By Dustin Weinberger

THE LA Lakers are in London tonight and hot favourites to start their pre-season preparations for the basketball season with a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Venue for this extravaganza is the O2 Arena for the opener of the NBA's annual European tour.

The Lakers are the most high-profile team to embark on the overseas tour but are missing several big names who helped them to a second straight NBA title in July.

Kobe Bryant is still recovering from knee surgery but might pitch up for a few minutes and centre Andrew Bynum is also injured but the team are determined to play like champs and impress the British crowd.

The Timberwolves won just 15 games last season and have replaced all but five players so should be better.

Bodog make the Lakers 10-11 minus 6.5 points with Minnesota 10-11 plus five.

That makes sense but why not try the underdogs at evens to score first. It's almost a toss of the coin but the Lakers' price pays just 10-13.

Lakers are 2-3 to be first to 10 points with Minnesota 6-5 and it's 20-33 Lakers, 27-20 Minnesota Timberwolves to be first to 20.

You can also bet on margin of victory with the Lakers 9-1 to win by one to two points, 15-4 for three to six, 11-2 for seven to nine and a favourite 9-2 for 10-13.


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