The new-look Los Angeles Lakers will tip-off the new NBA season this week with a high-profile meeting against the Golden State Warriors.
They will be the second of two games on opening night which starts with the Milwaukee Bucks facing the Brooklyn Nets in a rematch from last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup.
Last year ended in disappointment for the Lakers as they were eliminated in the first round of the Playoffs by the eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns in six games. It was a pretty limp effort from the Lakers in the end, who lost in large part because of injuries that had plagued their season, particularly to All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Both players were in unstoppable form when they won the NBA Championship in 2022, but neither were 100% healthy throughout the Suns series and it cost the team, who got little production from others during the series loss.
Many believe the Lakers would have progressed with a healthy LeBron and AD in their ranks, but that sentiment hasn’t stopped them from doing everything they can to try and improve the roster.
A blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook was one of the most eye-catching deals of the offseason, while they have also signed a number of veteran free agents to fill out their roster including former All-Stars Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. It has given the Lakers one of the oldest rosters in the NBA, but that is something which has seen James in particular thrive with in the past.
As ever, there are swaying opinions surrounding the Lakers and their fortunes this season and the truth is it would not be a shock to see it go fantastically or woefully. The fit between James, Davis and Westbrook and the spacing issues that could cause in certain lineups is a real topic of conversation that could cause them issues down the line.
The age of the roster is also a potential problem and they are already seeing a number of players going down with injuries ahead of opening night. That uncertainty can in turn create value for those who enjoy betting on the NBA and if you are a sports betting fan be sure to check out Inkedin. They will point you in the right direction of the best platforms in the online gambling industry from sportsbooks to bingo sites.
We have picked out some of the most intriguing bets and props associated with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, as well as presenting the current odds for each selection at the time of writing.
NBA Championship – 10/3
The Lakers are the outright favourites in the Western Conference to win the NBA Championship this season at 10/3, but are second-favourites overall. It is the Brooklyn Nets who are currently the most fancied team at 23/10 despite the uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of Kyrie Irving’s career. However, the Lakers are more strongly favoured than the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks at 8/1, while they are also ahead of Golden State Warriors at 12/1. In year 19 of LeBron’s career it has to be championship or bust for the Lakers as they look to eke every last ounce out of his seemingly never-ending prime. The Westbrook trade signifies that they are all in for now having taken up the two years and $91m that remain on his contract, with this being his fourth team in four years. They have also brought back former champions Rondo and Howard to bolster their chances and the title will be their ultimate goal.
MVP – LeBron James – 14/1
Prior to suffering his ankle injury during the regular season last year, LeBron James was the favourite to win NBA MVP. He was outstanding throughout the start of the year and the Lakers looked set to produce another bid for the championship before injuries disrupted their progress with the new-look team. The recency bias of the Playoffs have seen many rank Kevin Durant and Giannis Antentokounmpo ahead of James in their player rankings, quickly forgetting the body of work James had produced in the 2022 Playoffs and opening of the regular season. The MVP race looks wide open this year and if the Lakers are able to make a good start, integrating Westbrook and the rest of their new players with James taking the lead, LeBron could find himself competing for a first MVP trophy since 2013.
Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Davis – 7/1
Many are pinpointing Anthony Davis as the key for the Lakers this season, with his position still up for debate. On paper, the fit between the Lakers big three would be much smoother with Davis playing the majority of his minutes at center, leaving the other two positions in the lineup to be filled by shooters and prevent the paint from being clogged. Frank Vogel is still yet to decide whether Davis, Howard or DeAndre Jordan will be their starting center this season, but if he chooses the former it could really boost his DPOY hopes. Davis came second in DPOY voting in his first season with the team and could take on more defensive responsibilities by being the sole anchor of the defense. He will play a huge part in the Lakers’ title aspirations this season and has the potential to be the best center in the league if he really puts his mind to it.
Over 53.5 Wins – 7/5
The current line for the Lakers’ total of regular season wins is set at 53.5, with the over being above evens at 7/5. If the team is able to gel quickly and begin well, they have more than enough talent within the squad to reach 54 regular season wins or more, particularly with Westbrook now in the team. The point guard is known for his sheer intensity throughout every game he plays and has more than enough ability to take over games on nights where LeBron or AD don’t quite have it going in the regular season. Having that consistent third scoring option could easily see them surpass 54 wins this season, should health be more on their side this time around.