Lakers’ playoff odds soaring in latest FiveThirtyEight prediction

Los Angeles Lakers forwards Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers forwards Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /
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Well, well, well, the Los Angeles Lakers are almost certainly going to find themselves in the playoffs this season.

The Lakers are playing some of their best basketball of the season, moving to two games over .500 after beating the Houston Rockets on Sunday night, and they are now massive favorites to make the playoffs.

Los Angeles has turned things around since the trade deadline, and with four games to play the Lakers are -900 to make the postseason while holding the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

Lakers’ odds to make the playoffs this season

The Lakers’ playoff odds signal that they’re a near lock to make the postseason.

The implied probability (on -900 odds) of the Lakers making the playoffs is 90 percent, which makes sense considering the team is just half a game out of the No. 5 seed.

Right now, the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are both a half game ahead of the Lakers, but Los Angeles plays the Clippers on Wednesday night with a chance to jump all the way into the playoff field and avoid the play-in tournament.

If the Lakers end up avoiding the play-in, it would be a massive turnaround from where they were at the beginning of the season. Los Angeles is 15-7 since the Feb. 9 trade deadline, and it’s been one of the best defenses in the NBA over that stretch.

Oddsmakers aren’t the only ones that believe the Lakers are a lock to make the playoffs, as FiveThirtyEight has given the team a great chance to make the postseason as well.

FiveThirtyEight predicts Lakers will make the playoffs

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Lakers have an 86 percent chance to make the postseason.

That likely is adjusted for the chance that the team ends up in the league’s play-in tournament, as FiveThirtyEight projects Los Angeles to go 2-2 over its final two games.

Regardless, the Lakers have set themselves up in a good spot to get at least the No. 7 or No. 8 spot in the West by the end of the regular season.

That’s super important because it would give the team two chances to win one play-in game to make the postseason.

When LeBron James and Anthony Davis are on your roster, you’ll take your chances with two chances to win one game.

Los Angeles is No. 3 in the league in defensive rating since the All-Star break, and it seems like it is hitting its stride at the perfect time in the season. The West is loaded, but all signs point to the Lakers being in the final playoff field.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.