NBA: Nikola Jokic favoured to win Western Conference Finals MVP & Lakers vs Nuggets preview

Kahfeel Buchanan
Kahfeel Buchanan
Sports Betting News
Nikola Jokic favoured to win Western Conference Finals MVP & Lakers vs Nuggets preview

The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets will face off in the Western Conference Finals for a chance to reach the NBA Finals. The Lakers will head to Denver on May 16 for game one of the series. The Nuggets are the number one seed in the west and the betting favourites. The Lakers are the seventh seed. This is a 2020 Western Conference Finals rematch, the Lakers won that series in five games and went on to win the title. 

Quick Take

  • Nikola Jokic has best odds to win WCF MVP
  • Los Angeles Lakers are underdogs heading into the series
  • 2020 Western Conference Finals rematch

Western Conference Finals MVP

Nikola Jokic is the betting favourite to win Western Conference Finals MVP at -125 odds on BetMGM Ontario. The Lakers don’t have many players who can match Jokic’s height and size. Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Tristan Thompson are some of the only players in the rotation who can match up with him. On paper, this should be a good series for Jokic because the Lakers aren’t a young team and don’t have a lot of players with his size outside of Davis who can be injury prone. However, if the Lakers decide to prioritize slowing Jokic down, Murray could easily win this award because Jokic is a more than willing passer. Murray has +1400 odds.

On the Lakers side, the award will most likely go to Davis or James. James has the second best odds at +250. Davis has +300 odds.  It could go either way. James is one of the greatest players in NBA history and currently still one of the best in the league, so there could be some bias towards him if the race is close. Davis has youth on his side. He is a better defender than James at this point in his career, averaging 3.3 blocks per game in the playoffs this year. He will have a great case if he slows Jokic down even a little and continues to produce at an elite level on the other end of the court.

Series Odds & Preview for Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are currently  the underdogs in this series on sports betting sites ahead of game one at -145 on BetMGM. The Lakers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in round one and the defending champion Golden State Warriors in round two to get here. Davis and James aren’t averaging as many points as they did in the regular season, but one of the biggest stories throughout their postseason run so far has been the performances of their role players. 

Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and Lonnie Walker IV have all had a big game in these playoffs. Most recently, Walker IV scored 15 points in the fourth quarter of game 4 and Reaves scored 23 points in game 6 to help the Lakers close out the series. James has a stellar 10-1 record in conference finals series. The last time he lost a conference finals series was in 2009. He is averaging 23.4 points, 10 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. His co-star, Davis, is averaging 21.2 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks in the playoffs.

Series Odds & Preview for Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are the betting favourites heading into game one of the series at +120. The Nuggets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games and the Phoenix Suns in the second round, the former western conference betting favourites on NBA betting sites. The Nuggets are now the betting favourite to win the west. Nikola Jokic has had a strong playoffs thus far, he is averaging 30.7 points, 9.7 assists, and 12.8 rebounds per game. To go along with Jokic, Jamal Murray’s numbers in these playoffs are also good. Murray is averaging 25.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 1.3 steals after missing the last two postseasons because of injury.

Unlike the Lakers, this Nuggets team has been together for years. The Lakers just beat a Warriors team that has been together for a couple of years also, but the Warriors only recently added Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II back to the lineup and had to navigate the Jordan Poole and Draymond Green situation, the leaked video of Green punching Poole. The Nuggets don’t have near as much drama surrounding their team and have been together for most of the year.

All odds are subject to change.