The LA Clippers, potentially for the very first time in franchise history, would be 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 name, ahead of the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, who had been in the running to sign Leonard, had become the consensus 2020 name favorite since obtaining Anthony Davis to play LeBron James. Together with Leonard off the table, the Lakers dropped from 7-5 to 4-1 in the Caesars Sportsbook.
The Milwaukee Bucks, in 4-1, have the best 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 reduction of Leonard, fell from 10-1 to 50-1. After dropping George, the Oklahoma City Thunder saw their odds drop to 100-1.
Opportunities diverse from book to book. Bookmaker William Hill U.S. maintained 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’ odds to 6-1, supporting the Bucks in 4-1.
Within the last several weeks, large stakes have come in on the Lakers at sportsbooks around Las Vegas. The SuperBook reported carrying a $10,000 wager on the Lakers to win the title at 5-1 on June 15 and another $10,000 bet at 7-4 on July 1. William Hill U.S. reported carrying a $9,500 wager on the Lakers in 5-1 on June 17 plus a $10,000 wager on the Lakers on June 28.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 47 percent of the cash that had been 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 was wagered on another team.