Vegas Releases win total for Lakers
Are the L.A. Lakers playoff bound in LeBron James first season out west? At least one Las Vegas sports book believes that to be the case after posting the Lakers' win total for the 2018-19 NBA season.
According to oddsmakers at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Lakers opened with a win total of 48.5 despite playing in the uber-talented Western Conference. The two-time defending champion Warriors opened at 62.5 wins, which was the most of any team and eight wins more than any other Western Conference team.
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Meanwhile, the Celtics are the top team in the Eastern Conference with 57.5 wins, followed by the 76ers and Raptors, each at 54.5 wins. Depending on what happens with the Kawhi Leonard situation in Toronto, the Raptors' win total could be impacted heading into the regular season.
The Lakers are one of seven Western Conference teams with a win total listed in the 40s. The Utah Jazz are at 48.5, followed by the Denver Nuggets (47.5), New Orleans Pelicans (45.5), Minnesota Timberwolves (44.5), San Antonio Spurs (43.5) and Portland Trail Blazers (41.5).
"We felt in the tougher Western Conference, we made a number [on the Lakers] that is competitive with other similar teams," SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told ESPN in an email. "Our expectations are the public will bet over, but sharps will be more inclined to bet under if we went higher."
When James joined the Miami Heat in 2010, the team improved by 11 wins. The Cleveland Cavaliers improved by 20 wins after getting James back for the 2014-15 season.
LeBron and Co. are also 18/1 to win the 2018-19 NBA Championship this season and are 10/1 to win the Western Conference crown. LeBron, meanwhile, is the current favorite to win the regular season MVP award at 3/1 although Anthony Davis of the Pelicans is listed right behind James at 4/1.