The Lakers are in their first season without Kobe Bryant since 1995 and expectations are obviously still pretty low in the midst of their rebuild. However, with the amount of young talent they have mixed with some veteran offseason acquisitions, can this Lakers team exceed expectations in the NBA Odds?
Lakers O/U 28 ½ wins
Right now at BetOnline sportsbook, you can get odds on the Lakers at over or under 28 ½ wins for the upcoming season. LA won only 17 games last season and weren't much better in the prior two years with 27 and 21 wins in 2013 and 2014 respectfully. 28 or more wins in 2016-2017 would represent the best Lakers season since the Dwight Howard saga turned out a 45-37 season in 2012-2013.
With Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov getting big contracts this offseason, a lot of people think that won't improve the Lakers too much. However, Deng is still a serviceable 12-15 points per game with great defense and three-point shooting, while Mozgov's per-36 numbers say in theory that he could post double-double numbers once again.
However, the strength in this Lakers team potentially getting to 29 or more wins, or even better than that lies with their young players. Brandon Ingram could be close to Kevin Durant on offense with better defense, while guys like D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson have all flashed some great upside.
I would not be surprised at all to see this team get above 28½ wins this season. The West is still good, but it is also top heavy. The West had nine teams at or below .500 last season and two more than made the playoffs only two games above .500. There were only four 50-win teams in the West last season and the Thunder probably won't return to that mark this season.
The Sharp Pick
The Lakers could easily turn in a 30-52 season, cashing the over and bringing some nice profit at +100 for a winning over ticket at BetOnline, now offering 50% free play. As I see it, the Lakers are better than at least four or five teams in the West right now with all of their added talent this offseason, which would put them in the 30-32 win range.
This may all come as a shock to some people, considering Kobe was such a huge part of that team, but the Lakers were actually better with Kobe on the bench or not playing last season. LA had a slightly better offensive rating with Bryant sitting, while their defense had nearly a 10-point improvement with Kobe riding the pine. Things can only go up from here.
Free NBA Pick: Over 28.5 +100
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline