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2023 NBA Playoff Predictions Today – May 18: Back Nuggets Against Lakers

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

OddsJam’s NBA expert breaks down his top prediction for each day of NBA playoff action! Find his pick for today’s slate below.

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Pick: Nuggets -5.5 | Shop for the Best Odds Below!

8:30 p.m. ET

On Thursday night, the Lakers and Nuggets meet up for Game 2 of their series; they’re still in Denver for this one. Game 1 was an exciting affair that was dominated for long stretches by Nikola Jokic, but as his output fell off in the second half, the Lakers battled back and almost secured a massive come-from-behind victory.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the energy spent and minutes accrued on Tuesday night spell trouble for tonight’s game. Despite shooting 55/46/89 from the field and staging a late comeback, the Lakers fell to the Nuggets as they made costly turnovers late in the game. In their previous two series against the Grizzlies and the Warriors, the Lakers were able to steal Game 1 on the road, before dropping Game 2 by double digits (10 points to the Grizzlies, a whopping 27 points to the Warriors).

While many seem to assume that the Lakers will play better on Thursday night because of the second half adjustments they made (benching D’Angelo Russell and putting Rui Hachimura on Jokic), that presumes that the Nuggets won’t make adjustments of their own. And with Denver being utterly dominant on their home court all year and into the playoffs, I have to favor the Nuggets in this one.

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The Lakers won’t go away without a fight, as going down 2-0 in this series would be a potentially fatal decision. But the Nuggets will be too much for them, and should take this one by six or more points before heading to Los Angeles this weekend.


Worth $3,450

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