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Lakers 2019 NBA Title Odds Dropping: Is LA Now Worth the Value?

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Oct 17, 2018 · 10:55 AM PDT

Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball
Big things are expected of Lonzo Ball during his second season with the Lakers. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Lakers’ title odds have taken a dip just as the season begins
  • Are LA’s longer odds still a good value?
  • We identify the best bets for the 2019 NBA Championship

We’re just one sleep away from LeBron James donning the purple and gold of one of the NBA’s true glamour franchises.

Yet, before any actual game action has taken place, the Lakers have already kind of taken an L, if only for their suddenly sagging championship odds.

2019 NBA Championship Average Odds

Perhaps Vegas hasn’t seen the bets stack like they may have anticipated when the current best player in the NBA left Cleveland for Hollywood, but it’s definitely worth dissecting if now is the time to pounce.

The King is Looking Just Fine, Thanks

If you think LeBron is coasting into the back nine of his career, you haven’t been watching the preseason. He looks in usual dominant form, and his mere presence in preseason games this year – considered like a UFO sighting in preseasons past – shows me that he wants to make an impact in his new digs.

But maybe it’s not James, who is seeking a ninth straight Finals’ appearance, that’s giving the general public and the house pause. Perhaps it’s everyone trying to grasp just how good the Lakers team is, currently constructed.

LA’s free agent haul can be described a lot of ways. Super reliable isn’t one of them. And name the last time a young blue chip prospect has really come into his own under James’ wing. The answer? None.

James has had young role players as teammates, but no one in the mold of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. If they’re ready for prime time, this bet is a hit.

The Cavalry Might Not Be on its Way

This might make more sense when you consider that the current moving or moveable star pieces aren’t so sure the Lakers are the destination for them.

It may be a mutual feeling for the Lakers and Butler, to be honest. If Magic Johnson and company wanted to get Jimmy Buckets, they could have done it quite easily, with Lonzo Ball and a first round pick probably enough to make it happen.

But there’s no question they’d love to have Kawhi in the fold, who happens to be a better version of Butler across the board. But this may be something Los Angeles will need to consider going forward: James casts a big shadow, and all-star players want their shine.

If they can’t land a prominent piece this season, there’s probably not enough ammo to get out of the second round, let alone the conference.

The Decision

It’s a bet worth making if you believe LeBron James can run things, no matter who he’s with. But understand this isn’t the East. James and the Lakers will, at some point, have to go through some combination of the Warriors, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder, Trail Blazers, and Pelicans to even get a shot at the Finals. That is not an easy path.

2019 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds to Win the 2019 NBA Championship
Golden State Warriors -195
Boston Celtics +500
Houston Rockets +850
Los Angeles Lakers +1000
Toronto Raptors +1400

If we’re talking value, I like the Raptors (+1000) and Celtics (+500) to come out of the East.

They’re the only two teams currently constructed that have the depth and the talent to compete against the Dubs every step of the way.

Of course, the Warriors (-195) are the overwhelming favorites. Can’t blame you for choosing them.

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