The Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the fourth time in the team’s 47-year stint in the NBA on Thursday night.
The franchise did so by routing Phoenix, 125-100, in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, capping off a 4-2 series victory and setting of a celebration for fans backing the team in Colorado sports betting.
Now, Denver will play the winner of the L.A. Lakers-Golden State Warriors series with a shot at advancing to the franchise’s first NBA Finals.
Coincidentally enough, the Nuggets’ three previous trips to the Western Conference Finals came against L.A., which beat Denver each time (in 1985, 2009 and 2020).
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado currently have the Nuggets as the No. 2 NBA title favorite at +225, coming in behind Boston (at +185) and ahead of the Lakers (+375).
As for Western Conference futures, BetMGM has the Nuggets at -135 to capture their first conference title, ahead of L.A. (+200) and Golden State (+475).
Nuggets Western Conference Finals History
- 2019-20: Lost to L.A. Lakers in 5 games
- 2008-09: Lost to L.A. Lakers in 6 games
- 1984-85: Lost to L.A. Lakers in 5 games
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Can The Nuggets Flip The Script In 2023?
With the Lakers currently leading the Warriors, 3-2, on the other side of the Western Conference postseason bracket ahead of Friday’s Game 6, there’s a chance for the Nuggets to avenge their playoff futility.
In each of Denver’s trips to the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers have taken an early advantage, winning Game 1.
The teams’ most recent playoff showdown in the conference finals saw the Lakers roll over the Nuggets in five games, en route to the club’s “bubble” championship during the COVID-19 impacted postseason.
Before that, Los Angeles got the upper hand over the Carmelo Anthony-led Nuggets during the 2009 postseason, with the Lakers winning that series in six games after splitting Games 1 and 2.
Back in 1985, the Lakers rolled over the Nuggets in games 1, 3, and 5 — routing Denver by margins of 17, 18 and 44 points.
Fast forward 48 years and Nikola Jokic and company will be better armed to go against the LeBron James-led Lakers should the two teams meet again.
Thanks to dispatching the Suns on Thursday, the Nuggets have at least one extra day of rest than L.A. in the conference finals, which could come in handy against a Lakers team that ranks as the eighth-oldest of any NBA team (at 27.15).
We’ll know for sure whether the fourth time will be the charm for the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals next week. Be sure to follow along with Colorado sports betting app offerings before tipoff.