Betting on Lakers Not Smart These Days
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 2/17/2011
Shouldn’t happen. Can’t happen. But it happened. The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Yes, the Cavaliers. The worst team in the NBA. The same team the Lakers beat by 55 the last time they played. It was Cleveland’s 10th win of the season. All in all, just a terrible effort from Kobe Bryant et al. Betting action on the Lakers will no doubt be affected.
"It's a painful, painful loss," said Pau Gasol. "It's very disappointing. I don't understand it."
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That Gasol doesn’t understand what’s going on might be the biggest concern for Lakers supporters. Their team is now 38-19, which is still a pretty good record, but it’s beneath the two-time defending champs.
For those who like to bet on the Lakers it’s been particularly tough lately. Los Angeles was a huge favorite in Cleveland and lost. It was a favorite in Charlotte on Monday when the mediocre Bobcats blew out the visitors, 109-89.
Not surprisingly, the Lakers are well below .500 against the spread this season and we’re starting to see some real hesitation from our players at Bodog when it comes to backing the team with their wallets.
I predict more and more Lakers bettors will take a wait-and-see approach after the shock loss to Cleveland. For Bodog, we’ll need to think long and hard about the betting lines we set going forward.
Perhaps the best news for Phil Jackson and his troops is that the NBA is heading into the All-Star break and the Lakers won’t have to play another game until Tuesday when they host the Atlanta Hawks.
"It's back to the drawing board," said Lamar Odom. "Defense. Cohesiveness. Our chemistry on offense. I'm not that worried. I think it's things we can fix."
This isn’t the first bump in the road for the 2010-11 Lakers. They lost four in a row in late November. They lost three in a row in December. And they lost five of nine in January into early February. It was at that point when former Lakers great Magic Johnson made some waves by saying that changes needed to be made to the roster.
"Unfortunately we're looking old and we're playing old," Johnson said. "We're not responding to the more athletic teams and the quicker teams.
"So we must change something. I think we have to now look at this team and maybe say we're not good enough. Things might have to change."
At the time, Johnson’s words ruffled a few feathers on the Lakers, but his opinion might never be truer than it is today.
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