The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a good start in the NBA playoffs, as they swept the Portland Trail Blazers in three games. Now, they will take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semi-final. After the first round of the playoffs, many bookmakers adjusted their odds on the Lakers, as a lot of money came in on Golden State. Before the start of the series, we take a look at the betting trends and see which team is currently favored to win the series.
Kobe Bryant Favored to Score First Point in the Series
With 0:00 left in the first quarter of game one, the Lakers led 10-6. Kobe Bryant made one of his typical game-breaking plays, as he finished the quarter with 28 points, including a beautiful crossover between the pick-and-roll and the one-handed dunk. What made this play so special is that it was his 900th point of the season, which is almost as good as 1,000. That’s what happens when you have a season like this one: 900 points in a single quarter (43.2 percent).
Bryant is a legend in his own right. He is one of the greatest players of all time, and he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. While the 37-year-old will sit out the rest of the series, he will be back for game six – if needed.
As for the Warriors, they fought hard, but they just couldn’t keep up with Bryant and the Lakers. The big question is: can they keep it up in game seven? Only time will tell, but for now, the bookies have adjusted their odds accordingly.
Lakers’ LeBron James Has a Good Chance to Score 60 Points in Game One
LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time. He can score in a variety of ways, and he has a good shot at getting 60 points in a single game if he hits enough three-pointers. That would be a great feat for James, as he has only scored 60 points twice in his career. He will be looking to do so in game one, as the Lakers take on the Warriors. The only problem is that the Warriors are one of the best defenses in the league, and they don’t give up many points, especially not in the first quarter. Still, you never know in the NBA – anything can happen.
Warriors Are Shortening The Road to the Finals
The Golden State Warriors went into the 2018-19 NBA season as the defending Western Conference champions and the clear favorites to retain the crown. They got off to a great start, too, winning their first seven games before dropping a game to the Trail Blazers. Since then, however, they have lost four straight – including losses to the Rockets, Nuggets, and Blazers. Things seem to be unraveling for the defending champs, and many bookmakers have adjusted their odds to reflect this. While they have a decent chance of making it back to the finals, things aren’t looking good, as they are now 3.5 point favorites to lose in game seven.
The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, are playing out the string in the playoffs, as they are only winless in the last two games. While a lot of money is on the Warriors, bettors might want to consider backing the Blazers, as their odds of winning have risen significantly. Unfortunately, Damian Lillard (26 points, nine assists) and CJ McCollum (29 points, seven rebounds) aren’t getting any younger, and the duo will be 38 years old at the end of the 2022 season.
Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and the Warriors Have Made a Comeback in the Playoffs
The 2018 NBA playoffs were a great story, with superstar players coming back from injuries and making an impact. Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors were no exception. They almost missed the playoffs due to injury, but a late-season push got them there. Since then, the two-time NBA champion has averaged 26 points per game in the postseason.
Durant, however, didn’t play a single game in the first round against the Blazers, as he was out with an injury. He came back in game five and scored 29 points, including three clutch three-pointers in a losing effort. Two days later, he scored 38 points in game six, leading the Warriors to a win and a trip to the Western Conference finals.
In the meantime, the former Oklahoma City Thunder star Klay Thompson had an MVP-worthy season, as he proved that he isn’t just a shooting guard. He scored 33 points in game one of the first round, before going on a four-game streak in which he scored 70 points or more. He followed this up with 28 points in game four against the Blazers, helping the Warriors to a 3-1 series lead.
While the odds of either team winning have changed somewhat, the story of the playoffs has remained relatively the same. The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Golden State Warriors hope to retain the title they won last season.