The Denver Nuggets (19-8) visit Los Angeles to play the Lakers (24-5) in what should be a low-scoring game. The game can be seen on NBATV at 9:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 209 points with Los Angeles set as a 7.5-point favorite.
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers ATS Prediction
In the Nuggets’ last contest, they topped the Minnesota Timberwolves, 109-100, but they were not able to cover as 10.5-point favorites. The game’s total points (209) finished under the O/U total of 215. Denver had a better effective field goal percentage (0.551 vs. 0.471). Minnesota, on the other hand, had a better free throw rate (0.207 vs. 0.124). Nikola Jokic played a huge role in the victory for Denver, accumulating 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on his way to his fourth triple-double of the year.
The Lakers fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in their last outing, 111-104. They failed to cover as 3.5-point underdogs. The game’s total points (215) were under the projected point total of 227. Milwaukee’s turnover percentage was their largest strength over Los Angeles. The Bucks had a rate of 12.5 (worse than their season average of 12.2), while the Lakers posted a mark of 16.6 (above their season average of 13.0). Anthony Davis had a solid game for Los Angeles, leading both teams in scoring with 36 points on 11-for-25 shooting.
Baskets could be hard to come by in this battle between two of the NBA’s top defenses. Los Angeles ranks third in defensive efficiency (101.8) and Denver is fourth (101.9). Furthermore, the Nuggets, who rank fourth in offensive rebounding percentage (24.3 percent), will go head-to-head against the Lakers, who rank fourth in defensive rebounding percentage (79.4 percent).
Denver is 19-8 straight up (SU), but they are just 10-13-4 against the spread (ATS). Vegas is known to set the total high when the Nuggets are involved, as 19 of their 27 contests have gone under the projected point total.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles owns records of 24-5 SU and 16-13 ATS. Lakers games also have typically finished under the O/U total (58.6 percent).
Both teams have had a player step their game up over their last five games. Jokic (21 points,10.2 rebounds,9.2 assists) has been fantastic for the Nuggets while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12 points) has contributed greatly to the Lakers.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. Jamal Murray had 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first matchup, in which the Nuggets lost 105-96, unable to cover as 2.5-point favorites. The game finished with a total of 201 points, which was 6.5 points below the projected point total of 207.5 points. The Lakers had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (33.3 vs. 14.3) and had a better free throw rate (0.238 vs. 0.176).
Nuggets at Lakers Betting Pick
NBA Prediction: ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Under
On the road, Denver is 4-5-2 ATS with 8 unders and 3 overs.
Los Angeles is 8-4 ATS at home with 7 unders and 5 overs.
Both teams are strong when holding the opposition to under 100 points, as Denver is 10-1 and Los Angeles is 10-0.
The Lakers are 20-5 when they reach 100 points, while the Nuggets are 17-4.
Los Angeles ranks third in fast break points per game (17.4) while Denver ranks 23rd (11.7).
The Lakers rank first in blocks per game (7.1) while the Nuggets rank 17th (4.9).
Los Angeles ranks third in steals per game (8.6) while Denver ranks 18th (7.7).
The Lakers average 53.1 points in the paint per game, which ranks second in the league. The Nuggets rank 17th in points allowed in the paint per game (48.4).
Los Angeles ranks fourth in second chance points per game (14.8) while Denver ranks 16th (13.0).
The Nuggets rank first in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.2) while the Lakers rank 12th (16.8).
Los Angeles ranks second in rebounds allowed per game (41.4) while Denver ranks eighth (44.1).
The Lakers average 26.2 assists per game, which ranks sixth in the NBA. The Nuggets rank 11th in assists allowed per game (23.5).
Los Angeles ranks 23rd in three pointers attempted per game (30.6) while Denver ranks 25th (30.2).
Over its last five outings, Denver is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over over its last five games.
The Nuggets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.4, up from 5.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Lakers have scored an average of 103.2 points per game (9.4 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.8 points per game (2.3 below their season average).