NBA Title Odds 2019: How Houston Can Become Favorites

The NBA season has come to a close, but the offseason could prove more dramatic.

LeBron James could potentially opt out of his contract this summer, throwing the landscape of the NBA into flux. As one can imagine, that makes in incredibly difficult to set NBA title odds for next year’s title. Whatever team LeBron lands on has a significantly increased chance of winning it all, so the teams rumored to be courting him have inflated odds.

Odds to Win 2019 NBA Title

Here are the opening odds from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook:

Golden State Warriors 5/4

Houston Rockets 7/2

Philadelphia 76ers 7/2

Boston Celtics 8/1

San Antonio Spurs 25/1

Los Angeles Lakers 20/1

Miami Heat 20/1

Cleveland Cavaliers 30/1

Toronto Raptors 40/1

Utah Jazz 60/1

Oklahoma City Thunder 60/1

Portland Trail Blazers 80/1

New Orleans Pelicans 80/1

Minnesota Timberwolves 80/1

Denver Nuggets 100/1

Milwaukee Bucks 100/1

Washington Wizards 100/1

New York Knicks 100/1

Indiana Pacers 100/1

Los Angeles Clippers 100/1

Phoenix Suns 200/1

Charlotte Hornets 300/1

Detroit Pistons 300/1

Brooklyn Nets 300/1

Sacramento Kings 300/1

Chicago Bulls 300/1

Dallas Mavericks 300/1

Orlando Magic 500/1

Memphis Grizzlies 500/1

Atlanta Hawks 1000/1

Of course, even with the addition of LeBron, any team is going to have a hard time stopping the Warriors. Kevin Durant has already confirmed his return for next season, and any potential losses would be role players like JaVale McGee and Nick Young.

I don’t think we can use Vegas odds as a barometer for where LeBron James will land. That being said, Westgate SuperBook oddsmaker John Murray told ESPN that if the Rockets retain their assets and sign LeBron, they would pass the Warriors as favorites to win the title.

Including in those assets is Chris Paul, who is also rumored to be heading to the Lakers with James this summer. Again, the rumors will be flying until ink is dry, but the Lakers have zero business being valued at 20-1 odds other than pure speculation.

According to Clevis Murray of The Athletic, LeBron will take meetings with the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, and the Golden State Warriors. The last team would be the least likely scenario, but it would render the above list obsolete.

Should LeBron decide to stay in Cleveland, the hype will immediately shift to the following free agency. That’s when LeBron will become an unrestricted free agent, but Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard will also have a player option.

NBA Title Best Bets

Right now, there’s no value on the board.

Vegas is safeguarding themselves against insider information, a wise decision when the best basketball player on Earth could be changing teams. In an era with the Golden State Warriors existing, it’s really hard to rationalize putting money on anyone else. Cleveland could be a good pick at 30-1, but there’s no offseason acquisition other than a cloning machine that could put them over the Warriors next season.

If you want to really bet this, you’ll need to become a social media detective. Every Instagram like, every song in the background of a story, every single post could be a clue to LeBron’s future. If you can crack the code, run to your local bookmaker and take your best swing.

Best Bets: LeBron or Golden State

Read More