Lakers vs. Nuggets prediction and odds for Monday, January 9 (OVER/UNDER pick)

Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers are in Denver on Monday night to face the Nuggets and two-time MVP winner Nikola Jokic.

Both of these teams are playing great on the offensive side of the floor with LeBron James playing at an extremely high level. The soon-to-be all-time scoring leader has the Lakers playing their best ball of the season as they try to make a statement against the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

That said, Denver is arguably the best offense in the league, and the Lakers are still devoid of high-level players outside James. Will the Nuggets take care of business as double-digit favorites? I’ll give you my best before for the game below.

Lakers vs. Nuggets odds, spread and total

Lakers vs. Nuggets prediction and pick

The Nuggets are tied with the Celtics in offensive rating, per, but the defense still leaves some to be desired; 23rd on that side of the floor.

Over the last two weeks, the Lakers are top five in offensive rating en route to a 6-1 record. This hot streak has been coming because James is playing at an MVP-like level since the start of December, averaging nearly 32 points per game with seven rebounds and seven assists on 54% shooting from the field. Los Angeles is also playing at the second-fastest pace in the league, according to, so the team is getting plenty of shots up.

With increased possessions and mediocre defenses, expect each team to get what they want as the Lakers are 21st in defensive rating this season. The Nuggets’ offense is humming around Jokic and the Lakers don’t have a big man to slow him down with Anthony Davis still on the shelf with a foot injury.

Yes, the total is astronomically high, but with the Lakers’ up-tempo attack and lack of resistance for the Nuggets’ elite offense, I believe it’s justified. The Lakers have played two consecutive games with a total of 240 or above and gone over in each. My favorite bet in this one is on that happening yet again.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.