NBA Outlook: Bet on the LA Lakers to Win the West at 6/5, 45.5%...Projected to Finish Ahead of Nuggets

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SEASON FORECASTS AND FUTURES PICKS

Oddsmakers have the Lakers as the favorite to win the championship. If futures lines were not heavily juiced, the Lakers would be a good betting value. Their 29.6% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #1 in the league. They are a good bet to win the West at 6/5, 45.5%. Their sim chance is 45.6%. They are projected to win 61 games and go over their pre-season futures line of 48.5. They are making the playoffs. Their chances of winning the division stand at 97.8%. They were a -650 'favorite' to make the playoffs in the preseason. Their preseason chances to win the division were 25.8% at 11/5, 31.2%. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the West.

For winning picks against the spread, total and money line for all NBA games by our proven computer model and leading handicappers visit SportsLine.com where you can also get fantasy basketball and daily fantasy optimal lineups from CBSSports' Top Experts.

REGULAR SEASON RECAP AND UPCOMING GAMES

Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 37.1-15.9. At 41-12 they ahead of expectations. If you bet on them to win every game you would be up big (+674 units). They are one of the best teams against the spread (28-24-1) for a 160 profit. Their over-under record is 27-26. They are heavy favorites in their upcoming game vs the Memphis Grizzlies. The table below shows their upcoming games, their simulation based win percentage and their recent head to head record (WL, ATS, OU).

OPPONENTSIM%H2H WLH2H ATSH2H OU
2/21 MEM71%3-22-30-5
2/23 BOS62%1-21-23-0
2/25 NO72%5-12-3-14-2
2/27 GS85%3-33-32-4
2/29 MEM58%3-22-30-5

TEAM STATISTICAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

SHOOTING (STRENGTH): They are an elite shooting team with a true FG% of 58.1% (#5 in League). The team has improved to 60.9% in their last 7 games. They average 111.8 pts per game vs an expected average (based on pre-game odds) of 113.4. On the road they average 112.5 (112.4 expected), and at home 111 ppg (114.4 expected).

DEFENSE (STRENGTH): They are an above average defensive team holding opponents to 55 true FG% (#7 in League). Team defense is trending down allowing opponents to shoot 58.3% in their last 7 games. They allow 113.5 pts per game vs an expected value of 114.3. They are allowing 115.8 (115 expected) on the road, and at home 111.2 ppg (113.6 expected).

REBOUNDING (STRENGTH): They significantly outrebound opponents by an average of +4.6 per game (#2 in league).

TURNOVERS (ABOVE AVERAGE): They have an Average turnover margin of 0.1 per game (#14 in league). Worst in their past 7 games with a turnover margin of -4.

TEAM FANTASY LEADERS

The table below show the most valuable fantasy players on the team led by LeBron James who is projected to be the #1 Forward the rest of the season. The Better Option column shows the player directly above him and the Better Than column shows the player directly below him in the projected position rankings.

PLAYEROWN%RANKBETTER OPTIONBETTER THAN
LeBron James1001--Giannis Antetokounmpo
Anthony Davis1004Luka DoncicJimmy Butler
Kyle Kuzma8153Otto PorterPaul Millsap
Rajon Rondo2970Shabazz NapierDamion Lee
Dwight Howard4724Willie Cauley-SteinMitchell Robinson
Danny Green2584Kris DunnAvery Bradley
Avery Bradley485Danny GreenTyler Herro
JaVale McGee1929Daniel TheisIvica Zubac
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope596De'Anthony MeltonGlenn Robinson
Alex Caruso1116Michael Carter-WilliamsGary Trent Jr.