Los Angeles Lakers 2019-20 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – Los Angeles Lakers over 51.5 wins (-110)
It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for the Los Angeles Lakers over the past year. Last summer, the team landed LeBron James and many people thought they were back and would reach their old heights. Then James got hurt, the team missed the playoffs, and a whole lot of drama happened in between. When the dust settled, the Lakers finished with a 37-45 record. They were ten games back of making the playoffs, and ended up firing Luke Walton at the end of the year.
Everyone knew for a while that Walton was getting fired, which made for an awkward stretch run. The Lakers worked hard to put together a young core of players in the pre-LeBron years, and then started shopping them all in trade talks.The trade talks hung over the team’s head all the way up until the deadline, as it was being openly reported that nearly half the team was being offered for Anthony Davis. The young guys clearly were distracted by it, and their play suffered as a result. The team missing the playoffs was unfathomable when the team signed James last July, and the fanbase started to get pretty restless.
The dysfunction was taken to an absurd level when front office head Magic Johnson delivered one of the most surreal moments in recent NBA history. Out of nowhere, Johnson called a press conference right before a game in the final week of the season, and announced he was resigning from the Lakers. Johnson would go on to allege that current Lakers GM Rob Pelinka had backstabbed him, and the whole thing became a circus.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, they were able to take all the heat off when they finally landed Davis early on this offseason. They mortgaged the future to land him, so the pressure to win immediately will be enormous. To replace Walton, the team hired Frank Vogel. They also hired some prominent assistant coaches, such as Jason Kidd. There will be a lot of personalities to juggle, and it’ll be very interesting to watch if nothing else.
Win Total: Over/under 51.5 Wins
The Lakers obviously went under their win total last season. Expectations got too high, and they under-delivered in a big way. That being said, things have changed a lot. The roster is radically different, and the coaching staff is completely new. The only constant is the presence of James, who is still the best player in the game when healthy. James is now paired with Davis, who might be the best player he’s ever played with in his entire career.
To fill out the roster, they made do with what was available. They signed Avery Bradley to help fix last year’s poor defense and added Danny Green and Troy Daniels to help fix their shooting woes. Those additions might not be that flashy, but they’re all solid role players who will be a lot better than some of the guys the Lakers had last season. Lance Stephenson, who played a significant role for the team in 2018, just was forced to sign in China.
Most recently, they added Dwight Howard in the wake of DeMarcus Cousins’ ACL tear. Howard has become somewhat of a punchline, but quietly could turn into a really nice signing if he keeps his head in the game.
The Lakers added Davis which has garnered all the headlines, but they actually made some nice under the radar moves as well. If they can stay healthy, they should have no trouble clearing 51 wins. Take the over.
Odds to make the playoffs: Yes -750, No +525
The odds here just don’t make this that worthy of an investment. With two of the best five players in the league, the Lakers are obviously going to make the playoffs unless something goes disastrously wrong. The Thunder will almost certainly be dropping out of the playoffs, and the Lakers should slide in nicely into their spot from last year.
Los Angeles will make the playoffs, but there are better ways to tie up your money than laying -750 here.
Odds to win Pacific Division: +275
The Lakers have the second-best odds to win the division behind the Clippers. The Clippers are being installed as a decent-sized favorite here, which could be misguided. The Clips aren’t going to have Paul George for the first part of the season as he recovers from surgery, and they’ll likely look to get Kawhi Leonard plenty of rest during the regular season.
The Lakers have the most to prove, and the biggest chip on their shoulder after their disastrous 2018 campaign. They’ll be the most motivated to win something meaningless like an NBA division title. The Warriors are still in the division as well, and they scare me a bit.
The Warriors can’t be counted out, but I think the Clippers and Lakers should be seen as about equal right now, meaning these odds are off. I’m taking some Lakers at this price all day long.
Odds to win the Western Conference: +325
These odds aren’t much better than the odds to win the division. The Lakers are certainly a contender, and health will likely be the determining factor. James and Davis running a pick and roll together is going to be a sight to behold, and they could dominate offensively. With the additions of Green and Daniels, the Lakers finally have some elite shooting to surround James with.
The Lakers profile as a team that is built for playoff basketball. James provides them with a ton of big game experience, and he’s virtually impossible to knock out in the first few rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers at better than 3/1 is a worthy investment.
Odds to win the NBA Championship: +500
I’m not sure I love the odds here, even though I like the Lakers. Going from +325 to only +500 indicates that oddsmakers think whoever comes out of the West is going to be a heavy favorite in the finals. I wouldn’t sleep on the Bucks or even the 76ers, so I’m not sure I agree with that assessment.
I’d stick to the Western Conference odds and stay away from this one.