Rovell: $976K Bet Comes in on the Clippers to Win the Western Conference

Rovell: $976K Bet Comes in on the Clippers to Win the Western Conference article feature image
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Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard

Johnny Avello, a longtime bookmaker and Vegas lifer now working behind the window for DraftKings, can’t recall a NBA futures bet the size of what his sportsbook took on Monday.

Avello said the sportsbook took its largest futures bet by mobile, when a New Jersey punter plunked down $976,000 on the Los Angeles Clippers to win the Western Conference at +230 ($10 bet wins $23). If the Clips make it to the NBA Finals, the bettor would net $2.24 million.


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As a result of the bet, DraftKings moved the Clippers to +160 to win the conference, their shortest odds to date, right behind their Staples co-tenant, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (+150).

“We’ve only been taking wagers for about a year-and-a-half and we’ve taken some of the biggest bets,” said Avello, now head of sportsbook operations at DK, after 13 years at the Wynn in Vegas. DraftKings is already the nation’s second-largest mobile sportsbook operation.

The Clippers are tied for the second in the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets (41-19), 5.5 games behind the Lakers (46-13), who own the No. 1 spot.

The Clippers, who acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the off-season, have never made it to the Western Conference Finals.