NBA Playoffs: Daily best bets, odds and predictions for Monday, May 22nd

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

May 22, 2023 10:57 AM


Welcome to your source of daily analysis of the NBA Playoffs! Here we will break down each game, discuss betting angles, give predictions and more. For more discussion make sure to check out our daily NBA betting podcast: Hardwood Handicappers.

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Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5, 224.5)

Game 4: Nuggets lead series 3-0

In almost every facet the Denver Nuggets have outperformed the Los Angeles Lakers in this series, and it is why they are on the verge of sweeping this series and heading to the NBA Finals. 

Denver has outscored Los Angeles by 7.1 points every 100 possessions of non-garbage time, and through three games they have a 51-point edge from beyond the arc. The Nuggets have even shown some tenacity on defense, limiting the Lakers to a 100.0 offensive rating in halfcourt settings and 1.262 points per play in transition. Denver has the higher floor on offense, and has shown an ability to adjust its strategy more fluidly. There is no reason to believe those advantages disappear tonight.

The opening line of 3.5 was still high for Los Angeles, and the betting market is starting to push back on that line despite it overwhelmingly supporting the Lakers on Saturday night. The spreads of 5.5 for the games in Denver were much more accurate than what we have seen since the series changed venues. Using that as a baseline for making our lines here in Los Angeles would mean a spread of about 1.5 instead of the current consensus number.

There is certainly a chance the market comes in and backs the Lakers once more here, with the thought being that Los Angeles will put forth a valiant effort in hopes of not being swept while Denver will be content to take this back home and close it out. However, we have learned in recent days that situations like that are not as strong as the actual matchups on the court, so I will play the side which I believe to have value.

Bet: Nuggets ML (+135)

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