Entering the 2020-21 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were the betting favorites to win the NBA Championship. LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the Lakers to a title in 2020, and all of the important pieces were back.
The first part of the season was going well for the Lakers, but that has not been the case since March. Injuries to both James and Davis have really hurt this team, and the Lakers are in danger of being forced to participate in the play-in tournament just to reach the postseason.
The Lakers enter play on Friday with a record of 37-29, which has them in sixth place in the Western Conference. Portland has the same exact record at this time, and they could drop the Lakers into 7th place.
Los Angeles is focusing on getting James and Davis healthy for the playoff run, and improving the betting odds before the postseason begins.
Nets Now Clear Title Favorites
The Brooklyn Nets entered the season with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the roster, but then they added James Harden in a blockbuster deal. The “Big Three” have not shared the court much due to injury, but this group should be ready to go when the playoffs begin.
Brooklyn is now the clear betting favorites to win the NBA Championship this season with odds at +200. The Lakers (+450) and the LA Clippers (+600) are the next two teams on the list.
The Nets are even bigger favorites to win the Eastern Conference at -110, and it appears that the title is going to go through Brooklyn. Both teams from LA simply hope they get a shot at the Nets in the Finals.
Lakers Still Favorites in West
The Los Angeles Lakers might be going through a rough stretch, but oddsmakers still like their chances in the NBA Playoffs. The Lakers have odds set at +210 to win the West, but the Clippers are right behind them at +240.
The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns are in a tight battle for the number one overall seed in the West, and these are the next two teams on the list. Utah has odds of +350 to win the West, and the Suns are in fourth at +650.
Clippers Long Shot to Win Pacific
The Pacific Division was supposed to be a two-team race between the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers. It looked as if it would go in that direction early in the season, but the Phoenix Suns have come out of nowhere to take control.
Entering Friday, the Suns held a 2.5-game lead over the LA Clippers for the Pacific Division title. This means that the Clippers still have a chance to catch up, but it’s going to take a near-perfect finish.
The Suns are the betting favorites to win the Pacific Division at -900, and the LA Clippers are being offered at +600. The Lakers cannot win the division and those odds have been taken off the board.