It feels like a long, long time ago but these Lakers were once considered a title contender. They were a preseason favorite in some circles. But after months of everything playing out on the court, nothing has gone the Lakers’ way and the only contending the team looks set for is for home court in a play-in game.
To call it all a disappointment would be both obvious, and an understatement.
But just how far have they fallen out of contention, though? Let’s take a look at some various futures odds from DraftKings that paint a pretty grim picture for the Lakers heading toward the postseason.
It wasn’t preposterous to think the Lakers would have challengers for a Pacific Division title this year when the season started. But the idea they’d be 21 games behind the Suns at the end of February? That would have been preposterous.
But with only 24 games remaining, the Lakers would need to go 22-2 to pass the Suns, assuming Phoenix would lose effectively every game at the same time as well in this hypothetical. The odds reflect that, as the Lakers are +100000 — that’s one hundred thousand — to win the division, tied with the Clippers. Phoenix is -1200 favorites and Golden State is +800.
Despite their position well behind the other Western Conference contenders this year, the Lakers still have fairly reasonable odds of making it to the NBA Finals, all things considered. With +1800 odds, the Lakers come in with the sixth-best odds to win the Western Conference, tied with the Mavericks.
The Suns (+180) and Warriors (+185) are nearly neck-and-neck favorites while the Jazz (+650), Grizzlies (+1100) and Nuggets (+1500) slot in ahead of Los Angeles.
The Lakers’ relatively favorable odds come despite them currently being the No. 9 seed and fighting for home court in a play-in game.
Still sipping the Kool-Aid and think the Lakers can not only get to the Finals, but win? You’re going to get some crazy good odds on that one. The Lakers' +4500 odds of winning the Finals are about as longshot as they come. For context, Phoenix (+380) and Brooklyn (+450) are the current favorites.
The purple and gold sit just behind the Mavericks (+4000) and just ahead of the Cavaliers (+5500). The cross-town Clippers — who the Lakers will play on Friday — have +6000 odds of winning their first title before a big drop to the Raptors (+10000).
Far be it for me to tell someone how to spend their money, but if you’re looking to bet some money on the lakers to win the NBA title, win the Western Conference or Pacific Division, maybe consider instead using it on something that won’t cause you so much anguish and grief the coming months.