When the Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers, continuing a poor stretch in the Orlando bubble, there were legitimate concerns about them. They lost their status as co-favorites to win the NBA championship.
That has been rectified.
The Lakers emphatically dispatched the Blazers, winning four straight to advance. As of Monday morning they were the co-favorites again at BetMGM, at +280 to win the championship. The Milwaukee Bucks, who rebounded from a Game 1 loss of their own, are also +280. The Los Angeles Clippers, who inched ahead of the Lakers in championship odds after the Lakers dropped Game 1, are +300.
The Lakers’ shooting slump turned around, and it helped tremendously to get some solid 3-point shooting from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green. The Lakers know what they’re getting from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the difference is what the supporting cast provides.
Still, the Lakers let down bettors in Game 5 against the Blazers. With Damian Lillard out with a knee injury, the Lakers were 13-point favorites and took a staggering 85 percent of the bets at BetMGM. The Lakers’ 131-122 win was good enough to advance, and it was great for sportsbooks because the Blazers covered the spread.
"They're a team that fights hard even without their best player," Davis said, via NBC4 in Los Angeles. "They still came out and put up a fight. I respect them so much. They made us come out and play tonight."
While that result stung for 85 percent of bettors, the Lakers will still get plenty of wagers going forward. A showdown with the Clippers seems inevitable, though the winners of the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets-Utah Jazz series will have a say in that.
The NBA had an emotional and uncertain week as a whole, as players spoke out against racial injustice and decided to not play games. The playoffs resumed after some discussion, and the Lakers look like they’re going to be in the postseason for a while.
Here are the rest of the winners and losers from the week in sports gambling:
College football: There wasn’t any notable action on Austin Peay vs. Central Arkansas at BetMGM. But it was notable.
The game was the first college football game after a long, long offseason. And it started off in a memorable way, with a 75-yard touchdown on the first play.
It’s back. It’s baaaaaack. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VJjNcGoQui— Yahoo Sportsbook (@YahooSportsbook) August 30, 2020
The end was exciting too. Central Arkansas got a 10-yard touchdown catch with 34 seconds left to win 24-17. That was a dramatic cover for those who took Central Arkansas at -5. A field goal wouldn’t have covered the spread.
College football will look a lot different this season. Many conferences are sitting out during the pandemic. BetMGM has only five games listed for this week, starting with Southern Miss (-14.5) against South Alabama. At least there are some games happening.
The Lightning are now +250 to win it all after three wins over the Boston Bruins. Only the Vegas Golden Knights at +200 have lower odds. Tampa Bay got a big overtime win in Game 2, then outscored the Bruins 10-2 in the next two games to take a 3-1 series lead. The Bruins won’t be easy to eliminate — they were the NHL’s best regular-season team — but if the Lightning can finish the series they look like a good bet to win it all. Just at much worse odds at BetMGM than a week ago.
Giannis Antetokounmpo prop bets: Betting on NBA defensive player of the year is a bit unusual, but it was profitable for one bettor.
Bucks star Antetokounmpo was +650 to win the award at the start of the season, and a bettor grabbed Giannis when he was +380 for a $5,000 bet.
Giannis Antetokounmpo opened the season at +650 to win DPOY— BetMGM (@BetMGM) August 26, 2020
One bettor turns a $5,000 wager into $24,000 (+380) 💰 pic.twitter.com/GAGc9ut9oZ
Antetokounmpo moved to an overwhelming favorite to win his second straight MVP as the season went on, and some bettors will cash that ticket once it’s officially announced. If you want to bet on Antetokounmpo finishing the season in style, he’s +290 to win NBA Finals MVP, the co-favorite with LeBron James.
Dustin Johnson backers: Johnson has been playing very well but has faltered in the final round twice this month.
In the PGA Championship, Johnson had a shot to win but Collin Morikawa came from behind to take the tournament. This past weekend Johnson had a shot to win the BMW Championship as the favorite at +800, but Jon Rahm (+900) came from three shots back of Johnson going into the final round. They went to a playoff after Johnson hit a clutch putt on 18.
Then Rahm hit a stunning putt on the first playoff hole to win.
That putt wasn’t a great one for BetMGM. Rahm brought in the fourth-most amount of money bet on the tournament at 8.8 percent. BetMGM dodged their biggest liabilities in the tournament, as Daniel Berger (15.8 percent of total handle) and Xander Schauffele (15.7 percent of total handle) both shot 6-over par and weren’t in contention. But Rahm’s amazing putt was more costly than a Johnson win. Johnson had the shortest odds in the field and got just 4.3 percent of the bets.
Johnson is still the U.S. Open favorite at +900, with Rahm in second at +1000. A similar duel to the one they staged at the BMW Championship would be memorable. If you want to take the red-hot Johnson to win, you’ll just need to hope he finishes better.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors’ impressive play since the NBA restarted came to a sudden halt on Sunday.
The Raptors were favorites to win their series against the Boston Celtics, but that’s not the case after Game 1. The Celtics overwhelmed the Raptors in a 112-94 Game 1 win. The Raptors, who were 2-point favorites in Game 1, are now +150 to win the series.
The Raptors’ championship odds were steadily going down as they continued to look good in Orlando. The Raptors are -1.5 in Game 2, and if you like Toronto to rebound then the series price looks pretty good. They’ll just have to play much better if they want to continue the defense of their championship.
Those New York Mets tickets on Sunday: In Game 1 of the New York Yankees-Mets doubleheader on Sunday, the Mets were slight -110 favorites. That looked like a winner when the Mets took a 7-2 lead into the seventh inning.
For those who take advantage of in-game betting, the Yankees were +3200 going into the final inning. And the Mets somehow blew it, giving up five runs in the bottom of the seventh and then losing in the eighth inning.
Yankees win in extra innings❗️— BetMGM (@BetMGM) August 30, 2020
Going into the bottom of the 7th they were +3200 to win. https://t.co/sU4H5X1dWO
Anyone who grabbed the Yankees in the seventh inning had a heck of a win on Sunday. And anyone who thought they had a winner with the Mets was left wondering what happened.
More from Yahoo Sports: