Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Los Angeles Lakers have not won 50 games during the regular season in nearly a decade, as a four-year run of reaching 57 or more between 2007-08 and 2010-11 featured three trips to the NBA Finals and the team’s last two league titles.
The most games they have won since then was 45 during the 2012-13 campaign, which was also the last time the Lakers made the playoffs.
LeBron James and his new teammates hope to change that this year, with sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com setting their season OVER/UNDER at 48.5.
2018/19 Win Total: 37
2019/20 Win OVER/UNDER: 48.5
Odds to Win Division: +230
Odds to Win Conference: +250
Odds to Win NBA Title: +300
James battled through injuries last season, his first in Los Angeles after making it to the NBA Finals eight straight times with the Eastern Conference’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. The previous time he did not get that far in the postseason was the last time the Lakers won the NBA championship.
But this year he will have another All-Star helping him in Anthony Davis, who was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason in exchange for some of Los Angeles’ promising young talent, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.
While the Lakers may lack youth and depth, they also added a few quality veterans around James and Davis in Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley and Dwight Howard.
The loss of DeMarcus Cousins to a torn ACL is a bit of a blow to the frontcourt of Los Angeles, although Howard could help fill that void simply by playing solid defense and being a much better team player than he was in his first stint there. Howard’s contract is non-guaranteed, which means he has a lot of work to do in order to make the team at this point of his career.
The biggest challengers for the Lakers in the Pacific Division, Western Conference and NBA overall according to oddsmakers is their intracity rivals who share the Staples Center with them – the Los Angeles Clippers.
The new-look Clippers have a pair of All-Stars now as well in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and they are favored to win the division and conference but not the NBA title. That is because the Lakers are slight +300 favorites to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy over the Clippers (+325).