Things are not going well for the Lakers.
Losers of six of their last eight games, the Los Angeles Lakers dysfunction on the court is evident, and Las Vegas oddsmakers have taken notice.
Before the season began, LeBron James and the Lakers were -450 (according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) to make the NBA Playoffs. That means that you would have to bet $450 in order to win $100.
At the time, those odds were 12th best in the NBA, and fifth best in the Western Conference behind only the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Utah Jazz.
Since the moment LeBron's agency, Klutch Sports, announced that the three-time NBA Champion, and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player was taking his talents to Los Angeles, the playoffs seemed inevitable.
In fact, it wasn't whether or not James and the Lakers would make the playoffs, but whether or not James' streak of eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances would extend to nine. James has also made the postseason in 13 straight seasons.
However, after a rollercoaster season filled with a litany of injuries, including a groin strain to James that cost him a career-high 18 missed games, the Lakers chances of even making the playoffs have gone from a guarantee to a quandary.
At the end of February, after a home win against the New Orleans Pelicans seemed to momentarily right the ship, the Lakers odds to make the postseason were +200 (according to Bovada).
That meant, that a bet of $100 on the Lakers making the NBA playoffs would win you $200 if they indeed rallied to finish in the top eight in the Western Conference.
Now, after back-to-back losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and the lowly Phoenix Suns, the Lakers odds of making the playoffs have come tumbling down. Turns out Vegas thinks like the rest of us: if you lose to the worst team in the NBA (in a game you trailed by 19 in the fourth quarter), you don't deserve to make the postseason.
Los Angeles is currently 4.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, a standing currently held by their co-tenants the Clippers. The Lakers are currently 10th in the West, and are actually closer to 13th (just 2.5 games ahead), then they are to the Playoffs.
As of Sunday, the Lakers odds to make the postseason are +600 (according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). If you're an optimistic and hopeful Lakers fan looking to cash in, a $100 bet will win you $600 if the Lakers pull off a miracle and make the postseason.
That miracle will begin on Monday when they face the Clippers at home in a must-win matchup. A win there means gaining a full game on their quest to make the playoffs, and hopefully the momentum could carry them forward into a run for the ages.
If not, there's always next season.