Can the Lakers avoid sweep? The Lakers are down 3-0 in the series as they host the Nuggets for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. The game is expected to tip-off at 08:30 PM ET, Monday, May 22nd, 2023.
Given their failure to secure a win in the first three games, it’s surprising the Lakers come into Game 4 a 3 point favorite, with many expecting the Lakers to get a win before the series shifts back to Denver.
The Nuggets, the top team in the Western Conference, are on the verge of making history as they aim to sweep their way into their first-ever NBA Finals. In Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Lakers, the Nuggets have a chance to seal their spot.
Their 119-108 victory in the previous game showcased their resilience as they went on a decisive 13-0 run led by Nikola Jokic. Despite early foul trouble, Jokic contributed 24 points, while Jamal Murray shined with 37 points, including 30 in the first half.
The Nuggets have demonstrated a “next-man-up” mentality, with players stepping up when needed. Coach Michael Malone praised his team’s composure and adaptability, emphasizing their ability to overcome obstacles.
Holding a 3-0 series lead, the Nuggets have multiple opportunities to advance, including the potential advantage of two home games. While the Lakers have been competitive, their postseason run seems to be losing steam.
Despite notable performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James, their defensive struggles and the Nuggets’ efficient shooting have impeded their chances. However, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham remains optimistic, focusing on winning one game at a time to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Lakers will need to regroup and find a way to overcome the Nuggets’ dominance in Game 4.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
The market’s perception of the Lakers’ prospects in the series seems to be misguided, particularly when it comes to Game 4. Despite the Lakers’ dim long-term outlook in the series, the heavy focus on Game 4 appears exaggerated.
With a 25-20 against-the-spread record after a loss this year and the presence of one of the greatest basketball players on their team, backing the market stance and supporting the Lakers in Game 4 seems reasonable.
The Lakers have performed well against the spread when favored by -3 to -4.5 points, boasting a 9-5 record in such situations this season. While the Lakers may eventually exit the series without much fanfare, it is unlikely to happen on their home court as they face the potential sweep. Therefore, laying the points with LA seems like a justifiable decision.
Spread: Lakers -3
Moneyline: Lakers -156, Nuggets +132
Pick: Lakers -3
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