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Offseason Makeover Lifts Los Angeles Lakers Odds

Los Angeles Lakers Odds at Bovada Sportsbook

After compiling sub-.500 records and finishing out of playoff contention in each of the past five seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers look poised to rebound in the 2018/19 NBA season. Bolstered by the signing of superstar LeBron James, the Lakers have vaulted up the NBA Championship odds, where they now sit fourth as a short +1000 bet.

The arrival of King James provides a much needed culture shock to the Lakers, who have struggled to find an identity since Kobe Bryant wound down his NBA career at the end of the 2015/16 season.

With Bryant appearing in just 107 total games over his final three NBA seasons, the Lakers embarked on their worst stretch of futility in franchise history. The team won 27 or fewer games in four straight seasons before providing long-suffering fans with a glimmer of hope by going 35-47 last year.

The Lakers have been able to add additional veteran depth to the squad’s youthful lineup over the summer. Eyebrows were raised by the signing of forward and LeBron nemesis Lance Stephenson, while Rajon Rondo is expected to play a key role in the continued development of second-year guard Lonzo Ball.

The offseason overhaul has had a dramatic impact on the Lakers’ outlook on the NBA season props, with the team expected to return to their traditional winning ways as a -120 wager to win OVER 48.5 games. But while topping that projected win total would produce their best season since 2011, the Lakers trail as a distant second to the Golden State Warriors on the odds to win the Pacific Division, at a lengthy +700.


Warriors Also Made Notable Moves in the Offseason

After the Lakers captured the headlines by signing James to a monster four-year, $153.3 million contract, the Warriors quickly kept pace, inking free agent center DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal. The addition of Cousins further strengthens a star-studded lineup led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and has contributed to Golden State’s current dominance on the NBA futures.

The Warriors continue to lead the way as massive -195 chalk to claim their fourth NBA title in five years. Golden State also dramatically outpaces the rest of the pack on the Western Conference odds, where they are listed as -245 favorites, well ahead of the Houston Rockets at +550, and the Lakers at +650.

The Rockets represent yet another obstacle in the Lakers’ bid to return to postseason relevance. After finishing last season with a league-leading 65 wins, the Rockets came within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1995. In addition to opening the vault to re-sign Chris Paul to a four-year, $160 million maximum contract, the team added additional depth by acquiring veteran Carmelo Anthony.

While it is unclear whether that will be enough for the Rockets to keep pace with Golden State, Houston remains the second-best Western Conference squad on the NBA Championship odds, sporting +850 odds.

The Rockets have also dominated the Lakers in recent years, posting outright wins in 14 of 17 meetings since the beginning of 2014. That remains one of many trends that must be reversed if LeBron and company are to reward bettors on this season’s Los Angeles Lakers odds.


*Odds as of September 18, 2018


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