Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.
- The Houston Rockets (11-1 to win the NBA Championship) and Los Angeles Lakers (18-1) have rebounded from ugly starts to the season.
- The Celtics, who began the year with the second-best odds at 5-1, are down to 11-1.
- The Nuggets, who began the year at 9-1, have dropped to 50-1 despite sitting in third place in the Western Conference.
The Golden State Warriors are odds-on favorites to win the NBA Championship. That’s been the case since odds opened and remains that way despite the KD-Draymond kerfuffle.
As a result, the Warriors are eating up a large majority of the implied probability to win the title. Unlike other leagues, there’s not going to be too many dramatic changes to the odds since one team is so much better than the rest.
Nevertheless, there has been some interesting movement that I doubt bettors and NBA fans would have expected just over a month ago.
Here’s how the odds have changed since the start of the season, with the most recent update coming after the Jimmy Butler trade.
Houston Rockets: +1400 to +1100 (+1.6% Implied Probability)
Though they’ve dropped two straight, the Rockets have been on the uptick since their terrible 1-5 start.
They’ve yet to return to their preseason odds of +850, but I doubt anyone is surprised considering they aren’t in a playoff spot right now.
Los Angeles Lakers: +2500 to +1800 (+1.5% IP)
The Lakers were just on the wrong end of an 8-point upset against the Magic, but have otherwise been hitting their stride. Before that, they had won seven of their previous eight, with the other loss also coming to the Magic.
Boston Celtics: +950 to +1100 (-1.2% IP)
The Celtics continue to have issues with just a .500 record through 20 games. It turns out that adding Gordon Hayward to the core that they developed last season didn’t just work like a video game.
Their loss to the Knicks last week was the biggest upset of the season, with New York’s moneyline closing at +1080. Generally speaking, you don’t want to let a 10-1 dog beat you in the NBA.
With bench players like Terry Rozier deserving more minutes and Hayward struggling in his, the Celts have had some problems getting into a groove.
The potential is there, but Boston needs to begin meshing sooner rather than later if it wants to end up with a good playoff seed.
Denver Nuggets: +3500 to +5000 (-0.8% IP)
The Nuggets are coming off three straight wins, but had lost six of their previous seven games prior to the current streak.
They still sit in third place in the west, only one-half game behind the Clippers and Warriors, but have come back to earth a bit following a 9-1 start.