Russell Westbrook Trade Boosts Wizards’ Win Total, Drops Rockets’ Title Odds
Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Westbrook (L) and Bradley Beal (R) at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
Russell Westbrook was traded for the second time in two offseasons Wednesday after weeks of rumors that he was on his way out of Houston. John Wall, who hasn’t played since 2018 due to a torn Achilles, will leave Washington D.C. for the first time in his career.
I broke down the larger impact of the trade here. But here’s how the betting market moved in the wake of the superstar guard trade.
Houston was off the board in win totals at several books prior to the trade, as the unstable situation with not only Westbrook but James Harden as well made the situation unstable.
Westgate Superbook, however, had a win total of 37.5. After the trade, that moved to 35.5. Wall’s status is uncertain as he hasn’t played in two years. There’s also no telling whether Harden begins the season, let alone finishes it, with Houston.
The Rockets’ biggest move was in the futures market, going to +8000 to win the NBA title from +5000. Houston also moved to +550 to win the Southwest Division at PointsBet and as long as +480 at FanDuel.
Adding Westbrook to Bradley Beal seems to have inspired some confidence from the market. The Wizards’ win total moved from 28.5 all the way to 33.5 at PointsBet.
A five-win jump going from Wall to Westbrook seems … ambitious.
The Wizards also moved to +800 to win the Southeast Division at PointsBet and +950 at FanDuel, behind the Heat and Hawks.
Are the Wizards a .500 team with Westbrook and Beal? That’s the key question Wizards backers have to ask, and their biggest challenges may come on the defensive end.