Struggling teams that were supposed to be Western powers meet Saturday as the Denver Nuggets play host to the Los Angeles Lakers. With the latest news, stats, and injury reports, things are actually turning out better for Denver but not so much for L.A. Denver is favored on the NBA betting odds as they look to take out the pedestrian Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers (21-21) vs Denver Nuggets (21-19)
Nuggets Rolling with the Punches
Add Will Barton to the long list of Denver’s injured players. The swingman head after a scary collision last time out. He’s listed as “probable” and will likely play, but JaMychal Green (personal) may not. So long as one “Nikola Jokic” avoids this list, the Nuggets should be worth betting online.
Denver is coming off a blowout win over Portland in a game that saw Jokic play “just” 28 minutes. The MVP candidate is getting little-to-no rest this season but he’s still putting up monstrous numbers: 25.5 points, 14 boards, and a 32.1 PER (player efficiency rating).
Jamal Murray isn’t expected to be back any time soon. Michael Porter Jr. is out for the year. This is it for Denver as Jokic will carry them all the way to a playoff spot. Just don’t look at their spread results (17-23).
Lakers Hitting Cement Ceiling
The writing was on the wall when the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook. The controversial point guard’s high-volume and high-risk style has not been conducive to team success. We’re seeing it now with the Lakers fighting to stay above .500. A spot in the playoffs is still likely but this team is far from being a title contender.
Of course, the blame isn’t entirely on Westbrook. Anthony Davis has not been healthy and the likes of Carmelo Anthony (back) and Kendrick Nunn are out as well. Los Angeles is just 17-25 against the spread (ATS), 7-10 as a road team, and 4-9 as an underdog.
The team’s defense, which has been a top-five unit in the last two seasons has fallen to 18th and the team is ranked similarly in assist-to-turnover ratio. More notably, the Lakers are 6-12 against teams .500 and above and have not beaten a winning team in their last 14 games.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Head to Head
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game Information
Date: January 15, 2022
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Ball Arena
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Betting Lines
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Prediction
If the Lakers are to buck their trend of losing to winning teams, it has an opportunity against the undermanned Nuggets. However, the Lakers are also just 1-4 in their last five road games. Denver has won six of their last nine games and is 8-5 as a home favorite.
However, the Nuggets covered just six of these games and Westbrook has generally had success against Jokic. In his last five games against Denver, Westbrook is 4-1. We still back the Nuggets to win this one but take the Lakers and the points on the sportsbook.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +4 (-110)
Despite the fast-paced nature of the Lakers, their offensive inefficiency has resulted in more of their road games going under (9 of 17). Denver has also seen an uptick to the totals going lower when they are favored at home: 61.5% or eight of their 13 games.