LeBron James resurrected the Los Angeles Lakers overnight, announcing a four-year contract with the storied franchise on July 1, 2018.
Unsurprisingly, the Lakers’ title odds skyrocketed on the heels of five straight losing season.
As the NBA regular season approaches, here’s where the Lakers’ title odds and other Lakers-related betting odds stand.
Lakers Title Odds
The Lakers are +1,000 to win the NBA championship, according to Bovada, the fourth-best odds in the league behind the Golden State Warriors (-195), Boston Celtics (+500), and Houston Rockets (+850). Sliding in behind the Lakers are the Toronto Raptors (+1,400), Philadelphia 76ers (+1,600), Oklahoma City Thunder (+3,000), Utah Jazz (+7,500), and San Antonio Spurs (+8,000).
Lakers Western Conference Odds
Los Angeles has the third-best odds to win the West, per Bovada, at +650, behind the Warriors (-245) and Rockets (+550). They’re trailed by the Thunder (+1,500), Jazz (+3,500), and Spurs (+4,000).
Lakers Pacific Division Odds
Predictably, the Warriors are landslide favorites to win the Pacific, at -2,000. The Lakers are next on the list, at +700, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (+5,000), Phoenix Suns (+15,000), and Sacramento Kings (+20,000).
Bovada has Los Angeles’ line set at 48.5. Bettors taking the over have -105 odds, and those taking the under have -125.
LeBron James MVP Odds
The newest Lakers superstar has the best odds to take home what would be his fifth MVP honor, at +333. He’s trailed by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (+450), the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500), last year’s MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets (+650), the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard (+950), the Warriors’ Kevin Durant (+1,000) and Stephen Curry (+1,200), and the 76ers’ Joel Embiid (+1.500).
Lakers Rookie of the Year Odds
None among this year’s crop of Lakers rookies — Moritz Wagner, Svi Mykhailiuk, Isaac Bonga, and Johnathan Williams — have Rookie of the Year odds listed on Bovada. But if for whatever reason you feel strongly about any of those four, on Top Bet you can bet the field at +900.
Luke Walton Coach of the Year Odds
At Betway Sports, the Lakers head coach is +2,900 to take the honor home, the 14th-best odds in the league. Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics has the best odds (+300) and the Chicago Bulls’ Fred Hoiberg has the worst (+20,100).
Not only are the Lakers a public team, but they’re a mystery this year. Their offseason moves aside from the addition of LeBron — a bunch of one-year contracts for vets with iffy decision-making skills — suggest something of a gap year in which the young players develop and the team rolls its cap space over to the star-laden summer of 2019.
Because of that, one should resist betting on the Lakers ahead of the season. But if you just have to have a financial interest in the Lakers this year, considering taking LeBron’s MVP odds, the over on wins, and the Lakers to win their division.
Will LeBron accept playing for a good-not-great team? If he puts the squad on his back and wills his side to the top half of the West’s playoff seeding, he could be a threat for his fifth MVP award, though I don’t like his chances as much as I do those of Davis, Antetokounmpo, or Leonard.
The over/under of 48.5 feels perfect, which is surprising for such a public team, so grab the slightly better odds on the over.
The Warriors’ presence makes a Pacific Division crown daunting, but the Dubs underperformed last season with 58 wins. In pursuit of their fourth title in five years and third in a row, Golden State could take their foot off the gas even more to rest up for another postseason run, leaving the door open for a surprising Lakers run to the top of the division.