2014 Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and NBA Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 9/19/2014
The Los Angeles Lakers have been sitting in unfamiliar territory over the last couple of seasons. The team is currently playing second fiddle to the Los Angeles Clippers and cannot seem to attract any big-name players on the free-agent market. The good news for the Lakers is that Kobe Bryant will be returning to the team fully recovered from last year's knee injury.
The bad news is that the team lost all-star forward Pau Gasol to free agency and replaced him with the always-underachieving Carlos Boozer. Los Angeles will also be restricted by its horrendous salary cap number and may spend the season fighting to stay at the .500 mark. Let's take a closer look at Los Angeles' futures odds with predictions and analysis. All odds come from Bovada .
2014 Los Angeles Lakers Betting Story Lines
The biggest offseason storyline for Los Angeles was its prolonged coaching search that ended with Byron Scott taking on the position. The former Lakers guard has largely been remembered for his uneventful coaching stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010 to 2013, but he also has consecutive trips to the NBA Finals as coach of the New Jersey Nets and a deep playoff run with the New Orleans Hornets highlighted on his resume.
Scott has the right credentials and skill set to lead the Lakers back into NBA relevance, but the rebuild is not expected to happen overnight. Without a big midseason trade the team may need a few more years before it puts together a legitimate championship contender. The best-case scenario for Los Angeles is to have another bad year and hope to fall into another lottery pick. The team, however, added just enough talent that it might get stuck in the no-man's land of having a .500 record.
2014 Los Angeles Lakers Additions and Departures
Los Angeles took a huge hit over the offseason when Gasol chose to leave the Lakers to sign with Chicago. The departure was not unexpected as Gasol's unhappiness with the organization that dangled his name as trade bait for three straight years was well known around the league. Despite the loss, Los Angeles added some talent over the offseason and actually upgraded last year's horrendous 27-55 team.
Los Angeles took forward Julius Randle with the seventh pick in the NBA draft and may have a solid big man to help rebuild a championship squad in the future. The team also signed Jeremy Lin and Boozer during free agency and Los Angeles seems to have a 35- to 40-win team on its hands if Bryant can continue to stay healthy.
2014 Los Angeles Lakers Futures Odds and Trends
NBA title odds : +6600
Western Conference odds : +3300
Kobe Bryant MVP odds : +4000
Julius Randle Rookie of the Year odds : +700
The Lakers are currently receiving the 18th-best NBA title odds at +6600, according to Bovada, and +3300 Western Conference title odds. Bryant is receiving +4000 in MVP odds while Randle has +700 odds to win the Rookie of the Year award. Bryant's MVP odds are probably the worst he has ever received in his career, and the number seems to have some value since it is so large. The "Black Mamba" is a player that cares about history, and becoming the oldest player to ever win the award will definitely be in the back of his mind.
Last season Los Angeles was a 50/50 ATS team and ended the year with a 40-40-2 mark. The squad covered a few more spreads on the road, where it produced a 22-19 mark. Expect Los Angeles to have an improved ATS mark this season, especially if the oddsmakers forget about them and start to undervalue the team. The Lakers tend to be a public team, however, so be wary of large overvalued spreads.
2014 Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
Record : 42-40
Playoffs : No
Bryant MVP finish : Fifth
Randle ROY finish : Third
Los Angeles does not have much of a chance at making the playoffs, let alone competing for a title-that is, of course, if it does not pull off a mega deal before the trade deadline. The team's futures wagers do have value, however, simply because the organization is known for making huge moves and reloading its team. Would anyone really be shocked if the squad traded for a Rajon Rondo or a Marc Gasol early next year?
Expect Bryant and Randle to have solid years, with both staying in the conversation for the MVP and ROY awards, respectively. At the moment Los Angeles does not have the talent to compete for the playoffs, but that could all change come February-so a small bet, especially for Lakers fans, could turn into a smart move.
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