How 2020 NBA Title, Playoff Odds Have Changed After Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul Trade

Jul 13, 2019 10:00 PM EDT
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Jan 6, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) dribbles down the court against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Washington won 116-98. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and numerous future first round picks.
  • With the trade, the Rockets odds to win the 2020 title have shifted from 12-1 to 8-1, while the Thunder moved from 200-1 to 500-1.

If the NBA offseason wasn’t crazy enough, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s five-day shift from sure-fire playoff team to a franchise who is currently 500-1 to win the title, has completely changed the landscape of the league.

After Paul George was traded away from the Thunder to the Clippers on July 6, it was well known around the league that Russell Westbrook was going to be dealt at some point before the start of the season.

According to ESPN’s article on the trade by Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young, “Thunder general manager Sam Presti worked with Westbrook and his agent Thad Foucher to help honor his hopes of playing with the Rockets, league sources said.”

Now with the Rockets, Westbrook will re-join his former teammate James Harden, who played with Russ from 2009 to 2011 with the Thunder. That roster also included Kevin Durant, with Oklahoma City making the NBA Finals just once in the three years, losing to the Miami Heat and LeBron James.

With Russ in Houston now, let’s take a look at how the odds have shifted across the NBA.

2020 NBA Title Odds

  • Thunder were 40-1 to win the title prior to Paul George being traded to the Clippers, which moved OKC’s odds to 100-1 (which eventually turned into 200-1). After they traded Westbrook to Houston, the Thunder shifted to 500-1.
  • Rockets were 12-1 to win the title prior to acquiring Westbrook from the Thunder. After the move, they are 8-1 and tied for the fourth-best odds in the NBA.
  • Heat and Pistons had their odds get higher after missing out on Westbrook, with Miami going from 40-1 to 100-1 and Detroit shifting from 100-1 to 200-1 to win the title.

(Odds via Westgate)

Chris Paul, Houston Rockets. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

2019-20 NBA Win Total

  • Thunder’s win total has been off the board at PointsBet, DraftKings and FanDuel over the past week since Paul George was traded and the status of Westbrook has been up in the air. Oklahoma City had a win total of 46.5 with George and Westbrook on the roster.
  • Rockets’ win total increased by one full win going from 51.5 to 52.5, which is now 5th in the NBA behind the Clippers,  Bucks, Jazz and Sixers.

(Odds via PointsBet)

2019-20 NBA Playoff Odds

  • Thunder saw a small move in their playoff odds after trading away Westbrook, moving from +600 to +650 to make the playoffs and moving from -900 to -1250 to miss the playoffs this upcoming season
  • Rockets on the other hand saw their odds shorten with the acquisition. Houston moved from -500 to -667 to make the playoffs and from +375 to +450 to miss the playoffs with Westbrook.
  • No other teams saw playoff movement with the trade of Westbrook to the Rockets.

(Odds via PointsBet)

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13)

2020 NBA MVP Odds

  • James Harden’s odds to win MVP moved from +350 to +600 after the trade. When the odds to win MVP opened back in June, Harden was ranked second in the NBA behind just Giannis Antetokoumpo.
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