Clippers Franchise Reaches New Heights As NBA Title Favorites

Clippers Franchise Reaches New Heights As NBA Title Favorites article feature image

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Clippers players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are introduced at Green Meadows Recreation Center.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers (+400) are favorites to win the 2020 NBA Championship for the first time since 1985 after adding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
  • The Clippers have only entered the regular season at odds shorter than 10-1 once since 1985 and that was in 2014-15 at 9-1.

2019-20 was shaping up to be just another season at the Staples Center for the “little brother” of the franchise with 16 NBA titles and LeBron James heading into the offseason … but don’t tell that to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

Even after the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers still had odds of under 10-1 to win the title, mostly due to the fact that bookmakers were protecting themselves from exactly what ended up happening: Kawhi Leonard signing with LA’s other team.

The Clippers were as high as 16-1 to win the 2020 NBA Championship at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and are now the title favorites after adding both Leonard and Paul George via trade in the morning hours of July 6.

It’s Been So Long

Since 1985, the Clippers have only entered the regular season at odds shorter than 10-1 once and that was in 2014-15 at +900.

During the 2013-14 season, the Clippers won a franchise-record 57 games in Doc Rivers’ first season in LA, where they made it to the Western Conference semifinals for the second time in three seasons.

During the offseason leading into 2014-15, the Clippers also made another key move: adding a new owner, in Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Everything was looking up in the Staples Center for the Clippers as they were +900, which ranked fifth in the NBA, while the Lakers were 100-1 to win it all at the time.

In 2014-15, the Clippers won 56 games with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan leading the way, going under their preseason win total of 56.5 by just a half win, and made it to the second round, again where they lost in seven games to the Rockets.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Former LA Clippers Blake Griffin (32) and Chris Paul (3).

Where The Clippers Rank

The 2019 regular season will be just the second time the Clippers enter the year under 10-1 to win it all since 1984-85.

Of the 30 NBA teams, only four franchises have yet to enter a year under 10-1: Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets.

Ironically enough, the leader of the pack in this department are the LA Lakers, with 22 such seasons, five more than any other franchise.

When looking at the total number of seasons each of the 30 NBA teams have led (or tied for the lead) in future odds entering the regular season, you notice a trend.

Only 12 NBA teams have at least had a share of the best odds to win the title entering a regular season since 1984-85 and the Lakers lead that list with twice as many seasons as any other franchise.

Here is the full list:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: 11 seasons
  2. Chicago Bulls: 5 seasons
  3. Miami Heat: 4 seasons
  4. Spurs, Celtics, Warriors: 3 seasons
  5. Cavaliers, Pistons, Mavericks: 2 seasons
  6. Knicks, Suns, Blazers: 1 season

Note: All odds data via Sports Odds History

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