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Odds to Win 2018-19 NBA Championship: Sixers Get Jimmy Butler

NBA Championship Odds November 10

After being held hostage for the first part of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves have dealt all-star Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. The package reportedly involves Sixers’ Robert Covington and Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2020 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton.

This has shifted the Sixers’ odds to +1400 to win the 2018-19 NBA championship, which is behind the Golden State Warriors (-155), Toronto Raptors (+850), Boston Celtics (+950) and Houston Rockets (+1400), with the Milwaukee Bucks (+2000) right behind Philadelphia. 

Let’s examine the new-look Sixers and if it’s worth investing in their NBA title chances:

Butler Completes A Big Three in Philadelphia

This is a huge get for the Sixers. After some small struggles coming out of the gate, Philly should now feel comfortable competing on the same stage as the Celtics, Raptors and Bucks in a very top-heavy Eastern Conference.

Butler will give the Sixers a firm option on the perimeter who can create his own shot and provide tough defense to allow Ben Simmons to be even more of a playmaker going to the basket. Even in limited time with the Timberwolves this season, Butler averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds on a team he clearly didn’t want to play for anymore. Now, he gets to play with two of the best under-25 players in the NBA and can get the long-term contract he’s been aching for.

What Philly backers should worry about

Where this may not go well for Philadelphia is in the shooting department. Robert Covington and Dario Saric may not be hitting shots from deep like in years past but they were decent complementary pieces who could drain jumpers when given space. While Butler is a decent shooter, he may not get the space he needs now with sometimes having two non-shooters on the floor in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons.

This team already ranked 21st in the NBA in three-point percentage and the only way you are beating teams like the Celtics and Raptors is quality three-point shooting which means Philadelphia may not be done tinkering with its roster. At +1400, the Sixers are priced appropriately but bettors need to be aware of where this team’s shortcomings lie. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of November 12 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -150
  • Toronto Raptors +850
  • Boston Celtics +950
  • Houston Rockets +1400
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1400
  • Milwaukee Bucks +2000
  • Brooklyn Nets +2500
  • Los Angeles Lakers +2500
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +3000
  • Denver Nuggets +3500
  • San Antonio Spurs +4000
  • Utah Jazz +4500
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +6000
  • Detroit Pistons +7000
  • Indiana Pacers +7000
  • Charlotte Hornets +8000
  • Miami Heat +9000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +10000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +15000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +15000
  • Orlando Magic +15000
  • Sacramento Kings +15000
  • Washington Wizards +15000
  • Chicago Bulls +30000
  • Atlanta Hawks +35000
  • Dallas Mavericks +35000
  • New York Knicks +35000
  • Phoenix Suns +75000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +100000

Archived Articles

UPDATE: ESPN is reporting all-star Jimmy Butler has been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a package that includes Robert Covington, Dario Saric and draft picks. NBA championship odds will be added once available.

We’re only a few short steps into the NBA season and the oddsmakers have shuffled their board with some new teams moving into the top 10 in odds to win the 2018-19 NBA championship.

The Golden State Warriors are still the odds-on favorite at -165 followed by the Boston Celtics (+500 to +700), Toronto Raptors (+1400 to +900), Houston Rockets (+850 to +950) and Los Angeles Lakers (+1000 to +1800) to round out the top five.

These are the same five teams favored to win the title prior to the season but there are some teams in each conference that are making noise in the early stages of the season.

Let’s look at the Eastern and Western Conferences and see where the odds have shifted:

Eastern Conference 

The Raptors are the talk of the East after getting two huge home wins over the Celtics and Sixers and the addition of Kawhi Leonard has changed the whole team’s championship outlook. Kawhi is averaging 27.3 points per game and his usual brand of lockdown defense has put him firmly in the conversation for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Raptors’ only loss this season came when Leonard sat out against Milwaukee, which may be a good call to keep him rested as the Toronto brass should know that you can’t win championships in October.

Speaking of the Bucks, they’ve also turned heads as the only undefeated team left in the NBA. Their championship odds have jumped massively from +10000 to +3500 to win the title. New head coach Mike Budenholzer has harnessed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the roster to push them to become the fourth-best team in the league in points allowed per game while putting up 120 points per night. I’m not sure if Giannis and Milwaukee have enough firepower to get out of the East but the Bucks have let the world know they’re a rising force.

Another team in the East that has made waves is the Detroit Pistons, who are 4-2 SU this season with their only two losses coming to the Boston Celtics. The Pistons are getting an MVP-type season from Blake Griffin, who is averaging 27.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists and as long as he stays healthy, Detroit could be a tough out in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

I still think if you’re betting on a team from the East, you go with the Raptors or Celtics because of the strength of their rosters but the Bucks and Pistons will be heard from in the postseason.

Western Conference

The Warriors and Rockets are the usual suspects coming out of the West but squads out of New Orleans and Denver have seen the biggest change in odds after two weeks of the season.

Anthony Davis and the Pelicans have carried over their strong play from last year’s postseason when they swept the Blazers in the opening round and are shooting the lights out by averaging 122.5 points per game with Davis making his case for the title of best player in the world. The Brow has missed some time recently and it’s no surprise that the Pellies lost the two games he didn’t play in. Their odds prior to the season were at +12500 but the good start has pushed them to +4500. While I think Davis is an incredible talent, in order for this bet to hit, they need to beat the Warriors and one player cannot beat four of the top 15 basketball players in the world.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, are doing something that no basketball analyst could’ve seen coming and that’s play defense. Denver is ranked fifth in points allowed per game this season (105.2), which is a huge jump since they ranked 22nd in that same category last season. Nikola Jokic is another big man throwing his hat into the MVP ring as he leads all centers in assists this season while chipping in 21.5 points per game. I think Denver is a balanced team but doesn’t have the offensive skill to match up with the Dubs (sensing a theme here?), so while the odds jump from +12500 to +4500 is impressive, it’s not worth backing them at this stage.

