Lakers' NBA Finals Odds Take Hit After Losing to Trail Blazers
The Los Angeles Lakes have remained one of the two favorites throughout the season to win the NBA Championship in 2021. Yet following Friday's 106-101 loss at Portland, the Lakers (37-30) now have the seventh best record in the Western Conference. FanDuel Sportsbook has dropped the Lakers NBA Championship odds from +350 to +500.
The Lakers were a 7-point underdog Friday, and stud forward Anthony Davis poured in 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. But Portland guard Damian Lillard countered with 38 points in victory as fans returned to the Moda Center for the first time in 2021.
The win moved the Trail Blazers past the Lakers for the No. 6 seed in the upcoming playoffs. With one week remaining in the regular season, the Lakers are on the outside looking in at a top-six seed. That's incredibly important this year, as it's now looking like Los Angeles will have to battle it out in the play-in tournament this season.
Even though the Lakers will almost surely be favored against whoever they play in that scenario, one flukey performance in the play-in tournament could end the team's season.
But it's not all bad news in LA, as LeBron James is expected to return to the lineup soon after rehabbing a sore right ankle. James is the Lakers top scorer (25.0 PPG), but he scored just 19 and 16 points in his two appearances after missing about six weeks due to a high-ankle sprain.
Now essentially 2.0 games behind Portland, as the Trail Blazers own the tie breaker, James' Lakers look destined for the play-in tournament. And their odds to win the 2021 NBA Finals have taken a hit as a result.
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