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Lakers still among favorites despite injuries and recent struggles

Lakers still among favorites despite injuries and recent struggles

Lakers still among favorites despite injuries and recent struggles

They and the Celtics are co-leaders with some oddsmakers to win the NBA title.

With big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum injured, the Lakers have lost three of their last five games and have failed to cover the point spread in four of their last five.

Yet some Las Vegas oddsmakers have updated their boards with the Lakers as co-favorites with the Boston Celtics to win the NBA title as of Tuesday afternoon.

For example, at Sportsbook.com, the Lakers are listed with the Celtics at 2-1, followed by the San Antonio Spurs at 4-1, Phoenix Suns at 11-2 and Detroit Pistons at 8-1.

It's not much different at Bodoglife.com, which has Boston listed at 2-1 with the Lakers at 3-1. The Spurs are next at 11-2, followed by Phoenix at 8-1

Smart Lakers supporters took advantage of the great off-season odds that were available when Kobe Bryant's future with the team seemed uncertain.

One of the early listings at BetUs.com had the Lakers at +2,200. Talk about a betting turnaround.

The Lakers, still in the hunt for the best record in the Western Conference, are favorites for tonight's game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

It will be the sixth consecutive game that the Lakers will play as a favorite after being an underdog for three games in a row at Utah, Dallas and Houston.

Portland is 2-5 against the spread in its last seven games overall and 1-5 against the spread in its last six games against an opponent from the Pacific Division.

College basketball

Having four No. 1-seeded teams in the Final Four has created pretty balanced odds for this year's NCAA men's basketball championship.

North Carolina has been installed as the favorite at 8-5, followed by UCLA, Kansas and Memphis, which are listed at 3-1, according to Sportsbook.com.

At Bodoglife.com, North Carolina is listed at 7-4, with Memphis at 14-5, Kansas at 3-1 and UCLA at 31-10.

Memphis (37-1), listed as a two-point favorite over UCLA (35-3) in Saturday's semifinal, has picked up the most support in early betting action. The Tigers have gained 72% of the bets against the spread, according to TheSpread.com's betting chart.

North Carolina (36-2), listed as a three-point favorite over Kansas (35-3), has picked up 76% of the bets against the spread, according to The-Spread.com's betting chart.

latimes.com

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