The Nuggets held serve at home in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, beating the Lakers 132-126 in a high scoring, back and forth affair.
It was an over party in Game 1 for props, but how will tactical adjustments for both teams factor into Game 2 and how we should assess the prop pool. I’m focusing on players that may be in for more and less usage given the Game 1 results, including Nuggets’ forward Michael Porter Jr. and Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell.
Of course, I also eyed a prop for Nikola Jokic that continues to be mispriced.
Here are three prop bets to play for Game 2:
Best prop bets for Lakers vs. Nuggets
- Nikola Jokic OVER 1.5 Three’s Made (+150)
- Michael Porter Jr. OVER 21.5 Points and Rebounds (-120)
- D’Angelo Russell UNDER 20.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (-115)
Nikola Jokic OVER 1.5 three’s made
Jokic was +180 to hit two three’s in Game 1, and had little issue drilling all three of his attempts. I’ll go back to the well in Game 2 as the Lakers are likely going to put Rui Hachimura on him and try to keep him outside the paint and have Anthony Davis patrolling the paint in help defense.
The two-time MVP is shooting 51% from three this postseason while hitting just under two three’s per game. At + money, the efficiency is too potent to ignore, and I’ll back Jokic over.
Michael Porter Jr. OVER 21.5 Points and Rebounds
MPJ had a strong Game 1, scoring 15 points on 50% shooting from the field including three three’s and grabbed 10 rebounds. However, his points and rebounds prop didn’t move despite some key matchup advantages. Why? Not sure. So, thanks oddsmakers.
Porter Jr. is averaging over 10 rebound chances per game this postseason, an astonishing mark that makes me confident he can grab north of six at minimum, but I expect a big scoring outing for him at some point.
Austin Reaves is the primary defender for MPJ, who is giving up at least five inches to the sweet shooting Nuggets forward. I believe that with the Lakers scrambling to slow down Jokic and Jamal Murray, who combined for 65 points, MPJ may be in line for a big scoring outing.
Porter Jr. can score in bunches so his points prop could be worthwhile, but I like this prop as the best way to attack.
D’Angelo Russell UNDER 20.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists
Russell struggled mightily in Game 1 as he couldn’t stay in front of the constant motion of the Nuggets and didn’t make a meaningful impact on offense to offset it.
Overall, the Lakers guard only played 26 minutes (eight in the second half) and scored eight points with three assists. The Lakers opted to get more size on the floor like Hachimura in the second half and found great success, making it a one possession game in the final minutes.
Ultimately, I think Russell finds himself out of the rotation by the end of the series, so I’ll bank on limited minutes and output.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.