Weekly Betting Recap
The Mike Brown Era with the Los Angeles Lakers - if you can call it an era - ended when L.A. was beaten 95-86 at Utah last Wednesday to drop the Western Conference favorites to 1-4 at the time.
That game was notable for a few reasons. First off, it was the impetus for the Lakers' brass to make a change on the bench. Secondly, the Lakers lost despite shooting a whopping 28 more free throws than the Jazz. It was the first time the team had lost a game while having at least that many more free throw attempts than its opponent in 42 years. The Lakers had won their last 24 games when having 28 or more free throw attempts than their opponent. Lastly, it happened to be the book's top game result of the week.
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The Lakers were 2.5-point dogs and took more than 87% of the lean on the spread - there was no moneyline. The under 198 points took just 22% of the action. Of the most-bet NBA games each night last week, there was only one other lean on an underdog: New York's 110-88 victory at Philadelphia on Monday. That was a good result for players with more than 80% taking the Knicks at +2.
Bettors' top game result overall was San Antonio's 97-86 win at Sacramento on Friday. The Spurs closed as six-point favorites and took nearly 90% of the action. At -250, San Antonio got more than 97% of the lean.
Los Angeles players were responsible for two of the bettors' and the book's winning player props. Working out in bettors' favor was Clippers' point guard Chris Paul under 14.5 combined rebounds and assists on Thursday in a win at Portland. He finished with six assists and four boards. The other was on Lakers' center Dwight Howard over 20 points on Sunday against Sacramento; he finished with 23. For the book, the Clippers' Blake Griffin going under 8.5 rebounds on Monday was a good result as he finished with six in a loss to Cleveland. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant under 27 points in that Kings game also was a positive for the book. He finished with 20.
Mike D'Antoni Over Phil Jackson
The Lakers made a surprise announcement on Monday in naming former Suns and Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni as the choice to replace Brown. It was widely presumed that Los Angeles was going to hire Phil Jackson for a third stint on the Lakers' bench, but apparently the team wouldn't meet Jackson's enormous demands (like an ownership stake).
Lakers' point guard Steve Nash won two league MVP awards while running D'Antoni's up-tempo offense in Phoenix. Kobe knows him from Team USA, where D'Antoni was an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski. Phoenix won at least 54 games in each of D'Antoni's final four seasons, but his four-season stint with the Knicks didn't go as well.
The next game for the Lakers is Tuesday night against the Spurs in one of the marquee matchups of the week - L.A. is a 3.5-point favorite - but D'Antoni won't be on the bench yet. He had knee surgery at the beginning of November and reportedly hasn't yet been cleared to travel. D'Antoni could be ready to coach by Friday but that's considered doubtful. Nash is expected to return from a fracture in his left fibula early next week.
When the Brown firing was announced, the book released a prop on the Lakers' next head coach. D'Antoni was the 2/1 favorite with former Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. Jackson (5/1), Brian Shaw (5/1), Nate McMillan (6/1) and current Lakers' interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff (8/1) were the other options. The book fared well on that prop as the majority of the action was on Jackson.
The Lakers have won two straight under Bickerstaff to improve to 3-4. The book also posted an updated season wins prop for L.A. at 49.5. It was 57.5 before the season. Los Angeles remains the Western Conference favorite at 9/5 and the second-favorite behind Miami to win the NBA title at 7/2.
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