NBA gambling fans love to bet on the Lakers as they have been the most popular team on the NBA gambling odds board at least until now.
The Miami Heat and their “Three Kings of Miami” are likely to replace the Lakers, at least early on, as the favorites to win the NBA Finals and to be the most popular team on the board. But as 2-time defending world champions with a great team and legendary coach returning the Lakers may have the last laugh.
Sports-Gambling opened with the Los Angeles Lakers as a +250 choice to win the NBA championship. The Lakers were a prohibitive -130 favorite to win the Western Conference and had an over/under win total of 56.5.
What has long been interesting to NBA betting handicappers regarding the Lakers has been their lack of board value, which was graphically illustrated last year when they won 57 regular season games and yet got the money just 33 times.
This all goes back to their popularity with the general betting public, which just like a stock, takes off in price while driving down the value as oddsmakers try to make for an attractive price on LA’s opponents. Miami is likely to experience this effect in 2010-11, especially early on with all of the hype.
Coach Phil Jackson was talked out of retirement and will shoot for his 12th NBA world championship ring to rank as arguably the greatest coach in the history of professional sports.
Jackson seems to get better with age as does the franchise superstar Kobe Bryant, who was a valuable NBA betting online asset in the playoffs last year and is the all time leading scorer in the storied history of the Lakers surpassing “The Logo” Jerry West.
Bryant averaged 27 points per game last year but must also be recognized for his intangible leadership in the locker room and on the floor.
Other big NBA gambling names include Pau Gasol, who had a great playoff run, and Ron Artest. Guard Derek Fisher is the unsung hero and considered by Bryant to be a key element and leader.
For smart handicappers the Lakers may finally bring more value and a better price than in past years.