Kawhi Signing With Lakers? ‘Sharp’ Bettor Places $10K Wager on LAL’s Title Odds
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard
- Rumors continued to swirl on Monday night that connected Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
- One bettor at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook appeared pretty confident Kawhi is headed to play with LeBron and Anthony Davis, placing a $10,000 wager on the Lakers at +175 odds.
Fifteen days ago, a bettor “with knowledge” placed a $10,000 wager on the Lakers to win the NBA title at Westgate Las Vegas’ SuperBook. Twenty-seven minutes later, the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis.
On Monday night, amid swirling rumors that the Lakers were on the verge of signing Kawhi Leonard, another $10,000 bet came in at the Westgate … on the Lakers’ title odds.
Jeff Sherman, Westgate’s VP of Risk Management, told The Action Network’s Darren Rovell on Tuesday morning that this wager was not placed by the same person who beat the AD trade news. Sherman added that the bettor is a “sharp” and “has a history with us.”
The wager was placed at 7-4 odds (or +175), meaning the bettor would profit $17,500 if the Lakers win the 2020 title.
The bet moved the Lakers odds at Westgate from +175 to +125, as of early Tuesday morning. It also impacted the odds for the other two contenders vying for Leonard’s services: the Raptors and Clippers. Toronto moved from 10-1 to 12-1, while the Clippers moved from 10-1 to 14-1.
UPDATE: Just before 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Westgate moved the Lakers from +125 to +100.
There’s no reason to directly connect this to insider information about a potential deal. The Westgate has been protecting itself against this kind of bet by shortening the Lakers’ odds over the past two weeks. Headed into the draft, LA was 3-1 to win the title. As free agency launched, the Lakers had dipped to 2-1. And when this wager came in, they were +175.
But this bet is also in line with what we’ve been seeing: A growing confidence that the Lakers won’t just be good, won’t just be elite, but will be the presumptive best team in the league by the time training camp starts.
While rumors have been circling, no one seems to know if they are actually from anywhere credible or the usual strain of unbacked Internet buzz. Two NBA executives not involved with pursuit of Leonard did say on Monday night that they expected Leonard’s decision to come down soon.
If Kawhi is in fact headed to the Lakers, this will be the last opportunity to get the Lakers at plus money. On Monday, Sherman told Rovell that the book would move the Lakers to -200 odds to win the title ($200 wager profits $100) if the team lands Kawhi.
However, as I’ve written in the past, you could get a better number than that in-season if the Lakers get off to a rough start, as most of LeBron’s super teams have in their first year together.