Go ‘Under’ The Inflated Total As Your NBA Pick When Nuggets Visit Lakers

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, March 25, 2016 2:52 PM GMT

There seems to be an inflated total in a matchup of two also-rans at the Staples Center Friday night when the Denver Nuggets come down to sea level to visit the Los Angeles Lakers.

It looks like there is a very high total Friday night in a matchup of two teams that will be watching the NBA Playoffs on television as the Denver Nuggets (30-42, 38-32-2 ATS) pay a visit to the Los Angeles Lakers (15-56, 32-39 ATS) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 10:35 ET in a game available on TWC SportsNet.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 214½ for this contest with the current NBA odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

 

Nothing to Play For on Either Side
This total opened up at 215 before being bet down fairly quickly, which may be an indication that there is some sharp money on the ‘under’. That seems understandable given that neither of these teams has anything to play for, and the Lakers may be more interested in holding on to their spot with the second worst record in the NBA to help their chances for a higher draft pick.

The Nuggets meanwhile needed a miraculous half-court shot at the buzzer to be the winning NBA picks over the worst team in basketball in the Philadelphia 76ers (9-63) on Wednesday, and that was at home in the altitude of Denver. Even with that narrow victory, the Nuggets are already assured of finishing with a losing record this season as they currently stand at 30-42.

 

Dead Last in the NBA in Shooting
Yes, this is the farewell season for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have just 11 games remaining, but it is not as if Kobe is helping Los Angeles much on the floor these days with his woeful 35.7 percent shooting overall, and that has contributed to the Lakers ranking dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage at 41.9 percent as well as dead last in three-point shooting at 31.7 percent, leading to an average of just 98.0 points per game that ranks 28th in the league.

Bryant is also playing through a shoulder injury, so perhaps his biggest role right now in mentoring the Lakers’ point guard of the future in D'Angelo Russell, who recently had a hot stretch that saw him score at least 20 points in seven out of eight games. However, the rookie has regressed averaging just 10.4 points on a dreadful 33.3 percent shooting over the last five games.

That includes Russell scoring 14 points on just 6-for-18 shooting vs. the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday in his first game after suffering a shin injury vs. the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, and if that injury is indeed troublesome, it would not leave the Lakers with many more offensive options.

 

Offense Not as Good at Sea Level
The Nuggets may be on a high after that game winning shot by rookie Emmanuel Mudiay allowed them to barely beat the worst team in the league, but unfortunately their offense has not been as good this year when coming down from altitude, which is a trait Denver has been living with for several years since the firing of former coach George Karl.

The Nuggets are averaging 102.3 point per game on 44.2 percent shooting overall, but that average drops to 99.9 points on the road, where Denver is shooting 43.9 percent overall and only 33.9 percent from beyond the three-point arc. On top of this, Denver is expected to be without starting forward Kenneth Faried for a fifth straight game due to a back injury, and the Nuggets have averaged only 98.5 points in the four games that he has missed.

 

Trending the ‘Under’
Finally, the ‘under’ is now 20-8 in the Lakers’ last 28 home games vs. teams with losing road records, 18-8 in their last 26 games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and 11-1 in their last 12 home games vs. teams with a road winning percentage of less than .400. Meanwhile, all Denver road games are averaging a combined 203.8 points this season, more than 10 points less than this posted total.

Given the seeming lack of motivation for both sides, the Lakers’ troubles scoring points and the Nuggets not being as good offensively away from the altitude of home, look for those ‘under’ trends to continue when Denver visits Los Angeles on Friday.

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NBA Pick: Nuggets, Lakers ‘under’ 215
Best Line Offered: at Bovada