Updated NBA Title Odds: Lakers’ Signing of DeMarcus Cousins Doesn’t Move the Needle

Jul 08, 2019 08:00 PM EDT
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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeMarcus Cousins

  • DeMarcus Cousins is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers after LeBron & Co. missed out on Kawhi Leonard.
  • See how the news is impacting the futures odds below.

The NBA’s free agency mania is officially here.

As the deals start getting finalized and the league’s balance of power shifts, oddsmakers from Vegas to New Jersey will be adjusting their 2020 NBA title odds.

We’ll keep track of all the deals and all the odds movement here for the main teams in question.

An explanation on the odds below: +200 means a $100 wager would profit $200, while a $100 wager on +1300 would pay out $1,300.


DeMarcus Cousins signs with Lakers

Saturday, 2:40 p.m. ET: After the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on Kawhi Leonard, they targeted some second-tier free agents, including former Warrior DeMarcus Cousins, who agreed to a deal on Saturday afternoon.

The deal did little to move the betting market: the Lakers were 6-1 prior to signing Cousins … and 6-1 after signing Cousins.


Kawhi to the Clippers good for Westgate

Saturday, 12:20 p.m. ET: Kawhi Leonard pulled a stunner on Saturday morning, choosing the Clippers over the Lakers and Raptors … and bringing Paul George with him.

As you’ll see in the tick-tock below, all off the buzz leading up to Kawhi’s decision centered around the Lakers and Raptors. The Lakers got as low as +100 at Westgate, while Toronto moved to from 10-1 to 6-1 in recent days as multiple online reports surfaced that Leonard would be returning to The 6.

On Sunday afternoon, Westgate bookmaker Jeff Sherman told our Darren Rovell that the book got exactly ONE wager on its title odds from July 2 to the early morning of July 6, when they sat at 16-1 odds. That wager was for $10.

The Lakers got considerably more interest from bettors in the run up to free agency. Westgate took a $10,000 bet on the Lakers at 5-1 a half-hour before their trade for Anthony Davis and another $10,000 at +175 odds on them on Monday evening, as the Kawhi-to-LA buzz grew.

But it turns out the buzz should’ve been directed at the other LA franchise. Here’s how Westgate changed the odds on the three contenders for Kawhi after The Klaw made his decision:

  • Lakers: +150 to +600
  • Clippers: +1600 to +300
  • Raptors: +600 to +8000

Raptors title odds continue to shorten

Wednesday, 5:04 p.m. ET: Shortly after Jalen Rose said on ESPN that he’s “99% sure” that Kawhi Leonard is going back to Toronto on a two-year deal, the Raptors moved from 10-1 to 6-1 at Westgate to win the title, which ties them with the Bucks for the second-best odds. They got as high as 14-1 at Westgate just 36 hours ago.

Westgate’s Jeff Sherman confirmed to The Action Network’s Darren Rovell that the book made the move based on Rose’s report.

The Lakers moved from +125 to +150 based on the news, and the Clippers bumped back up to 16-1, after shortening to 14-1 on Tuesday evening.

Kawhi’s decision continues to linger

Wednesday, 10:39 a.m. ET: We’re still waiting on Kawhi, and his indecision is impact the market. Westgate shortened the odds for the Clippers and Raptors, while also moving the Lakers slightly.

Here’s how the on Tuesday compare to the odds posted now

  • Lakers: Moved from +100 to +125
  • Raptors: Moved from 14-1 to 10-1
  • Clippers: Moved from 16-1 to 14-1

The Raptors’ movement is perhaps the most interesting, particularly when it’s put side-by-side with Marc Stein’s report yesterday that said Drake is “mounting his own recruiting campaign on top of whatever the freshly minted champions are doing to convince him to stay.”


Lakers odds continue to move

Tuesday, 9:13 a.m. ET: Just before 9 a.m. ET, the Westgate continued to shorten the Lakers’ odds, from +125 to +100.


Kawhi-to-the-Lakers rumors heating up

Tuesday, 6:24 a.m. ET: We saw some Lakers title odds movement overnight, as the buzz on Kawhi Leonard teaming up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis continued.

