NBA Free Pick | Lakers at Nuggets

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by Americas Bookie - 2/12/2021 1:21 PM Share

What happens when the third-highest scoring team takes on the No. 2 defensive team in the NBA? The first time around, the Los Angeles Lakers shut down Denver's Nikola Jokic and beat the Nuggets handily 114-93.

Jokic played horribly as the Lakers defense, which gives up 105.2 points a game, held him to 6-of-16 shooting and 13 points. Can the Lakers do it again?

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Game: Los Angeles Lakers (20-6, 12-14 ATS) at Denver Nuggets (13-11, 11-13 ATS)

When: 10:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 14, 2021

Where : Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

Current Line : OFF Total: OFF

TV Coverage : ESPN

Defensive is a Factor!

The Lakers lead the NBA in defensive efficiency rating which is one of the reasons why L.A. is on a current six-game winning streak. Each of their last three games (prior to a Friday night game with Memphis) has gone to overtime before the Lakers pulled out the victory.

Before their current win streak, the Lakers lost two straight. Both games - Detroit and Philadelphia - were on the road.

As the Lakers travel to Denver, they will face a Nuggets team that scores 116 points per game. Jokic, of course, is the leader. In addition to his team-high 26.9 points per game, the 7-footer also grabs 11.3 rebounds and dishes out 8.6 assists as the best-passing big man in the game.

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No One Trick Pony

The Nuggets aren't all Jokic though. Jamal Murray (18.1 ppg) is one of eight Denver players that scores in double figures. Michael Porter Jr. has missed time this season due to COVID, but is beginning to get his groove back averaging nearly 15 points a game.

The bottom line is that Denver can score and they can do so on just about anyone. In the earlier loss to Los Angeles, remember that the Nuggets were playing on the road. This time, Denver will be at home.

While home-court advantage isn't that much of an advantage, simply playing at home in a familiar venue should help Denver score more than the 93 points they put up against the Lakers in their first meeting.

Denver returned home to face Cleveland on Wednesday. The result? A 133-95 win. The Lakers surely are not the Cavs, but playing at home certainly helped the Nuggets.

Denver trends toward Overs. For the season, the Over is 17-6-1 in Nuggets games. In 12 home games, the Total has gone Over eight times (8-3-1) and if you go back to last season the Total has gone Over in 10 of the last 14 home games

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Lakers at Nuggets Free Pick

Seven of Denver's last nine games have seen the Total go Over. One of the Unders was the game against the Lakers. The other came in a win over Miami, which is ranked No. 7 in points allowed.

Because of L.A.'s defense, expect a Total in the 215 to 217 range. In the first Lakers-Nuggets matchup, the Total was 217.

Denver will play much better against the Lakers this time around. Playing at home will give the Nuggets a boost and allow them to put up a lot more than just 93 points. Play the OVER all the way up to 217.

LAKERS AT NUGGETS FREE PICK: OVER up to 217



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