nuggets are 4-1ATS in their last five after allowing 125+ points in the previous game.
Lakers are 1-8ATS in their last nine after scoring 125+ points in the previous game.
Over is 36-14-1 in LA's last 51 road games against a winning home team.
Over is 9-3 in Denver's last 12 games against a winning team.
Lakers @ Nuggets - Game Two verdict
The Western Conference Finals series got off to a flyer for us, with Denver covering the -5.5 spread and combining with the Lakers to smash the bookmakers' total by 36 points. Denver are a clear favourite with SX.bet to win game two.
In our game one preview, we touched on the level of offensive quality on the court. It was never likely these teams were going to slow each other down early in the series.
The Lakers looked dead and buried in the first half, with Denver making threes for fun and Nikola Jokic having another history-making night. He scored 34 points, pulled in 21 rebounds and dished 14 assists.
At this point, it's not even fair. Joel Embiid deserved his MVP award, but you're watching the best player in the NBA do ridiculous things in the 2023 playoffs. The way he's been able to take over games is Michael Jordan-like.
In March, Jokic became the sixth player in NBA history to record 100 triple-doubles. On Tuesday, he became the fourth player to record a 30+ point, 20+ rebound triple-double in a playoff game.
The second half was a different story as the Lakers made some clever adjustments. The world's best defensive player couldn't stop Jokic, so what did LA do?
They took him away from Jokic and allowed a weak defensive player in Rui Hachimura to guard him. Anthony Davis spent the rest of the game on lesser-scoring threats, allowing him to wait for Jokic when he did beat Hachimura. And it worked.
Denver will make adjustments to deal with that for game two. Aaron Gordon needs to be more involved and they need to do a better job defensively.
Game two looks like another one that could do over the total, but it might not be as high scoring. Elite players are good at figuring things out.
That said, Denver are a much better team and when they pushed the pace in the first half, LA couldn't handle them. Altitude could be more of a factor with the short recovery and if Denver had played good defence in game one, it would have been a blowout.
There's something much more stable feeling about Denver as a unit, and they have the depth. We're going to stick with our game one bets. Bet on the Denver Nuggets -5 and over the total.