Lakers NBA Playoff Odds And Play-In Game Odds From MaximBet Are Not Good

Can King James carry the Lakers into the 2022 NBA Playoffs?

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LeBron James has won 174 career playoff games, but if Sunday night was any indication, he will have a hard time making it 175.

James and Russell Westbrook each had seven turnovers in a lopsided loss to the sneaky good New Orleans Pelicans, who dumped 123 points on the Lakers at home (Los Angeles was a 2.5-point favorite via the MaximBet NBA betting odds), which brought out the boo-birds at the Center. 

We now have those fans in a major panic that was not made any easier by a 4.0 earthquake hitting Ventura County on Sunday afternoon while the whole world wondered whether nuclear knucklehead Vladimir Putin was leading us all down the path to World War III.

Basketball was supposed to be a diversion for all of those fears and concerns, but the Lakers did not alleviate anything in losing for the fifth time in six games despite 32 points from LeBron, who is now appearing in television commercials with his son when he’s not picking out reporters by name to browbeat for negative coverage.

And really, is there anything positive with L.A.? Could it really be that they may need to sign a bought-out John Wall in order to give themselves a point guard who can do better than one assist against seven turnovers, which is the line that Westbrook posted Sunday night in refusing to age gracefully?

“If you look at the season and where they’re at, the rest of the regular season is pretty much a play-in game,” said Kyle Goon, beat writer for the Orange County Register. “If they’re playing for their lives, where’s the urgency?”

Point taken, but February basketball and April-May basketball are not the same.

There is a saying that you never want to bet against LeBron James, but that may no longer be the case. But whether you feel that way or you want to bet on him, MaximBet has you covered.

The Lakers are even money (+100) at MaximBet to win a play-in game, which, if the season ended now, would be against those same New Orleans Pelicans. They currently hold the No. 9 slot, which leads to a No. 9 vs. No. 10 play-in game that eliminates the loser.

If the Lakers lost, it would mark the first time since 2018-19 that James did not compete in the “playoffs” (the play-in games are not technically playoff games, as those involve only 16 teams).

MaximBet Lakers Play-In Tournament Odds

What will happen first?

  • Lakers win first play-in game +100
  • Lakers lose first play-in game +125
  • Lakers do not qualify for play-in game +350
  • Lakers qualify for NBA Playoffs +1000*

Los Angeles has a 2.5-game deficit behind the L.A. Clippers and a 2.5-game lead over the Pels with 22 games remaining. They are on TV three times this week against the Mavs, Clippers and Warriors, so there is a chance for everyone to see if the King can turn this ship around. 

For those who believe he can lead the Lakers all the way past the Clippers and the seventh-place Timberwolves to get Los Angeles a sixth-place position and a guaranteed place in the playoffs, MaximBet is gifting you 10-1 odds.

And for those of you unaware of how god-awful the Portland Trail Blazers have become and believe Chauncey Billups’ team can beat out LeBron’s Lakers for 10th, MaximBet is giving you 7-2 odds. Qualifying for the playoffs through the play-in is priced at +105.

MaximBet Lakers NBA Playoffs Odds

Will the Lakers qualify for the NBA Playoffs through play-in tournament?

  • Yes +105
  • No -135

And, of course, if you bleed Purple and Gold and believe that LeBron’s fifth title is a lock, the NBA title odds for this season are 45-1 at MaximBet.

The guy is the most media-savvy player in the NBA, and he is taking notes and naming names when it comes to keeping an eye on how what he says is reported.

At All-Star Weekend he was very clear with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic in stating that he will play wherever Bronny plays once the kid graduates from high school and has a clear picture of what the eligibility rules are going to be for the NBA.

Whether the kid is NBA material is immaterial because some franchise is going to want to have LeBron wear its uniform for the final season of his career. Yes, it could even be the Thunder (and we also learned over All-Star Weekend that Bron is a big Sam Presti fan).

He also opined that Bill Oram of The Athletic writes a lot of negative articles about the Lakers.

“I hope no one in the Lakers faithful listens to Bill Oram. I hope not. He hasn’t said one great thing about the Lakers in so long,” James said with a grin, because deep down he knows that Oram has a job to do and is doing it well because the Lakers pretty much stink.

But what Oram may be discounting is the fact that this particular regular season is cheapened (as was last season) by the league’s decision to expand the quasi-postseason to 20 teams, meaning only 10 fail to continue beyond the end of the regular season, and there are almost 10 who are clearly tanking.

What this creates is a 0-0 slate for all 20 quasi-postseason teams, and we do not yet know is exactly who will be on Los Angeles’ postseason roster. There are Americans currently playing professionally in China and Europe who will become available between now and the end of the regular season, along with Wall and anyone else who should get a buyout by March 1. There may be a grit and guts guy in the G-League whom Rob Pelinka likes.

Also, it bears mentioning that although Westbrook is as abhorrent as the Chinese Olympic Committee at this particular juncture. The guy did put up 24 triple-doubles in Washington’s final 28 games last season in April and May, so it is not ridiculous to believe that he is trying to keep something in the tank for when Anthony Davis returns and the games start to mean something tangible.

“The thing with Russ is that those guys he had running alongside him in Washington were kids, and in Los Angeles with the spare parts that the Lakers have he just can’t be Russ,” said LZ Granderson, columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

“Once he got acclimated in Washington, he said to the team: ‘Run with me.’ ” But this isn’t a ‘run with me’ team, and defensively they can’t stop a team of YMCA guys like the ones I play with.”

Still, you have to make a leap of faith to wager against these guys, Sunday night notwithstanding. There are sportsbooks and casinos in Las Vegas building new wings with the money they have gained from people who bet against the guy, and if you do not want to be in that particular Hall of Fame when summer rolls around, then think twice before doubting the guy, OK? 

Aside from his hairline, he remains the only member of the human species who refuses to get older as he ages. Your faithful correspondent has been covering him since he was a rookie and advises that the guy is better than Michael Jordan ever was, so take that into account.

The Lakers should be better when Anthony Davis is back, and if they can get into the first round and face a Phoenix team with Chris Paul not up to speed, or a Golden State team with a Draymond Green not up to speed, it would make for an interesting seven-game series. We are a long way from crowning a champion, so doubt LeBron and his guys only if you are among the most intrepid. 

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