The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday evening. The Lakers, leading 2-0 in the series, will look to further improve their standing with another win, while the Nuggets enter this matchup in desperate need of a victory. LeBron James (groin) is listed as probable for the Lakers, with Dion Waiters (groin) listed as doubtful. Will Barton (knee) is out for the Nuggets.

Tip-off for this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup is at 9 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists Los Angeles as the 6.5-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Nuggets odds. The over-under for total points expected is 214. Before making any Nuggets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Nuggets. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Nuggets vs. Lakers:

  • Lakers vs. Nuggets spread: Lakers -6.5
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets over-under: 214 points
  • Lakers vs. Nuggets money line: Lakers -270, Nuggets +230
  • LAL: The Lakers are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • DEN: The Nuggets are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Lakers can cover

The Lakers have been the best team in the postseason, outscoring opponents by 8.8 points per 100 possessions to lead the league. Los Angeles is also the best offensive team among squads advancing beyond the first round, scoring 1.15 points per possession in the postseason. The Lakers are No. 2 in the playoffs in offensive rebounding, grabbing more than 30 percent of their own missed shots, and Los Angeles also ranks No. 2 in both effective field-goal percentage and true shooting percentage. 

Defensively, Los Angeles is elite, ranking third in defensive efficiency in the regular season and maintaining that level in the playoffs while allowing 1.06 points per possession. The Lakers are a top-three team in turnover creation, with the No. 3 mark in steals per game and an NBA-leading 6.1 blocks per contest.

Why the Nuggets can cover

Though the Nuggets lost a heart-breaker in Game 2, Denver has been operating at an elite level for quite a while now. The Nuggets upended the Clippers with three straight wins and, along the way, the team’s offense has been dynamic. Nikola Jokic is a bonafide star, averaging 25.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in the playoffs, and Jamal Murray adds 26.6 points and 6.1 assists per game of his own. 

Denver ranked as a top-five offense in the regular season and, in the playoffs, that is happening again, with the Nuggets scoring 112.3 points per 100 possessions. Mike Malone’s team also ranks in the top four among playoff teams in shooting efficiency and offensive rebounding. Defensively, Denver is sometimes shaky, but the Nuggets are fourth in the NBA Playoffs 2020 in limiting points off turnovers, keeping opponents to only 14.8 points per game off giveaways. That will be key again in Game 3 against a Lakers team that can thrive in transition.

How to make Lakers vs. Nuggets picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Anthony Davis and Murray projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Nuggets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Nuggets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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