The NFL takes center stage on Sunday, but don’t forget about the NBA. The Lakers and Nuggets will play Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at 7 p.m. ET. The Lakers won the first game of this series, 126-114, and will look to grab a commanding 2-0 lead with another win today.
Let’s break down some of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.
The Pick: Lakers -7.5 (-110)
The Lakers pretty thoroughly dominated the Nuggets in Game 1 of this series. They posted an offensive efficiency of 128.7 points per 100 possessions and an effective FG% of 60.4%. The Lakers lived at the rim, generating a whopping 43.2% of their shots from that location, and Los Angeles shot 64.5% when they got there. The Nuggets have struggled to defend the rim all postseason, so expect LeBron James and Anthony Davis to continue to feast in that location.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets’ big two of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic figures to struggle. Jokic, in particular, has a brutal matchup in this series. Davis was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award and has the ability to match him on the paint and on the perimeter. JaVale McGee also did an admirable job after rejoining the starting lineup, limiting Jokic to just 2-of-5 shooting while serving as his primary defender.
The Nuggets have had a magical run just to get to this point in the playoffs but I think this is a terrible matchup for them. The Lakers should be able to take care of business relatively easily.
The early betting numbers suggest that the sharps agree: The Lakers are receiving just 48% of the spread bets but those bets have accounted for 98% of the spread dollars.
The Pick: Lakers to win 4-0 (+180) & Lakers to win 4-1 (+160)
I’m looking at this like a combination bet. If you think the Lakers will win in no more than five games – just like Charles Barkley does – you can grab both of these bets at plus money. If the Lakers sweep, you’ll profit +0.8 units. If they win in five, you’ll profit +0.6.
The Nuggets made me pay with a similar bet on the Clippers in Round 2 but their magic has to run out eventually. The Clippers blew double-digit second-half leads in each of the final three games of that series, so it was a pretty epic choke on their part. I don’t see LeBron making the same mistakes.
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