Now a win away from advancing to the Western Conference finals, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as one of the favorites to win the NBA championship.
After taking a 3-1 edge in their semifinal series with the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, the Lakers now have +300 odds to win it all at BetMGM. Only the Boston Celtics have better odds. The Celtics, tied 2-2 with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, are listed at +165.
The Lakers have come a long way. A few months ago, they were fighting just to earn a spot in the NBA play-in tournament. After a few savvy pickups at the trade deadline and getting Anthony Davis back from injury, the Lakers steadily climbed the West standings.
The Lakers took care of Minnesota in the play-in tournament to earn the No. 7 seed and then dispatched the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round in six games to set up a West semifinal showdown with the Warriors, the defending NBA champions.
The Warriors were coming off a grueling seven-game series with the Sacramento Kings, and the Lakers took advantage by taking Game 1 in San Francisco behind a monster 30-point, 23-rebound effort from Davis.
The Warriors responded by taking Game 2, but the Lakers seized control of the series by winning Games 3 and 4 at home. Game 3 was a 30-point blowout, but Game 4 on Monday night came down to the wire. With LeBron James’ 27 points leading the way, the Lakers emerged with a 104-101 win.
To move on to the Western Conference finals, the Lakers obviously need to win just one of the potential three remaining games in the series.
On the other side of the West bracket, the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns are tied 2-2 headed into Game 5 on Tuesday night. The Nuggets are the West’s top seed while the Suns opened the postseason as one of the title favorites with Kevin Durant leading the way.
However, now it’s the Lakers who are viewed as the favorites to emerge from the West.
The Lakers are +135 to win the West at BetMGM, ahead of the Nuggets at +180 and the Suns at +325. The Warriors, meanwhile, are down at +900. Additionally, the Nuggets are +450 to win the title with the Suns at +650 and the Warriors at +1800.