Moore: The Lakers and Frank Vogel Could Make for a Perfect Betting Combination to Fade

Moore: The Lakers and Frank Vogel Could Make for a Perfect Betting Combination to Fade article feature image
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel in 2018.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers' long head coaching search finally landed them ... Frank Vogel?
  • Matt Moore digs into the betting opportunities the Vogel hiring presents for the Lakers next season.

Frank Vogel is the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, which … well, that’s a move, I guess.

Vogel was hired Saturday after talks broke down earlier this week with Ty Lue, who had had himself a Lakers-themed birthday cake and everything. Vogel was set to be Lue’s No. 1 assistant had that deal been completed, but after the messy meltdown in Lakers Land, the team turned to Vogel as the next guy up.

Jason Kidd is going to be an assistant, which is another subject for another time.

But what’s most relevant for bettors? This is setting up a prime opportunity to fade the Lakers next season consistently. Let me walk you through it.

The Lakers are predictably always going to be huge public favorites. Los Angeles’ proximity to Las Vegas and the sheer number of Lakers fans based on their prolific history of championships in a major market with hugely marketable stars creates this vortex of cash around them. The result is the books seeing an inflated number of bets on them and often adjusting the lines accordingly.

To wit, last season the Lakers were the most profitable team to fade when the percentage of tickets on LA in our Bet Labs systems was over 55%. When more than 55% of the public took the Lakers against the spread, the Lakers went 14-25-1 ATS. Betting $100 against them in such situations yielded a $971 return this season.

But it’s not just last year, what with the King in town and all. No, this trend holds up historically.

Since 2005, the Lakers are the third-most profitable team to fade when the public is backing them, earning $3,461 over that span, as the Lakers went a miserable 313-262-10 in that span.

Basically, it’s super profitable to fade this person:

Now let’s add in Vogel. Vogel’s teams when garnering 55% of the tickets or better in his career have gone 111-126-2. Fading him in such situations generated a 3.7% return on investment, which is good, not great.

Still it is a huge, stable sample size compared to most coaches, making him the 11th-most profitable coach to fade in such situations. Overall, he’s the fifth-least profitable coach to bet on in such circumstances.

He’s also the third-least profitable coach against the spread overall at 282-304-9.

Vogel was a great coach in Indiana, but his heyday was five years ago. He has said in recent interviews that his failures with the Magic forced him to re-examine his offensive approaches, but he’s also never had to deal with The LeBron Storm before. He’s always leaned more defense than offense, and the Lakers badly need to revamp their offensive approach, if not personnel.

The Lakers always suffer from inflated expectations based on their brand and profile, and Vogel has struggled in covering spreads. (Vogel, by the way is 77-94-3 ATS when favored by 5.5 or more, making him the third most profitable coach to fade since 2005 in those situations and 40th of over 119 coaches in ROI.)

Next year could be a fantastic season to fade the public as they once again rush to back the purple and yellow.