The Los Angeles Lakers are home underdogs for just the sixth time all season (they’re 2-3 against the spread in those games) when they host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
This is an important day for the Lakers, as the franchise will be unveiling a statue to honor the legendary Kobe Bryant outside of Crypto.com Arena. As a result, the Lakers will wear their Black Mamba uniforms against Denver.
It will be an emotional night in Los Angeles, and it could be an emotional day as well with the team rumored to be active in the trade market ahead of today’s deadline.
Will the Lakers make a move that hinders their chances of taking tonight’s game?
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Let’s take a look at the latest odds with Denver set as a slight favorite in Los Angeles:
Nuggets vs. Lakers odds, spread and total
Nuggets vs. Lakers how to watch
- Date: Thursday, Feb. 8
- Time: 10:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: Crypto.com Arena
- How to watch (TV): TNT
- Nuggets record: 35-16
- Lakers record: 27-25
Nuggets vs. Lakers injury reports
Nuggets injury report
- Vlatko Cancar – out
- Braxton Key – out
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – questionable
Lakers injury report
- Anthony Davis – questionable
- LeBron James – questionable
- Gabe Vincent – out
- Cam Reddish – out
- Jarred Vanderbilt – out
Nuggets vs. Lakers key players to watch
Nikola Jokic: In the season opener against Los Angeles, Jokic put up a smooth 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in a Denver win. Now, the big man will get another crack at All-Star Anthony Davis. This should be a fun matchup on both ends, but Jokic has shown dating back to last postseason that he can dominate this Lakers defense. Darvin Ham will need to scheme something up to slow him down tonight.
Los Angeles Lakers
Austin Reaves: There could be a lot more responsibility coming Reaves’ way with D’Angelo Russell potentially missing this game because of a trade at the deadline. This season, Reaves is averaging 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He’s posted three games with 22 or more points in his last four matchups.
Nuggets vs. Lakers prediction and pick
Denver has been an elite team at home this season, but the same can’t be said on the road.
The Nuggets are just 6-13-1 against the spread as road favorites, and this is going to be a tough matchup against a Lakers team that has won three straight, taking down two quality playoff teams in Boston and New York in the process.
The deadline makes things a little murky, as the Lakers could look to make a major deal that shifts the team’s roster, but we can’t plan on that when handicapping this game.
Los Angeles is one of the better home teams in the NBA, going 17-8 straight up at Crypto.com Arena, and it has played Denver tight dating back to the last postseason. Don’t be shocked if the Lakers hang around and potentially pull off the upset tonight.
Pick: Lakers +3.5 (-108)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.