The Los Angeles Lakers were the favorites to win the NBA Championship and the Western Conference at the start of the 2021-22 season. The pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis with Russell Westbrook was too strong for the bookmakers to ignore. They had absurd odds of +350 to capture the conference and +500 to win their second title in three years when the year began.
But to people’s dismay, the Lakers never got their footing, struggled, and didn’t even advance to the playoffs in what could have been the worst season in the team’s history.
Except for a change in coaching, the squad now appears to be entering a season with many unanswered issues. However, that is not to argue that early bets on the Lakers are not expected.
By the middle of September, futures wagering activity on the Lakers had picked up at online casinos. As more money is spent on Los Angeles, the best NBA betting sites have lowered the Lakers’ odds from +2200 odds to +1800.
What Renders the Lakers a Popular Bet?
The Lakers began the 2023 NBA season as 22-1 (+2200) underdogs to win the championship, significantly outperforming the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.
Long odds can, however, occasionally have a trending impact. Although the bookmakers are not convinced about Los Angeles, the team’s popularity, widespread rumors, and fan devotion greatly influence the odds, especially in Australia, where this data is made public and easily accessible.
By the end of September, Lakers had taken in about 11% of all wagers and over 13% of the overall championship futures betting volume. The Boston Celtics commanded the third-most action in handle and bets behind the Golden State Warriors.
How The Lakers Got Here
The Lakers’ 33-49 record from last season’s final game was quite disappointing. The squad was even worse for bettors, covering the spread below 43% of the time and finishing in the bottom five of the NBA league in terms of against-the-spread performance. When the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, future punters were already out of luck before the game started.
The Westbrook project was a complete failure. Only 40 games were played because of Anthony Davis’s injury. Frank Vogel, the team’s coach who led them to the 2020 Championship and had the backing of management and essential players, appeared to be lost in the crowd.
By the end of the season, it was clear that the Lakers were playing a highly uninspired basketball game that frequently drew jeers from the city’s devoted basketball fans.
That notwithstanding, LeBron James had an outstanding season. Despite only playing in 56 games, he produced some of his best basketball at a time when many other all-time stars were being voted into the Hall of Fame.
After exercising his player option to remain with Los Angeles for the 2022–2023 season, Russell Westbrook generated a lot of rumors that the Lakers might trade him. When Kevin Durant wanted a trade from New Jersey, rumors intensified further, and Kyrie Irving’s name began to be bandied about as a potential trade partner.
Who Are the Current Favorites
The Boston Celtics are the +550 favorites to scoop the 2022–23 NBA Championship after making it to the finals in the 2021–22 NBA Season. This is despite the remarkable lack of effect the suspension of Boston coach Ime Udoka for the 2022–23 season had on the odds. Joe Mazzulla is anticipated to take over.
But there are whispers that the former Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel would join the team in an unspecified capacity. Will Hardy, Udoka’s top assistant from the previous squad, left Boston to take over as the Jazz’s head coach.
The Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, both at +600, are behind the Celtics.
The Warriors’ opening odds to win the NBA Championship in 2021–22 were +900 during the previous season, which was the highest payout for an eventual champion in the last five years. The most considerable reward, +1850, went to the 2018–19 Toronto Raptors.
The Clippers have maintained as one of the top five favorites for the last five seasons, but they haven’t made it to the championship game. After losing Kawhi Leonard to an ACL injury last season, they anticipate having him this season.
The top 10 favorites are the Philadelphia 76ers +1500, Los Angeles Lakers +1800, Phoenix Suns +1200, New Jersey Nets +700, Milwaukee Bucks +800, and Denver Nuggets +1900.
Making Futures Bet on the Lakers
With Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the club, expectations remain high in Los Angeles. Punters must look for the best line to acquire favorable odds on the Lakers’ futures wagers.
Futures are wagers that concentrate on long-term results, such as the Lakers making the playoffs, winning the Pacific Division, the Western Conference, and the NBA Finals, or even individual accolades like James or Davis taking home league MVP.
Here is an update of the NBA’s team standings as of this writing. Some people prefer in-person gambling at brick-and-mortar casinos, while others desire full-fledged internet gambling.
The Lakers Odds to Miss/Make the Playoffs
The Lakers are still considered favorites to make the playoffs in a strong Western Conference despite not qualifying for the play-in round last year, losing their fifth, fourth, and third-leading scorers, and making no significant summer acquisitions.
Even at 37, it isn’t easy to choose against LeBron James, but his supporting cast is woefully underwhelming. By considering having Russell Westbrook sit on the bench, the Lakers recognize that their experiment with him is failing.
If Los Angeles wants to finish among the eight best teams in the West, James will have to bring forth his A game. The odds stand at +165 to miss the playoffs this season.