The Los Angeles Lakers have received a lot of betting interest recently even though they are coming off a 33-49 season and haven't made any major moves as of yet in free agency.
David Purdum of ESPN provided the report:
"In a 24-hour span, beginning Thursday afternoon, multiple sportsbooks reported receiving a surge of betting interest on the Lakers to win next season's championship. The Lakers' title odds moved from 22-1 to 10-1 at Caesars Sportsbook, where Los Angeles attracted 3.5 times more betting handle than any other team since Wednesday afternoon. Included in the rush of Lakers action was a $10,000 bet at 22-1 odds from a bettor in New York, according to Caesars."
L.A. will welcome back one of the game's all-time and current greats in LeBron James, who missed 26 games last year. Eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis, who sat 42 games, should also be back in the mix.
The Lakers did make a change at head coach, parting ways with Frank Vogel and adding Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to lead their sidelines.
They also filled out their rotation with intriguing talents on one-year deals with Lonnie Walker IV, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Troy Brown Jr.
The wild card in a potential Lakers surge this year is the reported mutual interest between the team and Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who exercised his $36.9 million player option to remain in town.
However, with Kevin Durant requesting a trade, the Nets could be blowing up their team. With that, it makes sense to deal Irving and reboot the franchise.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers were the only known team looking to land Irving in a sign-and-trade. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said Irving is telling people he plans on going to Los Angeles.
And ESPN's Brian Windhorst backed the Smith report too.
"Kyrie Irving is out of town as fast as he possibly can. He's focused, as [Stephen A. Smith] said, on forcing himself to the L.A. Lakers," Windhorst said on Thursday's episode of SportsCenter.
If Irving can find himself in L.A., then the bettors who jumped aboard the Lakers' bandwagon of late may have gotten some good value wagers in place. Irving averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists last year.
The seven-time All-Star also has built-in chemistry with James, as the two helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to three Eastern Conference titles and one NBA championship.
The Western Conference is going to be a gauntlet to run through even if the Lakers land Irving, but the sincere betting interest in the team is something to watch as the offseason progresses.
For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.