The Lakers have continued proven doubters wrong throughout the playoffs, but that doesn’t appear to have won Vegas over as believers. With just four teams remaining and only one of them having beaten the defending champions, the Lakers are pretty far from the favorites for the title.
In fact, they aren’t even second-best in terms of odds and still have some value as a future bet.
Heading into the final series of both conferences, the Lakers are neither the favorite in their own conference nor the second favorite. According to our friends at DraftKings, the Lakers are +320 odds to win the NBA title.
The Nuggets are the favorites at +100 while the Celtics come next at +240. The Heat are a distant, distant, distant fourth at +1600.
While the odds have felt pretty fair for the Lakers given their body of work up to this point, this time it feels a little harsh. The Lakers did just relatively easily handle the No. 2 seed and the defending champions in back-to-back series, winning both in definitive fashion in Game 6.
Now, they’re matched up against the team that has been atop the Western Conference for essentially the entire season, so it will be their toughest challenge yet. But to have them below the Celtics feels harsh, considering that was a team that was one quarter away from being out of the playoffs entirely in their own Game 6.
In reality, their odds probably reflect a lack of belief Vegas has in the Heat, which is an entire other debate. But with the Lakers, they do represent a good longshot bet. If they can handle the Nuggets in the rematch from the bubble Conference Finals, then it’s hard to not consider them the favorites in the Finals.
Grab the Lakers now at +320 and stay along for the ride.