Betting Odds Predict Lakers Will Miss Playoffs Following Loss to the Kings

  • The Lakers are five games under .500 over halfway into the season
  • Despite the record, LeBron James is having another MVP-type year
  • LA’s front office does not want to part with future assets in trades
  • LeBron is expected to break the all-time scoring record in ten games
LeBron James
The Los Angeles Lakers are -300 to miss the playoffs following Wednesday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings. [Image: Flickr.com / Erik Drost]

So close, so far

Odds predict the Los Angeles Lakers will miss the playoffs after Wednesday’s 116-111 loss to the Sacramento Kings dropped them to 20-25 on the year.

According to MyBookie, the 2020 world champions are now -300 to have their season ended prematurely. That comes despite LeBron James posting MVP-level numbers (29.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists per game) at 38 years old.

the Lakers’ hopes of qualifying for the playoffs are bleak

Head coach Darvin Ham acknowledged LeBron’s immense workload after the loss and said he “feels bad” he’s having to shoulder that burden, but at this stage, the Lakers’ hopes of qualifying for the playoffs are bleak no matter who is carrying the load.

Odds predict Lakers miss the playoffs

The Lakers’ Wednesday loss means that they are now 13th in the Western Conference, just two spots above the last-place Houston Rockets. They have lost four of their last five games and have matchups with the Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets over the next week. Not good for their playoff odds (-300 to miss, +232 to qualify).

One of the biggest problems the purple and gold is facing is the continued absence of Anthony Davis who, when last seen, was making a strong MVP case. Different players have stepped up in spurts in his absence, but none have had the direct impact on the game that he did.

Russell Westbrook has been one of the players to increase his output during Davis’ time on the sideline. In January, he is averaging 20.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists on 46.2% shooting. But as impressive as Brodie’s numbers are, his decision-making, especially in key moments, is a source of frustration for players and fans alike.

Darvin Ham has also been unable to concoct a winning recipe in his first season as an NBA head coach. His desperation showed in a recent comment he made about the team’s inability to make outside shots.

“We need somebody who could shoot some damn threes,” Ham said. “Not just shoot them, but make them.”

Unfortunately for Ham, reconstructing the roster will be an even taller task than the one he has on his hands and one that is unlikely to happen.

Future outlook

The Los Angeles brass, led by vice president of operations Rob Pelinka and president Jeanie Buss, have indicated that they are unwilling to part with future assets to acquire more talent. 

Throughout the year, Pelinka and Buss have had the opportunity to trade various pieces, including Kendrick Nunn, Patrick Beverley, and two future first-round draft picks for immediate impact players like Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, Bojan Bogdanovic, and others. They have ignored public pressure to pull the trigger every time.

1.5 games out of the play-in tournament and 2.5 games out of the sixth seed

There is still a chance that the Lakers turn their season around when Davis returns, which should be within the next month. They are only 1.5 games out of the play-in tournament and 2.5 games out of the sixth seed, which is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Their average scoring margin of -1.1 is better than the eighth-seed Los Angeles Clippers, and they are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

How far they can get in the playoffs, should they make it, is another beast. The Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets have separated from the field and would be heavily favored in a seven-game series as LA’s most-likely first-round opponents.

As a consolation for Lakers fans, LeBron is only 283 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. If he scores 30 points per game (averaging 34.9 in January), he will set the record in ten games during a home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.