The news that Kawhi Leonard jumped to the West’s L.A. Clippers had numerous consequences on the odds to win the 2019-20 NBA title.
The Clippers, at William Hill-US parlors and apps across the country, were 15-1 on Tuesday. They were down to 7-2 by Saturday morning.
“The East,” WHUS director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said Saturday morning, “is the place to be, for sure. It’s the [easier path] to the Finals."
NBA Title odds leaders
via William Hill-US
Some of the sportsbooks in Las Vegas adjusted their NBA title odds overnight, but not all. When the Clippers also acquired All-Star Paul George from Oklahoma City — and after Vegas had its second earthquake in two days, Mirage oddsmaker Scott Shelton had had enough.
“So many ramifications from this deal,” he told senior reporter Patrick Everson of Covers.com late Friday evening, “I thought I was going to have an aneurysm adjusting all the teams affected.” Shelton decided that he would suspend the betting and repost on Saturday “with a clear head.”
The Mirage, an MGM property, provides odds to the Atlantic City Borgata.
Odds on the Sixers to win the title weren’t greatly affected since the strongest rumors had Leonard going to either the L.A. Lakers or back to Toronto. Leonard averaged 34.7 points per game in that second-round series against Philadelphia, so watching him leave the conference is addition by subtraction.
“It was a good night for Sixers fans,” said Bogdanovich.
Odds on the Sixers to win the 2019-20 NBA title as of Saturday afternoon:
Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars Entertainment, has the Sixers down to 7-1. They had been at 20-1 a month ago when Davis said he took “a very sharp” bet on the Sixers to win next season’s championship. He declined to specify the amount wagered.
Davis also created an interesting prop, which is available at Caesars sportsbooks and apps in New Jersey and the sportsbook at Harrah’s in Chester. Will a California team win the title? Odds are yes -110, no -110.
Leonard and George teaming up for the Clippers makes the West even more difficult. Earlier in the week, William Hill said that 51 percent of the money wagered to win next year’s title was on the Lakers. When Anthony Davis was acquired, sports bettors laid heavily on the Lakers.
"[It’s] good that it played out this way, Bogdanovich said, “it balances things out a bit.”