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NBA · 5 months ago

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Western Conference Finals Best Bets

Zachary Cook

Zachary Cook

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Western Conference Finals Best Bets

The Western Conference Finals are set, with the Denver Nuggets taking on the Los Angeles Lakers. The top-seeded Nuggets are the favorite to advance. These teams also faced off during the NBA’s bubble playoffs in 2020, which saw the Lakers advance in five games. 

All odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook

Denver Nuggets (-155) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (+130)

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are healthy and mean business, with perennial MVP candidate Nikola Jokic leading the charge. They earned the top seed in the Western Conference and will have home court advantage in this upcoming series with the Lakers. This is the first time since 2020 that we’ve seen a healthy Nuggets rotation and their stars firing on all cylinders. They have answers on defense, and every player knows their role on this basketball team, led by head coach Michael Malone. Jamal Murray continues to prove that he can elevate his game in the playoffs, and he’s a big reason why Denver remains alive in the final four. 

The Nuggets advanced to their first Western Conference Finals since 2020 after taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round, followed by the Phoenix Suns in the second round. The Lakers present a unique challenge for the Nuggets, and if Denver hopes to win their first NBA championship, going through Los Angeles deserves to be part of the story after how this matchup ended the last time in the postseason. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Entering the postseason, it wasn’t easy to envision the Los Angeles Lakers finding their way to another NBA title. They’ve surpassed expectations and are now just four wins away from getting back to the NBA Finals. The question revolves around how they got back to this point after finding themselves out of the playoff picture for much of the first half of the regular season. For starters, a healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis elevate this squad. Their trade deadline additions made them a much stronger defensive squad while upgrading their second unit and giving them more depth than they’d been lacking. 

LA took down the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors to get to the Western Conference Finals. These are strong teams, and the Lakers deserve credit for moving past them. Will a matchup with the Nuggets result in LA’s run ending? It’s certainly plausible with how strong Denver has looked throughout this season. 


Denver proved in their series against Phoenix that their defenders have the length and ability to shut down superstar talent. Of course, doing that against the likes of LeBron and Anthony Davis will be a challenge, but if not now, when for this Nuggets team? No doubt this will be a difficult matchup for Denver, much like in 2020, but the Nuggs are much better suited to handle the challenge this time. You never want to count out LeBron, especially in this type of legacy-defining series, but the Nuggets have value in this matchup, and we like for them to find a way to advance in six games. You can also back Denver to win the series at -150, but we feel this will be a longer series, and there’s much more value in this direction. 

Best Bet: Nuggets Win Series 4-2 (+550)