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Pacific Division Betting Update for January 2021 – Can Anybody Catch the Lakers?

| January 18, 2021 7:41 am PDT
NBA Pacific Division Betting Update

So far, so good for the Purple and Gold. What appeared to be a bolstered roster on paper is panning out as such, and LeBron continues to defy father time in his 18th season as a pro.

The Warriors are still trying to establish a rhythm without KD or Klay, and the Clippers have endured their fair share of highs and lows.

Could the Suns actually be the biggest threat in the Pacific to claim the Lakers throne, or are the defending champs poised to run away with the division?

Let’s assess the current state of Pacific division betting.

Latest Pacific Division Odds

If you plan on betting on the Pacific Division, don’t just concede to the first price you see. For example, don’t cough up -175 on the Lake Show when they’re lurking at -145 at SportsBetting.ag.

  MyBookie SportsBetting.ag BetUS
Los Angeles Lakers -160 -145 -175
Los Angeles Clippers +160 +165 +150
Phoenix Suns +900 +750 +800
Golden State Warriors +3300 +2800 +3000
Sacramento Kings +12500 +15000 +11000

MyBookie is offering a fair price on the Suns, but is it realistic to think that Phoenix could chase LA down in the standings? If you’re looking to fade the Lakers, your best bet is to back the other team that plays in the STAPLES Center.

Paul George is re-energized, and it’s showing up on the court. His offensive efficiency has skyrocketed as only CJ McCollum is making more threes per game. To further pinpoint his extreme productivity, know that PG13 is shooting over 51% from downtown and over 90% from the charity stripe.

Here’s what else has stood out in the Pacific Division through the first few weeks of the season.

Lakers Newcomers Providing a Huge Lift

As long as LeBron and AD and captaining the ship in Tinseltown, the Lakers are going to be in good hands. However, the additions of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell have turned this squad into a serious juggernaut.

On nights that James or Davis don’t have the hot hand, Frank Vogel now has two other reliable assets.

  • Dennis Schroder – 14.2 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.1 rbg
  • Montrezl Harrell – 13.6 ppg, 7.5 rbg, 60.7 FG%

Shroder has started every game and is playing north of 30 minutes per night, quickly evolving into the third option on offense. Harrell is connecting on 60.7% of his field goals and is sporting a 21.87 PER (Player Efficiency Rating). To put that number in perspective, it’s higher than Trae Young’s or and Zach Lavine’s.

Mikal Bridges’ Ascension in Phoenix

Believe it or not, neither Chris Paul nor Deandre Ayton is the Sun’s second-leading scorer. That title belongs to Villanova product, Mikal Bridges.

Trading Kelly Oubre Jr. has paved the way for Mikal Bridges to eat up close to 33 minutes per night at the small forward position, and boy has it paid dividends. The 24-year-old 6’6” baller with a 7’1” wingspan is pouring in over 15 points, hauling in more than 5 rebounds, and he’s been deadly from downtown (45.3%).

In fact, Mikal’s PER is the highest among all Suns players – even higher than Devin Booker’s. 

Tyrese Haliburton is Even Better Than Advertised

Those who think LaMelo Ball is running away with the Rookie of the Year honors, you may want to pump the brakes.

Tyrese Haliburton has played at least 25 minutes in every game for Luke Walton, and check out his numbers since the calendar turned to 2021.

Tyrese Haliburton’s January Statistics – By the Numbers
Points Assists Rebounds Steals FG% 3P%
14.6 7.0 3.8 1.6 54.9 53.6

Despite a starting backcourt in Sacramento that consists of proven commodities De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, Haliburton continually finds himself on the court in crunch time. Perhaps ESPN’s Mike Schmitz wasn’t so crazy when he couldn’t stop praising this 6’5” point guard in the pre-draft process.

Back in October, Schmitz had this to say.

“If we’re talking about who is the best all-around basketball player, just top-to-bottom, who has the fewest weaknesses in this draft? To me, it’s Tyrese Haliburton. He can shoot it, he can pass out of the pick and roll, he can pass in transition. He can defend off the ball with the best of them. He’s a brilliant basketball mind.”

The Iowa State product is more than living up to his end of the bargain. He’s exceeding expectations.

Pacific Division Betting Pick

I’m a San Diego State alum and, therefore, will be rooting for Kawhi and the Clippers. At the same time, backing anyone other than the Lakers when betting on the Pacific Division could very well be a lost cause.

LA’s newcomers are making their presence felt by providing steady contributions on a nightly basis. Kyle Kuzma and KCP are both averaging in double figures, and let’s not forget that LeBron James is the GOAT, or Anthony Davis is the top dog among the NBA Defensive Player of the Year contenders.

The Lakers were really good in 2019-20. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, they’re even better in 2020-21.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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