There is a cold chill moving down the spine of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers are in the playoffs as of Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bulls.
Los Angeles, which sat at 17-25 SU (straight up) on Jan. 23, moved to 16-6 SU since with a 90-81 home victory over Chicago Sunday. That win improved the Lakers to 33-31 SU (26-37-1 against the spread) and bumped them into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
This postseason push has forced books to adjust their prop odds on the L.A.’s playoff chances over the past two months. Back in January, Matchbook.com had Los Angeles as a +129 long shot to make the postseason cut (-141 to miss the playoffs). Following Sunday’s win, the Lakers are now -274 favorites to finish No. 8 or above in the conference (+246 to miss the playoffs).
Los Angeles opens a three-game road trip in Orlando Tuesday before traveling to Atlanta and Indiana. The Lakers are currently one game back of No. 7 Houston and two games behind No. 6 Golden State. Taking over the sixth spot would avoid a first-round meeting with San Antonio or Oklahoma City, which might be a good thing for those top seeds.
The Lakers are currently 20-1 to win the NBA Championship.