Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard.
- Over the past month, the Toronto Raptors have moved from +850 to +580 to win the NBA Title -- the biggest improvement in the league.
- The Milwaukee Bucks have made the second-biggest jump, going from +2000 to +1500.
- The Philadelphia 76ers have fallen the most, moving from +1200 to +1700.
We’re at the halfway point of the NBA season. The Warriors are about to get DeMarcus Cousins back, the Timberwolves just canned Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler is now causing drama in Philly. Sounds pretty standard.
NBA title odds are different than most sports since the Warriors eat up such a large portion of the implied probability, but we have seen some significant movement over the past month.
Here’s the latest odds as we enter the second half of the season.
Toronto Raptors: +850 to +580 (+4.2% Implied probability)
When we last checked in around Thanksgiving, the Raptors were at +850 — only a slight leg up from the Celtics and 76ers. Since then, they’ve cemented themselves as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Even though Kyle Lowry has missed 11 games since the start of December, their 31-12 record remains the best in the NBA. With Boston, the team expected to be the best in the East before the season began, five games back in the standings, Toronto is nicely set up for home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Milwaukee Bucks: +2000 to +1500 (+1.5% IP)
Home-court advantage in the playoffs? Hold the fort, says Milwaukee.
Just one game back, the Bucks are gunning for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. With MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way, Milwaukee is a formidable foe for any team. Though the Bucks just lost to the aforementioned Raptors in Milwaukee, they beat them in Toronto a month ago.
They haven’t been higher than a 6-seed this decade, but that tradition of mediocrity appears to be coming to an end this year.
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Philadelphia 76ers: +1200 to +1700 (-2.1% IP)
With the Raptors, Bucks and even the Celtics all seeing improved odds, someone in the East had to take a fall. The 76ers lead the charge in that department.
They’re just three games back of Toronto and have won seven of their past 10, including four straight. However, Jimmy Butler just can’t seem to be content with his situation regardless of where he is.
He’s reportedly upset about his role in the offense, and although it hasn’t impacted the team’s play, it doesn’t bode well for the long run.
Houston Rockets: +1100 to +1400 (-1.6% IP)
James Harden has been putting the team on his back. No Chris Paul, no problem.
The Rockets have won 12 of their past 14 games, with Harden averaging about 100 points per game in the process. Not quite 100, but the last time he scored below 30 was Dec. 11. (he scored 29.)
I’m actually surprised the Rockets’ odds haven’t increased, but this team still has some work to do once CP3 returns. It doesn’t appear to be as good as it was last year, but some new faces like Austin Rivers and Danuel House have been stepping up as of late and could bring the same spark that Gerald Green brought to the table last year.