Bet the NBA Playoffs: Greg Frank likes the Denver Nuggets to be sharp vs. the rested L.A. Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) drives around LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley (21) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Bet the NBA Playoffs: Greg Frank likes the Denver Nuggets to be sharp vs. the rested L.A. Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals

The Nuggets (+7) @ Lakers (210) tip off at 9 pm EDT.

Nuggets (+7) @ Lakers (210)

Pick: Nuggets +7

I’m riding the momentum and taking Denver to cover tonight in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. With the Lakers having not played in six days, the Nuggets are set up perfectly to steal this opening game, or at least be competitive enough to cover.

As we noted in our Game 7 handicap in the Clippers-Nuggets series, Denver really turned things up defensively in its comeback from the 3-1 series deficit. The Nuggets rallied from an identical deficit in the opening round against Utah and there has to be a feeling of invincibility right now in their locker room. I won’t go as far to say I expect them to pull another upset against the purple and gold, but I do think this series goes at least six games and Denver will give the Lakers all they can handle. The Nuggets are second in the NBA Playoffs in 3-point field goal percentage. They have gotten some timely outside shooting when needed and that’s the kind of game they’ll need to play for most of this series. Expect Jamal Murray to be the best guard on the floor tonight, Denver to take the lead into halftime and this to be a photo finish in which seven points are going to be nice to have.

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