The Westgate took a $10,000 bet at +175 and shortened its odds to +125. FanDuel in New Jersey, which had been one of the more bearish books in the market on Lakers futures, had LA at +360 prior to the start of free agency. On Monday night, their odds were +250 and now they’re +200.


Monday 11 a.m. ET Update

Seventeen hours after the official start of free agency, here’s how the market at Westgate shifted. The biggest fish still available is Kawhi Leonard, who’s reportedly considering the Raptors, Clippers and Lakers.

These odds reflect the following marquee deals:

  • Kevin Durant: Nets
  • Kyrie Irving: Nets
  • D’Angelo Russell: Warriors
  • Al Horford: 76ers
  • Tobias Harris: 76ers
  • Jimmy Butler: Gone from 76ers (potentially to Miami)
  • Kemba Walker: Celtics
  • Khris Middleton: Bucks
  • Brook Lopez: Bucks
  • Malcolm Brogdon: Pacers
  • Bojan Bogdanovic: Jazz
  • Mike Conley: Jazz
  • Ed Davis: Jazz
  • Patrick Beverly: Clippers
  • JJ Redick: Pelicans
  • Derrick Favors: Pelicans

D’Angelo Russell traded to Warriors

11:30 p.m. ET: There weren’t any indications in the market this was coming, but here we are, with the Golden State Warriors expected to complete a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn for D’Angelo Russell. As part of the deal, Russell will receive a four-year max contract from Golden State. In order to clear space for him, the Warriors traded Andre Iguodala and a first-round pick to the Grizzlies.

The Westgate almost immediately shortened the Warriors’ 2020 title odds from 12-1, where they had been all day, to 10-1. That’s tied for the third-best odds. PointsBet did the same, moving from 15-1 to 10-1. DraftKings held steady at 11-1 FanDuel, meanwhile, shifted from 17-1 earlier this evening to 12-1.

The trade also caused the odds movement for other contenders: The Clippers went from 10-1 to 12-1, the Rockets went from 10-1 to 12-1, and the Raptors went from 12-1 to 14-1 at Westgate

Here’s a full breakdown of all the 2020 NBA title odds for all 30 teams after the Russell trade.


Sunday 10 p.m. ET Update

Three hours after the official start of free agency, here’s how the market at Westgate shifted.

 

Al Horford signs with Philly

9:15 p.m. ET: The 76ers are signing Al Horford on a four-year, $109 million deal, according to reports. At Westgate, the signing moved the 76ers from 20-1 at 9:09 p.m. ET to 16-1, then 12-1, before settling at 10-1.

Here’s a full before-and-after breakdown of the four books we’re tracking:

  • Westgate: 20-1 to 10-1
  • FanDuel: Stayed at 12-1
  • DraftKings: 16-1 to 14-1
  • PointsBet: 10-1 to 8-1

While PointsBet shortened the 76ers’ title odds after the signing, their chances of winning the East stayed curiously stagnant, at +350.

Philly’s improvement in the 2020 title market hurt the prognosis for both Toronto and Boston. Odds at 7 p.m. ET, compared to 9:30 p.m. ET (via Westgate):

  • Celtics: 16-1 to 25-1
  • Raptors: 10-1 to 12-1

Jimmy Butler traded to Heat

9:05 p.m. ET: Jimmy Butler is headed to Miami in a sign-and-trade. Here are the Heat’s odds before and after the deal became official

  • Westgate: 200-1 to 100-1
  • FanDuel: 150-1 to 110-1
  • DraftKings: Stayed at 100-1
  • PointsBet: Stayed at 100-1

Sunday 7 p.m. ET Update

One hour after the official start of free agency, here’s how the market at Westgate shifted.


Harrison Barnes, Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon signing with Kings

6:28 p.m. ET: The Kings are spending $151 million combined on this trio, which won’t create much enthusiasm among the fan base, but it did cause the oddsmakers at Westgate to move Sacramento from 200-1 to 100-1 to win the NBA title.


