NBA Picks: Improved Roster & Kobe Bryant's Return Not Enough To Make Lakers a Solid Bet to Go 'Over' 29.5 Wins

Kevin Stott

Thursday, October 8, 2015 11:28 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 11:28 PM UTC

It seems that the Lakers have reloaded in an effort to just sell some seats, build for the future and not necessarily win games. So how can we place NBA picks for season win totals with this team?

The Los Angeles Lakers get superstar Kobe Bryant back for one more crack at a title this coming season, but the cupboard is pretty bare. So, does that mean betting the Under 29½ in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Season Team Win Totals is the prescription from the good doctor? Let’s look at the current Roster, past results and try to make a decent handicap on this quirky team which finds itself now fighting to just make the playoffs in the NBA’s extremely competitive Western Conference.


Introduction: Love For Lakers Always Leaves Season Team Win Total a Little High
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City unveiled its 2015/16 Regular Season Team Win Totals for all 30 of the league’s teams last Tuesday, and most of the Team Totals made sense except for the usual seeming bias toward the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers—the two largest cities in the United States. Because of the tendency of fans to be loyal to their own Home teams and because of the sheer population numbers of the New York City (20.1 million) and Los Angeles metropolitan areas (13.3 million), there are naturally more people who are die-hard and lifelong Knicks and Lakers fans simply because of this mathematical reality.

And because citizens of The Big Apple and Lalaland like to bet (legally and illegally) and frequent the beautiful neon-lit city/town of Las Vegas—and like to bet on their Knickerbockers and Lakers—the Season Team Win Totals for these two teams have always seemed to skew a little high with sportsbooks directors and oddsmakers knowing there will be plenty of Knicks and Lakers money annually of these Futures Book bets.

Everybody likes to bet on their own team and blind, myopic optimism always springs eternal like Andre Miller, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Tim Duncan. You thought that blanket your Grandma knitted for you would never wear out? Cats like these that will probably still be playing when we’re all clipping Depend coupons and drooling down our chins, waiting for Family Guy reruns at 5 at the Rest Home.

Last NBA Regular Season, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook—the largest sportsbook in the Milky Way galaxy (probably)—posted Regular Season team Win Totals of 40.5 for New York and 31.5 for the Lakers (9-43 vs Western Conference). Both fell way Under those Totals, with New York finishing with a laughable 17-65 record (23.5 games off only) and with Los Angeles (9-32 Road) at dismal 21-61 (10.5 games off). This year, the SuperBook has opened the Lakers (200/1 to win NBA championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) Season Team Win Total at 29.5, but suddenly the second-best professional basketball team in Los Angeles after having a Regular Season an abhorrent 40 games under .500—even 8 games worse than the Sacramento Kings (29-53)—backing the Los Angeles Lakers and Head Coach Byron Scott to succeed at anything in the immediate future with your NBA picks seems like an act in futility. 


2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers Current Roster and Depth Chart

Possible Starting Lineup

C—Roy Hibbert (10.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg with Indiana Pacers)

PF—Julius Randle

SF—Nick Young (13.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.0 apg)

SG—Kobe Bryant (22.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.34 spg)

PG—D’Angelo Russell (Rookie, Ohio State; Drafted: Round 1, Pick #2)


Los Angeles Lakers Current Bench, Roster Depth

C—Robert Sacre (4.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

PF—Brandon Bass (10.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg with Boston Celtics)

SF—Anthony Brown (Rookie, Stanford; Drafted: Round 2, Pick #34)

SG—Lou Williams (15.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.9 rpg with Toronto Raptors)

PG—Jordan Clarkson (11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.2 apg)

C—Tarik Black

C—Robert Upshaw

PF—Larry Nance Jr.

PF—Metta World Peace

SG—Jabari Brown (11.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.1 apg)

PG—Marcelo Huertas


Conclusions and Why the Lakers Won’t Win 30 Games This NBA Regular Season
The Lakers (21-61 in 2015, 98.5 PF-105.3 PA) probably needed to sign UCLA product Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge or DeAndre Jordan or someone big via Free Agency this Offseason, but things haven’t been going the Lakers way of late and playing for this franchise alongside Kobe Bryant has lust much of its luster of the past five seasons. Los Angeles (12-29 Home, 9-32 Away) did get Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), and he will replace the team’s leading Rebounder last year, Jordan Hill (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg) who went to Naptown in the trade. And many other names are gone from last season’s Lakers Roster, including the team’s leading shot blocker Ed Davis (1.2 bpg, now with the Portland Trail Blazers), Carlos Boozer, Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, assist wizard Jeremy Lin, Ryan Kelly, Vander Blue, the team’s steal leader Ronnie Price (1.6 spg, now with Phoenix suns) and Dwight Buycks.

But this team—owned by the Jerry Buss Family Trust—does have some underrated guys who may be able to miraculously jell together like Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Bass and 32-year-old Brazilian Marcelo Huertas, and maybe win 35 games or so, but everything would have to go right and with the whole team seemingly revolving around Bryant like the planets in our solar System rotate around our Sun, some frustration is sure to kick in. Jim Buss and an an ego-driven, 37-year-old Bryant, coming off an injury and playing in his last season sound like trouble from Day One.

And though talented, many of these Lakers (36-41-4 ATS in 2014) on this current Roster are young and haven’t played much together. Rookie D’Angelo Russell is just 19 years old and may running the Point (Guard) on an NBA team in a month. Think about that. A teenager playing in the rugged NBA and in the Western Conference where teams like the defending champion Golden State Warriors (60.5 Regular Season Team Win Total, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), San Antonio Spurs (58.5), Oklahoma City Thunder (57.5) and Los Angeles Clippers (56.5) dwell. The Staples Center in the 2015/2016 Regular Season may be much like the Staples Center was in 2014/2015 Regular Season. It will start will Hope, be followed by some Doubt, likely then paralyzed by some Fear before succumbing to a big dose of Maybe Next Year. The Lakers are 0-2 so far this Preseason losing to the Utah Jazz on Sunday (90-71) and then again on Tuesday (117-114), although the Lakers did somehow cover the +3½ NBA odds (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and the +4 (Pinnacle) in that last game.

The Lakers (200/1 to win Pacific Division, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) host the Toronto Raptors tonight (Thursday) at the Staples Center in preseason action (NBA-TV, TWC SN, TWC D 10:05 p.m. ET/7:05 p.m. PT) and the the team’s 2015/16 Regular Season opener comes on Wednesday Oct. 27 at the Staples Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves (ESPN, WatchESPN, 1o:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT). With so many games again so many talented teams in the competitive Western Conference and the Eastern Conference actually getting better, the Lakers (100/1 to win Western Conference, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) again find themselves in a tough spot and getting to 30 wins will be difficult. And if Bryant should get hurt or re-aggravate the Torn Rotator Cuff which sidelined him for 9 months, then even trying to get to 24 to 26 wins may even be a challenge. Confucius say ‘Great NBA teams aren’t built on back of Roy Hibbert’.

NBA Regular Season Futures Book Team Total Pick: Los Angeles Lakers Under 29.5 Wins (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

comment here