After Lonzo Ball was selected No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in Thursday’s NBA draft, his father, LaVar, wasn’t shy about proclaiming his belief that the team would make the postseason in 2017-18.
“Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year,” the outspoken LaVar told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
One Las Vegas sportsbook doesn’t share his confidence.
On Saturday afternoon, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened the Lakers’ odds to make next year’s postseason, putting the “no” at minus-700 and the “yes” at plus-500. That means a $100 wager on Los Angeles to miss the postseason would win $14.29; a $100 wager on L.A. to make the postseason would win $500.
Odds were also posted for two other active teams on Thursday night: the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers.
Minnesota, which acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler in a draft-night deal, opened as a minus-260 favorite to make the postseason (bet $100 to win $38.46) and plus-220 to miss (bet $100 to win $220). The Timberwolves went 31-51 in a disappointing first-year campaign under coach Tom Thibodeau and have the NBA’s longest playoff drought, having not made the postseason since 2003-04.
The 76ers now have the past two No. 1 overall picks in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons, along with Joel Embiid, to form another hopeful young core. They opened as slight favorites to make the postseason at minus-125 (bet $100 to win $80) and plus-105 to miss it (bet $100 to win $105).
Philadelphia hasn’t made the postseason since the 2011-12 season.