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Lakers’ playoff odds crash after latest stumble

After signing LeBron James over the summer, it seemed like there was good reason for the Los Angeles Lakers to be heavy favorites in Las Vegas to make the playoffs.

But after a 118-109 loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, the view in Vegas is worse than ever.

The Lakers now have +600 odds (a $100 wager would win $600) to make the postseason at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, by far their worst odds all season. They are a staggering -900 favorite to miss the postseason.

Los Angeles was +240 to make the playoffs before Saturday’s game and had -110 odds at the All-Star break.

SuperBook vice president of risk Jeff Sherman told ESPN that the sportsbook had taken over six figures in wagering on the Lakers playoff prop since the All-Star break, with action “pretty evenly split” between the yes and no.

Before the season, the Lakers were heavily favored to make the playoffs, with the SuperBook’s opening odds at -450 (+350 to miss the playoffs). Although 59 percent of bettors thought James’ Lakers would miss the playoffs, more than 83 percent of the money was on them making it. This was heavily influenced by one bettor who wagered $50,000 on them reaching the postseason at -500 odds, for a potential profit of $10,000.

The Lakers are 30-33 and 4½ games behind the LA Clippers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Lakers now have a 0.9 percent chance to make the playoffs.

James has reached the playoffs in 13 consecutive seasons. This is the latest into a season that a James-led team has had a sub-.500 record since the Cleveland Cavaliers finished his rookie season 35-47 in 2003-04.

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