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OK, so we came up a couple of possessions and one LeBron James assist shy of hitting a +9000 parlay on Tuesday night. So it goes in the gambling game, but at least all four of our individual prop bets hit.

If you took our advice, you are sitting at even heading into tonight’s Game 1 of the East finals between Boston and Miami, with Game 2 in the West set for Thursday night in Denver as the rest of the NBA world wishes that they were the San Antonio Spurs and had Victor Wembanyama coming aboard in the fall.

If you want to count LeBron James and the Lakers out at this juncture, do so at your own peril. These guys cut a 21-point deficit to 3 two times in the final 3 minutes, so despite Nikola Jokic’s monster line of 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists, Los Angeles showed the type of resiliency that has defined pretty much every team that LeBron has ever played on.

Bet against him at your own peril. He has lost five times this postseason (yes, never in a Game 1), and he remains standing. And his main sidekick, Anthony Davis, did drop 40 and 10 on the Nuggets, so we are not prepared to dismiss El Lay quite yet … especially after that comeback when they looked cooked.

Game 2 will be televised by ESPN at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, by which time the Spurs should have sold out the entire 2023-24 NBA season and be favorites to win the 2024 NBA championship because of the addition of the 7-foot-4 French phenom, who is so good that he could make Gregg Popovich happy again. Yes, impossibilities are possible in the NBA when a generational player joins the league. But we shall get back to Victor at a later date. We still have a heck of a long time to go before the next NBA champion is crowned, and Game 1 was only one game. It is a seven-game series, and there is a ton of basketball left.

Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2 Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 5/18

Moneyline: Los Angeles Lakers (+190), Denver Nuggets (-225)
Spread: Los Angeles Lakers +6.5 (-120), Denver Nuggets +6.5 (+100)
Total: Over/Under 226.5 points

Best Lakers vs Nuggets Player Prop Bets Thursday for Game 2 on May 18th 

Anthony Davis

He was 14-for-23 from the field and 11-for-11 from the line in Game 1, and he has scored at least 35 points just once this postseason. But a 40-spot is a 40-spot, and the Lakers will need to lean on him every bit as much as they did in Game 1 in order to even this series.

The Betway board lists Davis at +170 to score 30 or more and +625 to score 35 or more, while he is a -134 to go for at least 25. That 35 or more line is enticing, and it should be noted that he went for at least 35 points four times in a span of five games in late March and early April when he had 37 against Oklahoma City, 38 against Chicago and Minnesota and 40 against Houston.

So when the guy gets hot, he does it in bunches. Davis also went 38-39 in the first two games of March against Minnesota and Golden State, 44-55 in a back-to-back against Milwaukee and Washington at the start of December, and 37-38 in back-to-back games against Detroit and Brooklyn in December.

That, folks, is a trend. And we like to wager trends.

The pick: Anthony Davis to score at least 35 points (+650).

LeBron James

The man who refuses to age like the rest of us has dished out nine assists in consecutive games and had eight in Game 3 against Golden State in the second round. He got a ton of help in the second half Tuesday night from free agent-to-be Austin Reaves as the Lakers cut that deficit from 21 to 3, and there is no reason to think he will not be stoked for a statement game two nights from now. He is averaging 5.6 assists this postseason, which is a big reason why his assists line has been set at 6 ½. But those earlier games do not carry as much weight as these current games, and like a fine wine he just gets better as each day passes.

The pick: LeBron James over 6 ½ assists (-125).

Nikola Jokic

He went 3-for-3 on 3-pointers for his first perfect game from behind the arc since March 3 against Toronto. He went perfect from behind the arc nine times, and he made at least two 3-pointers 15 times during the regular season but has done it seven times in the postseason. Yes, that is another trend.

The big Serb may or not be pissed at the fact that he lost out on the MVP award to a guy in Philly, Joel Embiid, who was so bad in Game 7 that his coach ended up getting fired. Hey, motivation comes from different places for different people, and whether a team achievement or an individual achievement is what Jokic is after, the guy is an absolute beast. His total of 69 combined points, rebounds and assists marked the fifth time he has been in the 60s in that combined stats category. His over/under for Game 2 in that multi-category is 53 ½, but the payoff on the over is only -115.

We found something on the Betway board that is far more enticing because of the higher price.

The pick: Jokic over 1 ½ 3-pointers made (+155).

Best NBA Same Game Parlay Picks Today for Lakers vs Nuggets - Game 2: 3-Leg Parlay Picks (+1500)

Play the above picks by themselves. For your same-game parlay, take Jokic 2+ 3-pointers made (+140), Jokic 5+ assists (-5000), Davis 35+ points (+650). 

That will pay $1600 on a $100 bet.

NBA PLAYOFFS SAME GAME PARLAY @ (+1500): (Bet $100 to Win $1600). Get the best odds at Betway Sportsbook

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