NBA Playoffs 2012: Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5 Betting Odds

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, 5/8/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -6
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -6
Opening Total:  199.5
Current Total:  199
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Lakers are 17-27 ATS as a favorite this year

Denver is now just a game away from being eliminated in this Western Conference first-round series, dropping a 92-88 decision as 2.5-point home favorites to Los Angeles on Sunday night.  The Nuggets lost the first two games in this series at the Staples Center, as head coach George Karl is 1-6 overall in the postseason inside the venue.  Offensively, the team has three players averaging in double figures, with point guard Ty Lawson leading the way in scoring 17.0 points and dishing off 5.5 assists.  Denver is 9-2 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points this season.

The Nuggets have been unable to force the tempo in this series, with three of the four games going “under” the total.  Denver led the NBA in scoring 104.1 points per game during the regular season, but dropped its 18th straight playoff contest when failing to score 90 points in Game 4.  Forward Al Harrington will be playing with a protective mask  for the second game in this series, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds in 24 minutes of action.  He suffered a broken nose in Game 3.

Los Angeles is just one win away from advancing to the second round and facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, which would represent great theatre due to Metta World Peace being suspended for seven games due to elbowing the Thunder’s James Harden in the regular season.  The Lakers were led offensively by guard Kobe Bryant last time out, pouring in 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while center Andrew Bynum chipped in with 19 points and seven rebounds.  When leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, the franchise has posted a 33-1 series record.  Los Angeles is 17-27 ATS as a favorite.

The Lakers have registered an impressive 78-17 (.820) record in postseason games at the Staples Center, holding opponents to under 100 points in all but 28 of those contests.  Bryant figures to provide more of an offensive lift now that the series has moved away from the altitude of the Mile High City, scoring 69 combined points in the first two games in Southern California.

Bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 8-0 ATS mark following a straight-up loss, while the Lakers are 0-9 ATS as a home favorite of 5.0 to 10.5 points.

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