The LA Clippers, possibly for the first time in franchise history, are the favorite to win the NBA title.
With the acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Caesars Sportsbook on Saturday afternoon transferred the Clippers from 10-1 to 11-4 to win the 2019-20 NBA title, just ahead of their rival Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, who were in the running to sign Leonard, had been the consensus 2020 title favorite since acquiring Anthony Davis to play alongside LeBron James. Together with Leonard off the desk, the Lakers dropped from 7-5 to 4-1 at the Caesars Sportsbook.
The Milwaukee Bucks, in 4-1, have the highest odds at the Eastern Conference, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers in 7-1.
The Golden State Warriors are 10-1, followed by the Utah Jazz at 14-1. The Houston Rockets are 15-1, and the Brooklyn Nets are 20-1.
The defending champion Toronto Raptors, with the loss of Leonard, dropped from 10-1 to 50-1. After losing George, the Oklahoma City Thunder saw their chances drop to 100-1.
Odds varied from book to book. Bookmaker William Hill U.S. kept the Lakers as the favorite at 3-1, with the Clippers in 7-2. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had the Clippers as a 3-1 favorite and lengthened the Lakers’ chances to 6-1, behind the Bucks in 4-1.
Over the past several weeks, large bets have come in on the Lakers at sportsbooks around Las Vegas. The SuperBook reported taking a $10,000 bet on the Lakers to win the title at 5-1 on June 15 and a second $10,000 bet at 7-4 on July 1. William Hill U.S. reported taking a $9,500 bet on the Lakers at 5-1 on June 17 and a $10,000 bet on the Lakers on June 28.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 47 percent of the cash that was wagered on William Hill’s odds to win the 2020 NBA championship was on the Lakers. At Caesars, almost five times as much cash had been bet on the Lakers than had been wagered on another team.