Will Underdog Nuggets Prove Oddsmakers Wrong Yet Again?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 09/16/2020 - Last Updated on January 18, 2021

The rest of the NBA and sports world is starting to figure it out.

Bet against the Denver Nuggets at your own peril.

The Nuggets are the first team in the NBA’s history to win back-to-back series after trailing 3-1.

Denver first pulled off the feat against the Utah Jazz. In doing so, the Nuggets became just the 12th team in history to win a series after trailing 3-1.

Mile High Basketball decided once isn’t enough; let’s double down.

The Nuggets entered the series as huge underdogs to the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers weren’t only favored to win the Western Conference semifinal series, they were the favorite to win the NBA finals.

That didn’t stop Grand Junction’s Jolene Mulumba from placing a $10 bet on the Nuggets to win the series in the young sports betting CO market.

As Mulumba said to PlayColorado:

“I thought they could pull it off. I made my bet just before Game 1 started against the Clippers. Jamal Murray just had a phenomenal series against Utah, and I was hoping he could take that into the next round. Obviously $10 isn’t a true ‘shots fired’ or anything, but I’m new to sports gambling.”

Nuggets make more history

Then Denver goes down 3-1. Again.

What went through Mulumba’s mind when that happened?

“I was doing this.”

As you would expect, the sports betting odds jumped even higher.

According to Sports Odds History, Denver was down to 30-1 to win the series when the Clippers took a 3-1 series lead.

According to FanDuel sports betting app, when the Nuggets went down 3-1 (for the second time), their odds to win the championship were at +6,700.

“No way Denver can do it again. NBA fans will get the battle of LA,” was the consensus from just about everyone who doesn’t believe in the power of the rainbow.

Look no further than Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson when the Clippers went up 3-1.

Don’t back Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets into a corner; you won’t like the results. Well, unless you’re a Mile High Basketball fan, of course.

After a remarkable 104-89 win in Game 7, Denver did it again.

Bet against the Nuggets at your own peril.

Nuggets vs Lakers odds

Nuggets vs Lakers series odds BetMGMDraftKingsFanDuel
Series winner Nuggets +500
Lakers -715
Nuggets +450
Lakers -625
Nuggets +410
Lakers -590
Series correct score Nuggets 4-0 +8,000
Nuggets 4-1 +3,500
Nuggets 4-2 +1,800
Nuggets 4-3 +1,200
Lakers 4-0 +275
Lakers 4-1 +210
Lakers 4-2 +335
Lakers 4-3 +600
Nuggets 4-0 +7,500
Nuggets 4-1 +3,000
Nuggets 4-2 +1,600
Nuggets 4-3 +1,000
Lakers 4-0 +310
Lakers 4-1 +220
Lakers 4-2 +310
Lakers 4-3 +550
Nuggets 4-0 +7,500
Nuggets 4-1 +3,100
Nuggets 4-2 +1,600
Nuggets 4-3 +1,100
Lakers 4-0 +300
Lakers 4-1 +210
Lakers 4-2 +300
Lakers 4-3 +500

Now Denver will look to do what no other team in franchise history has been able to do — beat the Lakers and advance to the NBA finals.

Right on cue, the Nuggets are heavy underdogs to LeBron James, Anthony Davis and LA.

The consensus at the Colorado sports betting apps is Denver has no shot — again — in the series or in Game 1. The odds have been updated as of Friday afternoon

Game 1 is set for 7 p.m. MST on Friday.

Game 1 odds

Nuggets vs Lakers Game 1 odds BetMGM DraftKings FanDuel
Point spread Nuggets +7 -110
Lakers -7 -110
Nuggets +7 -110
Lakers -7 -110
Nuggets +7 -110
Lakers -7 -110
Moneyline Nuggets +230
Lakers -286
Nuggets +245
Lakers -305
Nuggets +240
Lakers -295
Total points Over 210.5 -110
Under 210.5 -110
Over 210 -112
Under 210 -109
Over 210 -110
Under 210 -110

The good news for the Nuggets is they get a few days off before the series starts.

Denver gets one more day off than it got when it beat the Jazz and moved on to the Clippers.

The other positive is the Nuggets won’t lose the confidence they have right now. And one has to think it’s a lot. This two-day break will allow Denver to regroup, catch its breath and get ready for the next step on its journey to a championship.

Nuggets vs Lakers schedule

Nuggets vs Lakers Western Conference finals schedule Time (MST)Date TVRadio
Game 1 7 p.m. FridayTNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 2 5:30 p.m.SundayTNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 3 7 p.m.Tuesday, Sept. 22TNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 4 7 p.m.Thursday, Sept. 24TNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 5 (if necessary)7 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 26TNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 6 (if necessary)TBDMonday, Sept. 28TNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM
Game 7 (if necessary)TBDWednesday, Sept. 30TNTAltitude Radio 92.5 FM/950 AM

Can Denver reach the NBA mountaintop?

This has been one of the most bizarre and historical years in history.

So, wouldn’t it be fitting if the Nuggets finally beat the Lakers in the Year 2020?

When Denver was in this same position in the past, this is the franchise that has stood in the way.

And LA has crushed the Nuggets’ dream.

Every. Single. Time.

This is the fourth time in franchise history that Denver has reached the Western Conference finals.

It’s the third time it will face the Lakers.

The most recent came in 2008-09 when Kobe Bryant led LA to a 4-2 series win.

The first came in 1984-85 and LA beat the Doug Moe and Alex English-led Nuggets 4-1.

As longtime Denver sports columnist Woody Paige joked on Twitter:

“One time the Nuggets played the Lakers in the playoffs Doug Moe said his Nuggets had no chance. Pat Riley, Lakers coach, got so pissed. Moe was right.”

Lakers’ demons

For the Nuggets to shake their LA demons, they need to play the whole series like they’re down 3-1.

If Murray, Jokic and Denver can do that, they’ve shown they can beat anybody.

Yes, James and the Lakers are another beast, but so what?

The Nuggets need to play their game, and as English said on Twitter toward the end of Game 7, take all of LA basketball’s heart.

Murray and Jokic will continue to carry Denver. They’ve proven to be one of the best duos in the NBA.

Michael Porter Jr. is the X-factor, as he’s been throughout the playoffs.

The return of Gary Harris has been massive.

One name to keep an eye on is guard Will Barton. He’s been out since the Nuggets have been in the bubble. If he’s able to play, that’s one more reliable body coach Michael Malone can trust on both ends of the floor.

As of Wednesday, there’s no clarity on Barton’s immediate availability.

Back to Mulumba, will she test the Nuggets and sports betting waters again for the Western Conference finals?

“Good question … they get two days of rest this time, so that’s a game changer.”

More history?

However the series with the Lakers unfolds, Denver has already made history.

But why stop there?

The franchise has a chance to reach a place it’s never been, by doing something it’s never done before. It sounds like what this team is made to do.

Bet against the Nuggets at your own peril.

Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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