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Updated NBA Title Odds: Clippers Soar, Raptors Plummet in Wake of Kawhi Signing, Paul George Trade

Updated NBA Title Odds: Clippers Soar, Raptors Plummet in Wake of Kawhi Signing, Paul George Trade article feature image

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

  • Kawhi Leonard will play next season in Los Angeles alongside Paul George after the Clippers pulled off two stunning moves early on Saturday morning.
  • The Clippers are the new favorites to win the NBA title following the Kawhi news.


Just when you might have thought you’d seen it all in the NBA, it hits you with something you never saw coming. After all the talk about the Lakers signing Kawhi Leonard, or the Raptors keeping him, it was the Clippers who kept things quiet, kept things safe, and not only landed the reigning Finals MVP… but subsequently pulled off a colossal trade for Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George.

In the aftermath, nothing in the NBA will ever be the same, and that’s evident from the odds. Title odds were of course immediately pulled off the board at all books. When they reappeared, they bounced all over the place, with the Clippers as low as +280 and as high as +320. The Raptors, meanwhile, plummeted from 6-1  at Westgate before the news to 80-1 after it.

Here is where the odds sit, as of Saturday morning:

DraftKings also has a California-vs.-the-field prop posted. The California teams (Clippers, Lakers, Warriors and Kings) are +115 to win the 2020 title.

With regards to the Clippers specifically, this seemed especially notable in connection with a Vegas book:

Late check-in with @DerekJStevens, who estimating his @CircaSports will open (at 8 a.m.) with @LAClippers at odds of around 8/1 to win the NBA title, from the 15/1 they were before the Kawhi and PG news. "Raptors going up. Lakers going up."

— VSiN (@VSiNLive) July 6, 2019

Westgate’s Jeff Sherman told The Action Network last week that Kawhi signing with the Clippers would move them to 6-1, but that did not account for George being traded to LA, as well.

Regardless of where the numbers settle, it’s clear we’re entering into the most wide-open NBA season in recent memory, with teams stacked with stars and good coaching.

Typically NBA futures don’t have a lot of value given the overwhelming favorites. That’s all gone. You can put together genuinely interesting positions now across a few teams.

The Jazz may have the most complete team but without the highest-level stars. The Lakers may have the best pure star combo, but almost nothing around them outside of Danny Green (who reportedly agreed to sign tonight) and Jared Dudley, along with shooter-who-doesn’t-shoot-well Kyle Kuzma. The Clippers have a dynamo, but Kawhi Leonard had leg issues for two seasons all the way into this year’s playoffs and George is coming off shoulder surgery. Both teams have no picks to trade at the deadline to improve as they have dealt all they can to get those stars.

The Nuggets bring back continuity. The Rockets were able to beat any team in the West except the Warriors… who are without Durant, cap-strapped, no longer have Iguodala, and have Klay Thompson coming off major surgery. But the Warriors also have Steph Curry and Draymond Green. The Bucks were the best regular season team last year, bring back almost the entire core minus Malcolm Brogdon, were two wins from the Finals, have the reigning MVP, and the team that beat them lost the biggest reason they won. The Sixers added Al Horford and Josh Richardson and lost Jimmy Butler.

There will be a lot to break down, dissect, and figure out, but these early odds tell a clear story: There’s finally real intrigue in who will make the Finals, and who will win them (despite Toronto’s surprise victory) and that means the market should be a place to go mining for the right position.

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