Title Drought Quenched? Legal Sportsbooks Favor Lakers In 2020 NBA Finals

Posted on September 29, 2020 - Last Updated on October 7, 2020

It’s been a decade since the Los Angeles Lakers last hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy. If the NBA Finals odds at legal sportsbooks surrounding California are right, the wait for Lakers fans will soon be over.

Two books available in Nevada and Oregon have lines on both the upcoming series with the Miami Heat, as well as markets for Wednesday’s Game 1. That includes a myriad of live bets and prop wagers.

A look at the NBA Finals odds at legal sportsbooks

Californians may not be able to legally wager on sporting events from home, but they can cross the state lines into Nevada or Oregon to do so. In Oregon, bettors can place bets online with the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard app and website.

Bettors can wager online in Nevada as well, but they have to register for their accounts in person at a corresponding brick-and-mortar sportsbook first. One such sportsbook is BetMGM.

Both of those books have Los Angeles as a heavy favorite to win the upcoming series with Miami. The odds on the best-of-seven tilt as of Tuesday morning are:

SportsbookLakers to win seriesHeat to win series
BetMGM-358+300
Scoreboard-360+290

If the Lakers are to prove these handicappers correct, winning Wednesday’s Game 1 would help. That contest begins at 6 p.m. PT on ABC.

These two books like Los Angeles to start off the finals with a victory. However, they also both expect the game to be tight, and expect both offenses to have some success.

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadTotal
BetMGMHeat +165
Lakers -200
Heat +5 -110
Lakers -5 -110
Over 216.5 -110
Under 216.5 -110
ScoreboardHeat +165
Lakers -205
Heat +5 -111
Lakers -5 -109
Over 216.5 -112
Under 216.5 -108

Those are the standard markets on this series and Game 1. Both books have a lot of prop wagers for California bettors to consider as well.

Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and other Lakers props

Should the Lakers prevail on Wednesday and ultimately in this series, it’s very probable the success will be due to big performances from center Anthony Davis and forward LeBron James. Sportsbooks have a bead on that for Game 1 already.

BetMGM has the line on points for both Davis and James on Wednesday at 28.5. The line for rebounds for both players is 9.5 at that book as well.

BetMGM also slots assists for James at 8.5. Davis is that book’s favorite to score the first point of the game.

Scoreboard has many similar markets if you’re in Oregon.

For example, Scoreboard has player props for Davis and James in which the book combines different stat categories. Taking Davis to accumulate over 40.5 assists, points and rebounds carries odds of -120.

That same market on James at 46.5 has odds of -120 on the over, and -110 on the under. If player props aren’t your thing, both also have game props and live bets.

BetMGM offers +950 on the game going into overtime if you’re willing to stake that market, for instance. Scoreboard boasts +105 odds on the Lakers winning the first quarter by at least three points right now.

Whether you decide to make the trip to bet or not, Lakers fans should be excited about their team’s chances heading into the NBA Finals.

Photo by Getty
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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