The Los Angeles Lakers enter the home stretch of the NBA regular season as long shots on the NBA Finals odds board. After refreshing their roster around the trade deadline, they’ve seen their NBA odds rise marginally. Still, they have a long way to climb in a loaded Western Conference to make the playoffs comfortably.
When betting on Lakers point spread odds, you’re betting on the margin of victory in the game. In NBA point spread betting, the favorites are assigned a handicap of points; they must win the game by that margin to cover the spread. The underdogs must win the game outright or lose within the margin to cover their spread.
In the example below, the Lakers are -3.5 point favorites against the New Orleans Pelicans. To cover against the spread, the Lakers must win the game by 4 points or more, while the Pelicans need to win or lose by fewer than 4 points. The “.5” assigned to the odds is called a hook and prevents a bet from pushing. The second set of odds (-110) is called the vig or the juice and is the cost of placing the bet.
New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers Over/Under
When betting on the NBA Over/Under for Lakers games, you’re generally betting on the total amount of points scored in a game by both teams. Also known as Totals, you can find markets for team-specific point totals and totals per half or quarter of the game.
Over/Unders also factor heavily into NBA player props, such as player points where bettors pick Over or Under on a specific player point total for a game.
In the example below, the Over/Under total for the Lakers and Pelicans game is 235. Bettors taking the Over need the total combined score of the Lakers and Pelicans to be 236 or more, while Under bettors need the game to end with 234 or fewer points. If the game finished with precisely 235 total points, the bet would push, and bettors would get their wager returned to them.
LA Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers Moneyline
Betting on the Lakers moneyline odds is very simple: just pick the winner of the game.
As with point spread odds, NBA moneyline odds have a favorite and an underdog. The favorite is indicated by a negative number, or minus money, for their odds, while the underdog has a positive number or plus money.
The Lakers are the betting favorite against the Pelicans in the example below. Their odds are set at -170, meaning you’d need to wager $170 to win $100. The underdog Pelicans are +143, meaning a bettor would win $143 on a $100 wager.
New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers Futures Odds
Betting on Lakers futures means you’re betting on their odds to achieve a certain future outcome, whether at the end of the regular season or the playoffs. Examples of NBA futures odds you can bet with the Lakers include their odds of winning the NBA Finals, making the playoffs winning the West, and more. You could even bet on Lakers players to win certain regular season awards, such as the NBA MVP award.
In the example below, the Lakers have odds of +4,000 to win the NBA Finals, while the odds-favorite Boston Celtics have +400. These longer odds make the Lakers a long shot to win the NBA Finals; therefore, the bet pays much more. At these odds, a $10 bet on the Lakers would win a bettor $400.
Los Angeles Player Prop Odds
NBA Player props are one of the fastest-growing basketball betting markets, becoming more popular yearly. NBA player props allow you to bet on a player’s performance in a single game over several statistical categories.
In the example below, bettors can bet on Lebron James’ point total against the Pelicans. Oddsmakers set James’ point total at 27.5 points. Bettors on the Over need Lebron to score at least 28 points again the Pelicans. Under backers are hoping for 27 or fewer points from the Lakers’ star forward.
How To Make Smart Bets On Lakers Games
If you’re new to betting and want to place bets on the Lakers, here are three ways to make smart bets on your favorite NBA team.
Get the best odds
Bettors should always shop around for the best odds. Never pay more than you should; different sportsbooks can have different odds for the same selection.
If you were betting the Lakers moneyline and one book offered it at -170 and the other at -150, you should place your bet at the book offering it at -150 so that a winning bet of the same wager would profit you more.
When looking at a Lakers matchup to bet on, don’t pay too much attention to the teams’ overall records or position in the standings. Instead, look back at the teams’ past 10 games and examine those win-loss records and statistical outputs on both ends of the floor. If a team has been in a shooting slump of late and comes up against stingy defense, that could easily continue.
Watch for injuries and rest
Most NBA teams are very top-heavy, meaning that much of their identity and success flows through their best players. Teams often hit a rough patch when those players get injured, where treading water is the best possible outcome. Bettors should always check the injury report for a game before betting to see if a star player’s absence changes the game’s complexion.
For the NBA, in particular, many star players take nights off for rest during the long grind of an NBA season. Watch for last-minute lineup changes due to rest and nights off.
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