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$3 Billion is Changing NBA Futures

By Wes Reynolds  () 

After more than $3 billion in NBA player transactions, betting markets for the league settled into place for oddsmakers from here to New Jersey -- with one major exception.

On the surface, the Brooklyn Nets would seem to be the biggest mover and shaker with the signings of Kyrie Irving (4 years; $141 million) and Kevin Durant (4 years; $165 million). But moments after the frenzy began, Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management at Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, tweeted “Nets 30/1 before Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving; Nets 30/1 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.” The price on Brooklyn subsequently moved to 25/1. Durant is likely to miss the upcoming season with a torn Achilles, so even with the addition of Irving, the Nets (47.5 season wins at FanDuel and PointsBet) look like they will make only a small move forward into the top 4-6 of the Eastern Conference next season.

While the Nets spending spree didn’t generate a seismic shift amongst the favorites for the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they had the largest effect on the other team in New York. After the Knicks failed to land any of their prime targets, their price was moved accordingly from 50/1 to 200/1. The Knicks’ biggest signing turned out to be Julius Randle (3 years; $63 million), who comes off his career year in New Orleans (21.4 ppg and 8.7 rpg). The Knicks’ wins total is currently set at 27.5 with PointsBet and 26.5 with FanDuel.

The current favorites in the Eastern Conference are the Milwaukee Bucks (55.5 season wins) at 13/2. They re-signed their All-Star wing Khris Middleton (5 years, $178 million) and other complementary pieces such as Brook Lopez and George Hill. However, they were not able to keep guard Malcolm Brogdon (4 years; $85 million), who signed with the Indiana Pacers, a team that made some sneaky good moves that will fall under the radar and have gone from 80/1 to 40/1 and have their season wins total set at 47.5 at PointsBet.

Toronto and Philadelphia share second choice at 10/1, respectively. The Raptors and the two Los Angeles teams are playing the waiting game with Kawhi Leonard and in reality, he’s really the only player out there that can shift the market.

Meanwhile, the Sixers seemingly weakened the rival Celtics (moved to 25/1 from 20/1) bringing in Al Horford (4 years, $109 million) to take some of the load off of Joel Embiid down low. They also re-signed Tobias Harris (5 years, $180 million) as they needed to keep someone to make shots with the losses of Jimmy Butler (Miami 200/1 to now 100/1) and J.J. Redick (New Orleans 50/1). The market seems to believe the Sixers (52.5 season wins) are the real contender in the East, but it still remains to be seen whether the talented but mercurial Ben Simmons will finally make that leap and live up to his hype or whether he remains the same guy as he was when he came into the league.

On the other side of the country, the Lakers (7/4) and Clippers (10/1) await the puff of white smoke from the Leonard camp or a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski. Should Leonard sign with the Lakers, “the Raptors and Clippers would both go to 50/1,” per John Murray, race & sportsbook director at the Westgate SuperBook. Most sportsbooks have a ton of exposure already on the Lakers so you could expect them to rise to as high as 1/2 favorites if they get their man. If they do not, they likely go back down to 5/1.

Elsewhere in the West, the Warriors (10/1) look like they may take a step back this season, but their demise has been greatly exaggerated. They likely won’t get Klay Thompson, who re-signed for five years and $190 million, back until spring at the earliest. However, they were able to procure D’Angelo Russell (4 years, $117 million) in a signand-trade with the Nets in a move that should keep them more than relevant in a topsy-turvy Western Conference. Golden State currently has a season win total of 48.5 at FanDuel and 47.5 at PointsBet.

Arguably the biggest mover in the West has been the Utah Jazz, cut from 25/1 to 15/1. This is a team that always has been strong defensively especially having the best rim-protector in the league in Rudy Gobert, but perhaps are putting their late-game offensive struggles in the past with the acquisition of Mike Conley from Memphis via trade and the signing of Bojan Bogdanovic (4 years, $73 million) from Indiana. Utah currently has a season wins total of 53.5 at FanDuel and PointsBet.

Aside from the Warriors, the other Western Conference semifinalists have remained relatively static in the futures markets with Houston at 12/1, Denver at 18/1 and Portland at 30/1. As for former Knick Kristaps Porzingis? He officially signed his five-year, $158 million deal in Dallas (50/1) on Sunday. The tag team of Porzingis and Doncic has potential, but Knicks fans are well versed on that potential and on reading injury reports when it comes to the Latvian big man.

In terms of season win totals, most sportsbooks will wait until the free agent frenzy dies down before putting them up, but PointsBet has 27 of the 30 NBA teams available for wagering. Toronto, the L.A. Lakers and the L.A. Clippers are the only teams without win totals at this point for obvious reasons. “Once Kawhi announces, we’ll add those three teams at the adjusted numbers,” said Matt Chaprales, director of content for PointsBet.

And If you really want to look into the future, the 2020-2021 NBA Championship Odds were being offered at PointsBet at 15/1 as part of its “Brooklyn Booster” promotion that expired Tuesday.

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