The Los Angeles Lakers are once again bona fide NBA Title contenders and are going to need to put together a strong regular season to make a playoff run.
After over a half-decade of mediocrity, which was unknown prior to the franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers finally have a team that is built to win an NBA Championship.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis is the most exciting superstar duo in the league. The size and ability of both guys are unparalleled and James, who has had some Hall of Fame teammates, has never had a teammate like Davis.
We saw how good this team can be in the preseason. Wins and losses really don’t matter in the preseason but the individual performances can be a good indicator of what is to come in the regular season.
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And with the regular season just around the corner, we decided to take a crack at predicting what the Lakers’ win total will be at the end of the year. Courtesy of the Action Network, the betting total for the Lakers is 51.5. If you bet the over you need a 52-30 record or better, the under needs a 51-31 record or worse.
Keep that in mind as we break down the records against each team in the league.
We’ll start with the Western Conference teams that the Lakers only have three games against this season. Every team has four other in-conference teams that they only have three games against. Those teams for the Lakers are the Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Respectively, we think the Lakers will go 2-1, 1-2, 2-1 and 3-0 against these four teams. Yes, we think the Rockets will get the best of them in the regular series as, despite the concerns, the Rockets are primed to be a really good regular season team. So far that is an 8-4 record.
The rest of the Northwest Division consists of the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder. We think that the Lakers will split 2-2 against both the Nuggets and Jazz and win three of four against OKC. That is a 15-9 record.
The rest of the Southwest Division consists of the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies. LA should go 3-1 against both Dallas and New Orleans and sweep the season series against Memphis. That brings the record to 25-11.
Then we have the in-division games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers will catch the Clippers without Paul George and go 2-2 against the hungry hallway rival. The Lakers’ size will be an issue for the Warriors and LA will take three of four. The Kings will steal a game against LA but otherwise be outmatched and the same will be the case for the Suns. The Suns will win one of these games when they shouldn’t. It happens.
That is an 11-5 record against the Pacific Division and it gives the Los Angeles Lakers a 36-16 (69.2%) record against the Western Conference.
The Atlantic Division in the East consists of the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. Toronto is not the same team and will go 0-2 against the Lakers, as will the New York Knicks.
However, the 76ers, Celtics and Nets will all split with the Lakers, giving LA a 7-3 record against the Atlantic.
The Central Division consists of the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. Both the Bulls and Cavs will go 0-2 against LA in blowout losses.
There will be at least one team in the league that goes 2-0 against LA and it will be the Bucks. The Bucks can handle the Lakers’ size and catch them on a tough road trip the first time around and a tough home stretch sandwiched between the 76ers and Clippers in March.
The Pacers will take the game in Indiana and drop the game in LA while the Pistons’ size will allow them to keep up and win in a narrow margin. That is a 6-4 record against the Central and a 13-7 record against the East.
The Southeast will pad the record and consists of the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers will go 2-0 against all the teams in the division except for Miami. None of the other teams have the star power to keep up and Miami will get a good game out of Jimmy Butler against LA.
That is a 9-1 record against the Southeast and a 22-8 record against the Eastern Conference as a whole.
Altogether, we have the Los Angeles Lakers going 58-24 this season. Not only is that enough to hit the over, but it is also six games of cushion over the over.
Of course, things such as injuries can derail this. But as long as the Los Angeles Lakers stay healthy, then the over might be a great bet to make.