Big-Market Bias? Stakers Love LA, Fading Sacramento
Stakes Content Team


Playoff time, baby! Even if you don’t love the new play-in tournament, it undeniably made the post-All Star Game dead period a little more interesting – the Lakers’ month-long climb through the gauntlet at the bottom of the Western Conference was something to watch.  Also something to watch is the way Stakers seem to be showing a lot more confidence in them than your typical seven seed. Even when LeBron was out, Stakers were still picking the Lakers to win more than half of their matchups, and even though the King didn’t return until the end of March, the rate of Laker Stakers hit a new high:

Interestingly, Stakers don’t seem to be giving the same love to the defending champs. Their big dip down to 58% in December lines up pretty well with the injury that saw Stephen Curry miss more than a month of action, but even though they’ve heated up since his return and have won eight of 10 games entering the postseason, they still didn’t quite see the same kind of confidence boost the Lakers got:

Perhaps even more interesting is the way that Stakers have treated the team that’s gone pretty much wire-to-wire as the top seed in the Western Conference. The LeBron and Laker bias really shows in this one — Stakers have picked them to win more than the Nuggets for three out of the last four months, even though Los Angeles was almost 15 games worse for most of that period!

Finally, for our last look into the Western Conference playoff picture, we have the Peoples Champions, back in the postseason for the first time since “do you have a pager?” was still a perfectly normal question to ask someone. Not surprisingly, Stakers aren’t super bullish on this 3 seed — I mean, can you even believe they’re that high? — but respect for them has undeniably grown over the course of the season:

If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that things look as even as they ever have out West! Keep an eye out here for more updates on how the Stakers are feeling as the NBA Playoffs keep moving along!




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