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After the Los Angeles Lakers' Game 3 win, it looked like the Lakers might walk to the NBA Finals in a disjointed Western Conference.
Game 4 changed a lot of things.
The Lakers not only were soundly defeated in Game 4 by the Phoenix Suns, center Anthony Davis went down with a groin injury. Davis is reportedly considered day-to-day. The Suns were 4-point favorites for Tuesday's Game 5 at BetMGM, then the line moved to -5 with news that Davis is unlikely to play.
All of a sudden, the Lakers went from looking great to being in serious danger of losing in the first round.
Game 4 win was huge for Suns
The Suns-Lakers series has been a roller coaster. The Suns looked great in Game 1. Then the Lakers took back momentum with a Game 2 win, and Chris Paul's injury looked like a huge problem for Phoenix. Given that the Los Angeles Clippers were down 0-2 to the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers' path in the West seemed fairly clear. It looked even clearer after the Lakers blew out the Suns in Game 3.
Then the Lakers lost Game 4, they lost Davis, Paul looked good and the odds have shifted a bit. They shifted a bit more after the report that Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5.
The Suns are favored in Game 5. The Lakers were -115 to win the series against the Suns, then the Davis news broke and that line moved to +125. The Lakers still are favored to win the West, but the odds moved to +220 after Game 4. The Lakers were +175 after their Game 2 win. The Jazz (+260) and the resurgent Clippers (+300) aren't far behind the Lakers. The Lakers are still the second favorite to win the NBA Finals at +500,
Given the uncertainty of the first-round series at the Suns, it's hard to take the Lakers to win it all.
Lakers are popular future bet
The Lakers are always a popular bet. Among all bets to win the NBA championship at BetMGM, 16.6 percent of the tickets and 22.3 percent of the money is on the Lakers. Only the Brooklyn Nets have gotten more action.
The Lakers are still capable of taking the series and making a deep run. Davis could heal from his groin strain — he's dealing with a knee sprain too — and come back for Game 6 (if he does miss Game 5 as expected). LeBron James carried some below-average Cleveland Cavaliers rosters to the NBA Finals earlier in his career, and he could do the same with the Lakers as long as Davis is out.
But Game 4 changed the entire scope of the series. The Lakers went from a clear favorite in the West to no sure thing to make it out of the first round.
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