Are LeBron James’ Lakers a lock for the NBA title? Photo by @TheOnion (Twitter)
- Facing the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers have moved to odds-on favorites to win the NBA title
- The Lakers are set to get major backing from NBA bettors
- Should you back the Lakers before others force the price even shorter?
The Los Angeles Lakers are massive NBA title favorites after the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 on Tuesday.
The Lakers were +325 to win the NBA title on September 5th. A 4-1 series win over the Houston Rockets has followed since, and they have avoided a series against the Clippers.
Heavily favored to get past Denver and make their first Finals appearance since 2010, the Lakers’ NBA championship odds have moved to -160.
2020 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds at FanDuel|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-160|
Odds taken September 16th
Are the Lakers Beatable?
The Lakers, Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks were thought of as the three main title contenders for a majority of the year.
With the latter two knocked out, it makes sense for the Lakers to be such heavy favorites. It also downplays the fact that Denver knocked out the Clips and Miami eliminated Milwaukee. The Lakers might be the only top two seed from either conference still in contention, but the remaining three have proved their worth in these playoffs.
Getting past a fatigued Denver seems straight forward. It seemed easy enough for Utah and the Clippers, though, and both blew 3-1 leads to these Nuggets. While the Lakers will not be getting complacent ahead of this series, bettors should be cautious of underestimating Denver again. There’s no guarantee they win this series easily.
It’s almost like certain guys can play to one level when there are no expectations or they’re the underdogs, but the *moment* they get a taste of what LeBron James has dealt with every step of his career, it’s a totally different story.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) September 16, 2020
If they get past the Nuggets, both Boston and Miami can exploit the Lakers’ weaknesses. Bam Adebayo is as good a matchup as there is for Anthony Davis. Miami have shooting aplenty on the perimeter. The Celtics have the depth of wing talent to challenge the Lakers, and there’s no obvious option to guard Kemba Walker.
The Lakers are the only team with title experience in LeBron James and Danny Green. They are deserving favorites, but they are far from a lock to win it all.
2020 NBA Eastern and Western Conference Odds Tracker
Bettors to Throw Cash at Lakers
Even at -160, there’s going to be a lot of money thrown at the Lakers. Big market teams are well-supported by bettors generally, and the vast Lakers fan base will be ultra-confident after seeing the Clippers knocked out. The price will likely shorten further over the next day or two.
The WCF match-up is set 💥 pic.twitter.com/axeL8FFO7t
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2020
Their current implied probability is 61.5%. Anyone considering a Lakers bet should go for it sooner rather than later, particularly with the likelihood that they will take Game 1 against a Denver team that has played four more playoff games than them and clocked massive minutes on Tuesday.
This postseason has been brilliant. It has been unpredictable, and the absence of home court advantage has worked as a leveller late on in series.
The Lakers arguably have the two best players left in the playoffs, and they cruised past the Rockets, but that price feels a little short at the moment. A strong argument can be made for any team to win it from here.
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.