The Los Angeles Lakers have been the NBA’s biggest disappointment entering the All-Star break.
After the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in the offseason, they dropped to the +350 second choice at the Westgate SuperBook to win the NBA title behind the Brooklyn Nets, the 3-1 favorite.
But after losing Anthony Davis to a sprained ankle Wednesday, the Lakers — 27-31 and in ninth place in the Western Conference — soared to 50-1, their longest odds of the season.
“The Lakers have been extremely disappointing,” SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “They’re not good. They’re under .500. They’ll probably be fighting for the nine or 10 spot.”
Despite their struggles, the Lakers continue to be the runaway leader in tickets, money and liability at the SuperBook, which took a $28,571 wager to win $100,000 on them at +350 last summer and a $1,000 bet Wednesday to win $40,000.
“We keep writing money on this team,” Sherman said.
Not that he’s too concerned. He noted that if Los Angeles gets the eighth seed in the play-in tournament, its reward will be a first-round matchup against Phoenix or Golden State, the favorites to win the title.
“If you were to start a parlay on the money line in the play-in game and roll it through, it would probably be a lot more than 50-1,” Sherman said. “It would be quite a parlay you’d have to hit to get the Lakers to win the title.”
Best in West
The Suns (48-10, 32-26 ATS), who have won seven straight games and 18 of their past 19, are the 4-1 favorite at the SuperBook after opening at 20-1 following their loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals.
“We’re in good shape on the Suns,” Sherman said. “The public has taken a slow, methodical approach to supporting them. Last year, they had a fortuitous path to the finals based on other team’s injuries.
“A lot of people wanted to see if they were legitimate, which they’re proving they are this year.”
The Warriors (42-17) are the +450 second choice and the third-largest liability at the SuperBook after it took a $50,000 bet to win $225,000 on them in January.
“It feels like there’s less at the top in the West and more of a chance that Phoenix or Golden State comes out of it,” Sherman said. “The East is more wide open. There’s a handful of teams that can win.
”In the West, it would be a decent upset if someone beyond the Suns or Warriors makes it to the finals.”
The Nets saw their title odds climb to 10-1 after they traded James Harden and Paul Millsap to the 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks.
Brooklyn (31-27), eighth in the East, has since settled in as the 6-1 third pick to win the title at the SuperBook and Caesars Sportsbook. ESPN “Daily Wager” host Doug Kezirian said the Nets are worth a shot at 6-1.
“For so long, they were overvalued,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, for sure. There’s no guarantee they’re going to make the playoffs, as crazy as it sounds. But the NBA is all about talent winning out in a best-of-seven series, and this move really strengthens them.
“People forget how good Drummond is off the bench and how good Seth Curry is, especially with Joe Harris out. And if Ben Simmons fits beside (Kevin) Durant. … Durant almost single-handedly won the title last year with a hobbled Harden and Kyrie (Irving) hurt. The East is competitive, but ultimately talent wins.”
Mile high shot
For a longer shot, Sherman suggests the Denver Nuggets, 30-1 at Caesars and led by reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
“Jokic is playing at the MVP level he did last year, and there’s talk about Jamal Murray and potentially Michael Porter coming back,” he said. “If they add those guys, the Nuggets at 25 or 30-1 might be a dangerous team.”
Two of the biggest surprises have been the Memphis Grizzlies (41-19, 40-20 ATS) and Cleveland Cavaliers (35-23, 34-21-3 ATS), who had a 14-0 cover streak.
Memphis is 25-1 after being as high as 100-1, and Cleveland is 60-1 after being as high as 300-1.
Odds at Westgate SuperBook
Up to 60-1
Joel Embiid +160
Nikola Jokic 2-1
Giannis Antetokounmpo 3-1
Stephen Curry 12-1
Ja Morant 16-1
Chris Paul 25-1
DeMar DeRozan 25-1
Devin Booker 60-1
Luka Doncic 60-1