The Phoenix Suns are favored to win the 2023/24 Pacific Division. Under the leadership of Monty Williams, the Suns won the division back to back in 2020/21 and 2021/22. The Sacramento Kings are the current champions and will believe they have a great chance of doubling up. But after winning the NBA Cup last week, could this be the LA Lakers’ time again? Let’s take a closer look as we check out the latest NBA futures market to win the 2023/24 Pacific Division.
- The last time the LA Lakers won the Pacific Division was in the 2019/20 season. They also went on to win the NBA Championship that year
- That was the Lakers’ 24th divisional title. They are by far the most successful franchise in the history of the division, with the Phoenix Suns on eight wins, their closest rival
- The Suns won the Pacific Division in 2020/21 and again in 2021/22. They are the favorite to win again in 2023/24 at +180
- The Lakers have just recently won the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. Could this be the moment that inspires the Lakers to more success this season?
Three years of hurt for the Lakers
Over the past three seasons, the LA Lakers have flattered to deceive. Since winning the NBA Championship in 2020, to say the Lakers have been disappointing, would be a serious understatement. In the 2020/21 season, they finished third in the Pacific and were knocked out of the playoffs by the Suns in the first round. Then, in 2021/22, they finished fourth and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
In 2022/23, things started badly again for LA until a strong finish completely turned their season around. But as they were so poor at the start of the campaign, they could only manage fifth in the Pacific Division. The strong finish enabled them to sneak into the 2023 postseason as the No.7 seed, in what was only the third time all five teams from a division made it into the playoffs since the current six-division format was introduced in the 2004/05 season.
What happened after that was remarkable, with the Lakers defeating the Grizzlies 4-2 in the first round and the Golden State Warriors by the same scoreline in the conference semi-final. Sadly for Lakers’ fans, the dream ended in the Western Conference finals, where they were smashed 4-0 by the eventual championship winners, the Denver Nuggets.
NUGGETS SWEEP LAKERS TO ADVANCE TO THEIR FIRST NBA FINALS.
All eyes on the prize 🏆 pic.twitter.com/kKPfHINE11
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 23, 2023
At the turn of the year in 2022/23, not many would have predicted the Lakers would have made a conference final. So even though they were taken down by (a then-unplayable) Nikola Jokic and his Nuggets team, it was still a great achievement to make it to the final.
Betting to win the 2023/24 Pacific Division
|Golden State Warriors
As you can see from our NBA betting table, the latest NBA Basketball odds are favoring the Phoenix Suns (+180) to win their third Pacific Division in four seasons. The Suns were also favored last year but eventually finished second to the Kings, in what was a tight division that saw just five wins separating top from bottom.
This is what makes the Pacific Division such an exciting one and why all five teams realistically have a betting chance of winning.
Second in the betting behind the Suns are the defending champions, the Sacramento Kings, at +325. The Kings are just ahead of the Lakers, who are +340. Last season, the Clippers and the Warriors finished 44-39, just four wins behind the Kings. In the division, the Clippers were 9-7 (as were the Suns and Kings), and the Warriors were 7-9. The Lakers were bottom with an overall record of 43-39 and a divisional record of 6-10.
The Clippers and the Warriors are both the outsiders this year at +600.
Underachieving Lakers, no more!
So, when we add the 2023 NBA Cup win to the Laker’s renaissance at the end of the 2022/23 season, should the best NBA Basketball betting sites be showing them more respect in the futures market to win the Pacific Division?
🎥 The best of the action as Lakers win the inaugural NBA Cup! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/0QeBwGJHZw
— TNT Sports (@tntsports) December 10, 2023
Anthony ‘AD’ Davis played a massive part in the NBA Cup win over the Pacers in the final with 41 points. If Davis can consistently turn in performances like that over the season, he can inspire the franchise to better things. And don’t underestimate the impact that the returning Jarred Vanderbilt can have on this team.
It was no fluke that Vanderbilt landed a huge contract in September. The transformation in the team in the second half of last season came about after he was traded into the franchise last February.
Can the Lakers win the 2023/24 Pacific Division?
There’s no guarantee for any team to win the Pacific Division, it is a wide-open league. But one thing that is known across any sport is that some teams just know how to win competitions.
On occasions, opposition players play the reputation of the shirt, rather than the player wearing it. It happens in soccer, with opposing players intimidated by the yellow shirts of Brazil. Could this be the case with the Lakers? A world-famous name – known in households across the globe.
The Lakers might not be a shoo-in to win the division. But they were also far from the favorites to win the NBA Cup. And as the third favorites to win the Pacific Division in 2023/24, they look a good value bet at +340 to win the title for the 25th time.
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