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Lakers vs Nuggets NBA betting picks and predictions: Bettors love LeBron to top this prop

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Wednesday’s NBA odds have Los Angeles Lakers as short road favorites over the Denver Nuggets, with the top two teams in the Western Conference playing their final game before the All-Star break.

We build the NBA betting blueprint for this marquee matchup, from our best bets for the pointspread and total to some quick-paying picks and prop plays.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS AT DENVER NUGGETS (+2.5, 220.5)

QUICK HITTER

The Nuggets have won four in a row and eight of their last 10, climbing the ladder to second in the Western Conference standings – three games back of the Lakers for the top spot. Denver rallied to a 127-120 road victory over the Spurs on Monday, erasing a 23-point deficit with under 19 minutes to go.

Los Angeles PG Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting as the Lakers blew past the Suns at home 125-100 Monday night. Los Angeles has now won four of its last five games both SU and ATS as it looks to continue that momentum heading into the All-Star break.

Denver has been one of the least profitable NBA bets in the first quarter this season, going 17-36-1 ATS including a 11-15-1 ATS return at home. The last time these teams met on December 22, the Lakers won the opening stanza 28-23 despite being without LeBron James, who missed his first game of the season. Look for a similar scoreline with James back in the lineup Wednesday.

PREDICTION: Lakers -1 First Quarter

FIRST HALF

Despite dealing with several injuries, Denver has won six of its last seven games including a pair of back-to-back sweeps. The Nuggets will likely have a short bench again Wednesday with Mason Plumlee (foot), Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) and Will Barton (knee) all sidelined. Denver will have nine days off to get healthy before playing next.

The Lakers are getting big contributions from their bench, including Rondo, who is 7 of 10 from the 3-point line in his last two games after going just 6 of 34 over his previous 15 appearances. With the entire rotation clicking, Los Angeles will start fast again in the Mile High City.

PREDICTION: Lakers -1.5 First Half

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

James has entered rarified air in his 17th NBA season. For the first time ever, the four-time MVP leads the NBA in assists. He is averaging 10.7 dimes per game – the most of his career and the only time he has ever averaged double-figures in that category. James has recorded at least nine assists in six straight games including 15 against the Rockets on February 6.

An efficient Lakers offense has helped James accomplish this feat, as has Anthony Davis. The big man is having another big year averaging 26.5 points on 51.9 percent shooting. The Lakers lead the NBA with a 48.8 field goal percentage this season. Expect James to have another strong performance distributing the basketball in his final game before the All-Star break.

PREDICTION: LeBron James Over 9.5 Assists

TOTAL BET

The Nuggets are used to playing games with relatively low totals as the oddsmakers have been conservative with setting their numbers. Denver has not had a total above 230 points all season with its highest Over/Under number being 229.5 back on January 24 against the high-scoring New Orleans Pelicans. The Nuggets won that game 113-106 as the final score stayed 10 points under the total.

Los Angeles has stayed beneath the total is two of its last three games and is dead even on the season with an Over/Under record of 26-26. The Over is 15-12 in the Lakers’ road games this season and 15-12 in Nuggets’ home games. It’s a good bet both teams will score some points as the starters could see extended minutes with the All-Star break looming.

PREDICTION: Over 220.5

SPREAD BET

Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap gutted through injuries to help spark the rally against the Spurs on Monday. Millsap scored 22 points in his second game back from a knee injury and Murray poured in 14 points in the fourth quarter as Denver racked up 74 second-half points in the comeback.

These teams split the first two meetings this season with each team winning on the road. The Nuggets blew out the Lakers 128-104 at STAPLES Center back on December 22, however, Los Angeles was without James for that matchup. The Lakers won a convincing 105-96 decision on December 3 at Pepsi Center.

Avery Bradley has been lighting it up from behind the arc and is 18 of 29 from 3-point range while averaging 15 points over his last five games. Bradley and the Lakers must solve a Denver defense ranked third in 3-point shooting (34.1 percent). Los Angeles is the only team in the NBA to has fewer losses on the road (five) than it does at home (seven). The Lakers head into the break with another victory away from home and cover this slim spread.

PREDICTION: Lakers -2.5

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook