Los Angeles Lakers Still Favorites to Win 2009 Championship

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are still the favorite to win the NBA Championship even with Andrew Bynum's latest injury.

Bynum will be out 8-12 weeks after tearing a knee ligament, but the Lakers are still the 2:1 favorite to win the NBA Championship at Sportsbook.com home of the $20 FREE bet for new mobile users and $10,000 Beat the House NBA Basketball Contest Learn More Here. Three Eastern Conference teams are next on the title list with the defending champion Boston Celtics at 5:2, the Cleveland Cavaliers at 11:4 and Orlando Magic at 6:1.

The best case scenario for Bynum is that he returns during the regular season and gets a few games under his belt before the playoffs. The worst case scenario is he misses the first round of the playoffs, or even misses the whole playoffs like last year.

Bynum will, of course, not be in action on Wednesday night when the Lakers travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors. The game begins at 7 pm ET and you can get all the latest odds here for a heavy night of NBA action with 11 games.

Betting fans got a glimpse into the post-Bynum era and it didn't look too bad on Monday as the Lakers went into Madison Square Garden and came away with a 126-117 win over the Knicks as 5 ½-point favorites.

Kobe Bryant had 61 points in that game and that broke the arena record. Bryant always seems to play well in the big stage of New York City, but he was extra motivated since he was the one who accidentally crashed into Bynum's leg, potentially ruining their championship season.

L.A.'s new starting lineup consists of Pau Gasol at center and Lamar Odom at power forward. That was good enough to get them into the NBA Finals last year, but they could struggle in Toronto if they get caught looking ahead to their showdown with Boston on Thursday night.

Toronto is 7-15-1 ATS at home this year and is just 1-5 straight-up and 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games.

The Raptors main difficulty lately has been scoring the basketball. They only managed 90 points at home against Orlando on Sunday and 85 the prior Friday versus Milwaukee. The Raptors failed to win or cover both of those games and they are desperate for Jermaine O'Neal to start rounding back into form after returning from his knee injury.

Without a healthy O'Neal, defenses can pretty much focus on Chris Bosh inside and you can be sure the Lakers defense will be collapsing all around him.

One final note in this game, Toronto is in a back-to-back situation, having played a very tough game in Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Raptors are an impressive 6-3-1 ATS in these situations which is a reason to consider backing them.

2009 NBA Championship betting odds and nightly NBA odds available at Sportsbook.com.

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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