The Los Angeles Lakers won the 2019-20 NBA title in the bubble before barely reaching the playoffs in the 2020-21 season. Now, one bettor is expecting LeBron James and the Lakers to take an even further step in the wrong direction.
The Lakers are one of the betting favorites to win the title next year, listed at +400 behind only the Brooklyn Nets at +240. However, according to BetMGM, one bettor wagered $10,000 on the Lakers to miss the playoffs entirely next season.
With odds of +1600, the bettor would win $160,000 if the Lakers indeed miss the postseason for the second time since James left Cleveland for L.A.
After the bet was placed, BetMGM moved the odds for the Lakers missing the playoffs down to +1400. The odds for the Lakers making the playoffs are listed at -5000.
Yeah, this bet is considered a long shot.
Lakers missed playoffs once since addition of LeBron James
The Lakers missed the playoffs in the 2018-19 season, James’ first with the Lakers. That roster was full of inexperience and dealt with plenty of injuries, but the tables turned when the Lakers acquired a second star, Anthony Davis, from the New Orleans Pelicans.
With James and Davis leading the way, the Lakers tore through the NBA bubble in Florida and won the franchise’s first title since 2010. Things did not go as well last year. Both James and Davis were hindered by injuries throughout the year and the Lakers needed a 103-100 win over the Golden State Warriors in a play-in game to reach the postseason.
In the first round, with Davis’ injuries lingering, the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games. It was the first first-round playoff exit in James’ career. Before 2021, James was a perfect 14-0 in the first round.
Lakers added several pieces to roster
What will the 2021-22 season have in store?
Well, general manager Rob Pelinka added another star to the fold. Russell Westbrook was acquired via a trade with the Washington Wizards to insert into the starting lineup alongside James and Davis. Several other veterans were also added to the roster, including Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard.
That’s a lot of moving parts with extensive experience for coach Frank Vogel to manage.