Western Conference Finals Gambling Preview: Can the Lakers bounce back in Game 3?
Saturday night, it's game three of the Western Conference Finals - as Denver has jumped out to a 2-0 series lead.
In Game 1, it was on the back of a historic Nikola Jokic performance and in Game 2, it was thanks to yet another Jamal Murray outburst.
So now, as the series shifts back to Los Angeles, can the Lakers get back on track?
Here's our full Game 3 preview with odds provided by our partners at Betfred Sportsbook:
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (Saturday, 8:30 pm ET, ABC)
Spread: Los Angeles (-5.5)
Not only does Denver have a commanding 2-0 series lead over Los Angeles in the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets’ stars have significantly outperformed the Lakers’ stars.
In Game 1, Nikola Jokic (34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, two blocks) and Anthony Davis (40 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) traded dunks, jumpers and defensive stops. While Jokic (23 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists) collected his seventh post-season career triple double in Game 2, Davis reverted to his “one-game on, one-game off” mode (18 points on 4-for-15 shooting, 14 rebounds, four blocks, four turnovers).
Despite nursing an earache, Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray has dominated like he’s in the NBA bubble again with post-season career highs in points (34) and 3-point shooting (45.5%). While battling Father Time and fatigue, Lakers forward LeBron James has averaged a respectable 24 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.5 rebounds while missing all 10 of his 3-point attempts and committing three turnovers per game.
The Lakers remain confident because of their season-long resiliency, their 6-0 home playoff record and James’ own track record. After all, James helped the Cleveland Cavaliers overcome 0-2 playoff deficits three times in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals (Detroit), the 2016 NBA Finals (Golden State) and the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals (Boston).
Perhaps it’s foolish still to bet against LeBron. It’s probably also foolish to think the Lakers can’t win in Game 3 after staying within single digits in both Game 1 and 2. But it might be foolish to bet for the Lakers to win the series entirely. Only 33 NBA teams in 447 total playoff series have overcome a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series in league history.
Final score prediction: Lakers 115, Nuggets 110
Betting Pick: Lakers (-5.5)
Mark Medina is a veteran NBA reporter who will be contributing to Aaron Torres Online and Aaron Torres Media throughout the NBA playoffs - follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
To get full odds on the entire NBA Playoffs visit Betfred Sportsbook
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