When it comes to betting on who will win the NBA title, bookmakers wisely have the Warriors on very low odds and a big gap to everyone else.
But how did that change after the trade deadline?
After missing out on Anthony Davis, the odds of a Lakers’ title this season plummeted to 40/1. That it’s that low speaks to the power of LeBron James — and the fact bookmakers hedge against bets from the massive Lakers’ nation.
The arms race at the top of the Eastern Conference has bookmakers trying to figure it out like the rest of us — they now have Boston, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia all tied at 10/1 odds. (Meaning if you bet $10 on Boston and it won, you’d win $100).
Of course, it’s still Golden State way, way out in front in the bookmakers’ minds. As it should be. Here are the championship odds for the top 10 teams after the trade deadline, via Westgate. (In parenthesis is where they were on Feb. 4, days before the deadline.)
1. Warriors -250 (-250)
2 (T). Celtics +1000 (+800)
2 (T). Raptors +1000 (+800)
2 (T). Bucks +1000 (+1200)
2 (T). 76ers +1000 (+1600)
6. Rockets +1200 (+1400)
7. Thunder +1600 (+1600)
8. Nuggets +3000 (+4000)
9 (T). Lakers +4000 (+1600)
9 (T). Jazz +4000 (+5000)
If you can pick which team is coming out of the East there’s a little value in a bet — that team will make the NBA Finals, and while massive underdogs it will at least get to take its swings at the Warriors. But this NBA season does feel a little like Secretariat at the Belmont.