Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
A lot can change within a few hours, and oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com had to make a huge adjustment between last Friday night and Saturday morning after news broke that the Los Angeles Clippers picked up two of the best players in the NBA to turn themselves into sudden title contenders.
The massive additions of Paul George via trade and Kawhi Leonard through free agency dramatically moved the Clippers’ NBA championship odds, transforming them into small +300 favorites (wager $100 to win $300) to take home their first-ever title.
Prior to the pick-ups of George and Leonard, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who were viewed as the definitive favorites thanks to the acquisition of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers are still the +400 second choice and should not be discounted too much at this point because they have since added DeMarcus Cousins and Danny Green as two more quality pieces around Davis and LeBron James.
If Leonard would have joined the Lakers, they obviously would have been odds-on favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals, and his decision to sign with the Clippers has made him arguably more valuable than James since he is coming off his second championship with his second different team in the Toronto Raptors.
Leonard and James both now have the opportunity win a third title with a third different team, as John Salley and Robert Horry remain the only other players to ever accomplish that rare feat.
Regardless, the best in the West based on current NBA odds will likely be one of the two teams from Los Angeles. But bettors should also not forget about the squad that just finished with the best regular-season record before falling to the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals – the Milwaukee Bucks, who are the +500 third choice.
Even though the Bucks have lost free agent swingman Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers, they do have a strong core coming back, led by reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Toronto has dropped to +2000 to repeat as the league champion without Leonard while the Philadelphia 76ers are also considered one of the East’s top teams at +800 to win it all with the addition of Al Horford, ahead of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets – who are each sitting at +1400 – their highest number in years.