- The Los Angeles Lakers are the new betting favorites to win the 2020 NBA title.
- Los Angeles is currently at -210 at Bovada, and they are followed by the Miami Heat (+425), Boston Celtics (+550), and Denver Nuggets (+850)
- The Lakers begin their seven-game Western Conference Finals series against the Nuggets on Friday.
The 2019-20 NBA season began with the Los Angeles Clippers as the odds on favorite to win the 2020 NBA title. But when the season began, the Milwaukee Bucks took that title with a dominant regular season. The Los Angeles Lakers briefly held that tag just before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the restart, the Clippers and Bucks were installed as the favorites again. And then the playoffs began.
The Bucks were ousted by the 5th seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. On Tuesday, the Clippers also fell to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. With the playoff cast now down to four teams, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as the new betting favorites to win the chip this year.
Clippers collapse again as their playoff run ends with Game 7 loss to Nuggets https://t.co/yVUggvKyZK
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) September 16, 2020
This was supposed to be the season for the Clippers. The team acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George during the previous offseason. They had a bench led by Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. The team added veterans Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson, and Joakim Noah during the season. But when all was said and done, only Montrezl Harrell showed up in Game 7.
Leonard shot 6-22 from the floor and George 4-16. They combined for only five points in the second half and zero in the fourth quarter. Leonard went 1-11 in the final two quarters, the worst half of his career with a minimum of 10 shots attempted. George finished with 10 points and his history of disappearing during the playoffs continues. Williams also finished with just 7 points in Game 7.
The Clippers failed to advance despite leading 3-1 in the series. They have never made it past the second round and are an incredible 0-8 in closeout games to advance to the conference Finals. The Clippers are 0-6 in those games under Doc Rivers. Rivers has blown a 3-1 lead in three different decades, including two with the Clippers.
The WCF is set 🍿
Game 1 of @nuggets vs. @Lakers tips off Friday on TNT. pic.twitter.com/2aQO5eCgIk
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 16, 2020
The Lakers meanwhile, lost Game 1 of their series against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. But after losing the opening games of their first and second round series, Los Angeles stormed back to win the next four. The Lakers are just 11-7 in Orlando with Miami (12-6) and Boston (13-17) having a better record than them in the bubble. However, the Purple and Gold have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games and may be peaking at the right time.
On Wednesday, LeBron James and Anthony Davis were named to the All-NBA First team. The selection was the 4th for AD and the 16th for LBJ. James’ 16th selection broke a tie with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan for most by any player in the history of the NBA.
James and Davis are the first teammates to be named to the first team since Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire in 2006-07. They are also the first Lakers duo to accomplish the feat since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal did it three times. Kobe and Shaq led the Lakers to three straight NBA titles from 2000-02. Will history repeat itself for the Lakers this season?
Heat and Celtics
Heat vs. Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals 🔥☘️ pic.twitter.com/GR1ol4Zdtc
— ESPN (@espn) September 12, 2020
While the Lakers are a heavy -550 favorite to beat the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat is a pick’em series.
Boston opened the series as the slight betting favorites but with the Heat stealing Game 1, Miami is now a -155 odds on favorite to beat the Celtics who are currently pegged at +135. Game 2 of that series is on Saturday with Boston as -2.5 point favorites. If Boston wins that game, expect the series odds to tilt to the other side.
Since 2000, the West has won the NBA title 13 times and the East only 7. However, the two conferences have split the last eight NBA championships 4-4 with the Toronto Raptors winning over the Golden State Warriors last season. This season is different though with the postseason held in one venue due to the pandemic. We’ve seen strange things happen this season and it won’t be a surprise if a team other than the Lakers win the NBA title.