NBA: Damian Lillard trade makes Bucks favorites, improves Scoot Henderson's odds to win Rookie of the Year

September 30, 2023 03:54 PM

NBA odds adjustments as a result of the Damian Lillard trade

The Milwaukee Bucks acquired Damian Lillard on Wednesday as part of a three-team trade that also included the Phoenix Suns.

Portland will receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton and rookie Toumani Camara as well as Milwaukee’s 2029 first round pick, and pick swap rights with Milwaukee in both 2028 and 2030, according to reports.

Phoenix will receive Jusuf Nurkic, Gryson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson as part of the deal as well.

As a result of the trade the Milwaukee Bucks have become the +390 favorite to win the NBA Finals, and +165 favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is also -380 to win the Central Division at DraftKings.

“The Bucks have become a much better team than they were,” said DraftKings Sportsbook director John Avello. “[Portland] has decided to compete in a few years.”

SuperBook VP of Risk Jeff Sherman believes this move makes them title favorites as well.

“Milwaukee is number one here,” said Sherman. “I look at Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard as the best big two in the NBA, plus Khris Middleton who is good but not great. We went to +350 on the title and I consider them to be at the top of the league.”

The combination of Lillard and Antetokounmpo will be lethal for Milwaukee.

Last season Portland averaged 1.13 points per possession when Lillard was the ball-handler in a pick-and-roll. Antetokounmpo did not screen and roll very frequently, but when he was the roll man the Bucks averaged 1.09 points per possession. Together, they form one of the best pick-and-roll combinations in the NBA.

The headline of this trade might be Lillard to the Bucks, but Phoenix acquired quite a few pieces as well and those pieces could be a massive boost for a team looking for depth.

“I like it for Phoenix,” said Sherman. “Ayton doesn’t fit the NBA game, and anything to move on from him would be beneficial for the Suns. We bumped Phoenix up one win, but made no adjustment on title odds.”

Trades such as these have ripple effects in the betting market. Odds to win the NBA Finals and conference championships are immediately affected, but so too are other markets. At the SuperBook those adjustments included the Rookie of the Year market.

“We adjusted Scoot Henderson from +400 to +300,” said Sherman. “Victor Wembanyama is down from -120 to -110 and Chet Holmgren from +275 to +300."

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