Bucks officially re-signing Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, but lose Malcolm Brogdon 

6:10 p.m. ET: According to multiple reports, the Milwaukee Bucks are re-signing both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, key cogs in the team’s Eastern Conference Finals berth last season.

The Bucks are the consensus second-favorite to win the 2020 title, behind only the Lakers. DraftKings shortened Milwaukee’s odds slightly after the news, moving from 7-1 to +650.

UPDATE: Westgate actually moved Milwaukee’s odds the opposite direction — from 6-1 to 7-1 — potentially due to the Bucks trading Malcolm Brogdon shortly after re-signing Middleton and Lopez.


Al Horford returning to the Celtics?

5:50 p.m. ET: Depends who you ask. As conflicting reports swirl about the potential of Al Horford re-joining the Celtics, the follow odds movement took place:

  • Westgate: 20-1 to 16-1
  • FanDuel: Stayed at 17-1
  • DraftKings: Stayed at 20-1
  • PointsBet: 18-1 to 15-1

Westgate’s VP of Risk Management Jeff told The Action Network’s Darren Rovell that the Horford rumors moved the market, not any specific bets.


Nets will sign Kevin Durant

4:51 p.m. ET: Shortly after a report from Marc Stein that the Nets are confident that Kevin Durant will be coming to Brooklyn, the betting market took notice.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Stein both followed up with definitive tweets that Durant would indeed be signing with the Nets after free agency officially gets underway.

Sherman told Rovell that the book won’t move the Nets off 30-1 to win the 2020 title without taking more action on the team. Jersey books have continued to shorten the Nets’ odds after the news, even though Durant isn’t expected to play in the 2019-20 season due to a ruptured Achilles.

Here’s how the NBA title market shifted for both the Nets, Knicks and Warriors.

DraftKings told Rovell that despite shortening the Nets’ odds from 27-1 to 11-1, it hasn’t taken any sizable bets on Brooklyn.

The Nets also moved from 10-1 to 8-1 to win the East at PointsBet after the news.


Timberwolves atop D’Angelo Russell’s list

2:35 p.m. ET: When the Brooklyn Nets officially sign Kyrie Irving after free agency beings at 6 p.m. ET, they’re expected to either renounce the rights to All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell or sign-and-trade him.

Regardless of the exact tactics, Russell would like to eventually land in Minnesota, per reporting from Marc Stein.

The Wolves had some of the longest title odds in the NBA when Stein’s reporting came through:

  • Westgate: 200-1
  • FanDuel: 250-1
  • DraftKings: 150-1
  • PointsBet: 100-1

Khris Middleton staying in Milwaukee

2:18 p.m. ET: According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Bucks are expected to re-sign Khris Middleton to a “monster” five-year deal.

The deal did not immediately impact the Bucks’ futures odds, as this transaction was largely expected:

  • Westgate: +600
  • FanDuel: +550
  • DraftKings: +700
  • PointsBet: +550

The Bucks also remain the favorites at PointsBet to win the East (+175 odds).


Sunday 12 p.m. ET Update

These odds appear to include assumptions around the following:

  • Kyrie Irving will reportedly sign a deal with the Brooklyn Nets shortly after free agency gets underway at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.
  • Kemba Walker will replace Irving in Boston as the Celtics’ star point guard.
  • Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, the two biggest free-agent prizes on the market, are very much unknowns. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, KD and Kawhi have been discussing the possibility of teaming up together on either the Clippers or Knicks. With the news, the Clippers moved from 8-1 to 6-1 at the Westgate, while the Knicks odds were cut in half from 100-1 to 50-1.
  • Golden State Warriors forward Klay Thompson is expected to re-sign with the team on a four-year max contract. Thompson, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, is expected to miss at least a large chunk of the 2019-20 season with an ACL injury.
  • D’Angelo Russell will not be returning to the Nets, and he’s expected to garner considerable interest from the Lakers. Russell could be acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Nets or as a free-agent if Brooklyn renounces his rights.
  • The Denver Nuggets will pick up their team option for All-Star forward Paul Millsap.
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