If I had to take a dark horse from the West to somehow upset the Warriors, I would pick the Jazz. Their odds have moved to +3500 from +7500 and I think Utah is the most complete team in the NBA. The Jazz are getting contributions up and down the roster and Donovan Mitchell may make another leap in his progression in his second year. It’s still an uphill battle to topple Golden State but with the way the Rockets and Lakers have played this season, the Jazz seem to be the only worthy contender in the West.

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of October 31 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -165
  • Boston Celtics +700
  • Toronto Raptors +900
  • Houston Rockets +950
  • Los Angeles Lakers +1800
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +3500
  • Utah Jazz +3500
  • New Orleans Pelicans +4000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +4000
  • Denver Nuggets +4500
  • Detroit Pistons +7000
  • San Antonio Spurs +7000
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +8000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +8000
  • Charlotte Hornets +10000
  • Miami Heat +10000
  • Washington Wizards +10000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +12500
  • Dallas Mavericks +15000
  • Orlando Magic +15000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +20000
  • Atlanta Hawks +25000
  • Phoenix Suns +25000
  • Brooklyn Nets +30000
  • Chicago Bulls +30000
  • Sacramento Kings +30000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +50000
  • New York Knicks +50000

Archived Articles

The 2018-19 NBA season has tipped off and it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Golden State Warriors remaining the odds-on favorites to win their third NBA championship in a row.  

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at -195 followed by the Boston Celtics at +500, Houston Rockets at +850, Los Angeles Lakers at +1000, Toronto Raptors at +1400,  Philadelphia 76ers at +1600, Oklahoma City Thunder at +3000, Utah Jazz at +7500, San Antonio Spurs at +8000 and Milwaukee Bucks at +10000 to round out the top 10.

Let’s break down the odds for the top five teams outside of Golden State and whether they can upset the apple cart and stop the Warriors from three-peating:

Boston Celtics

The Celtics, who should be the class of the Eastern Conference, are loaded at every position and were a good fourth quarter away from making the NBA Finals last season. Boston’s starting five of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford will be the envy of the other 14 teams in the East as no team will be able to put that much talent on the floor.

At +500, the case can be made that the Celtics are the best value on the board as they should have an easy time getting to the NBA Finals if they can knock off the Raptors and Sixers. This is a team that is built to contend with a Warriors squad as the Celtics will have players all in the six-foot-eight range who can close out on shooters and potentially stifle the Dubs on the perimeter.

The main knock on them is health. Irving isn’t exactly known as an iron man as he has yet to play an 82-game season in his career while Hayward is coming off a gruesome ankle injury. But considering the C’s made Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final without those two all-stars, Boston could be in line to make its first NBA Finals since 2010 and topple the Warriors dynasty.

Los Angeles Lakers

This is where NBA fans may get to see the true greatness of LeBron James as he could become the third player in NBA history to win a title with three separate teams (elite company with the likes of Robert Horry and John Salley). The Lakers are in line to make a big jump in the standings after going 35-47 last season and with nearly the same roster outside of the one-year deals of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale “Two-Time NBA Champion” McGee, Los Angeles may have a great foundation for LeBron to flourish.

For starters, he won’t have to bring the ball up the court every possession with Lonzo Ball and  Rondo pushing the pace and will have up-and-coming wings in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma to help shoulder the scoring load. Last season in Cleveland, LeBron didn’t have anyone outside of Kevin Love who averaged double-digit points so to be able to pick his spots offensively and take on a closer role could set James up for his fifth NBA MVP award.

However, where this team falls short is on the defensive end as they may need to go to small ball to have all of their best players on the floor and in the Western Conference, they’ll simply get outmuscled down low. While I think the Lakers (+1000) will finish in the top three in the West, taking down the Warriors will be a huge undertaking as this team ranked 25th in points allowed per game last season and didn’t really add anyone who will move the needle defensively.

Houston Rockets

In what felt like a kick in the gut for Rockets’ NBA championship backers, Houston couldn’t slay the dragon after Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury and fell short of toppling the Warriors. Now it feels like they took a step back after losing Trevor Ariza and replacing him with Carmelo Anthony.

While I don’t think the drop-off will be as obvious in the standings, Ariza was the perfect complementary piece to the Rockets’ “3 or Layup” offense whereas Carmelo is a ball-stopper and will likely clog up Houston’s efficiency. At +850, bettors can’t be faulted for backing them but don’t be surprised if they still can’t get over the hump that is Golden State.

Toronto Raptors

The leader in the Eastern Conference standings last season, the Raptors were unceremoniously dumped in the postseason by the Cleveland Cavaliers for a third straight year. But things have changed with the bogeyman known as LeBron gone from the East and the Raps swapping their all-time leading scorer in DeMar DeRozan with arguably the third-best player in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard.

This is a team that may be geared toward a deep postseason run based on the current personnel and adding two defenders on the perimeter in Kawhi and Danny Green. The Raps were ranked fifth in points per game last season and sixth in points allowed so at +1400, it’s not inconceivable for the Raptors to make the NBA Finals and legitimately challenge Golden State as they can match up with almost all of the Warriors’ all-stars.

Philadelphia 76ers

Not to be overlooked last season was the emergence of the East’s best one-two punch of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Sixers finally showed promise from “the Process” and should be in contention for years to come with this duo but the downside of becoming a contender is now they won’t sneak up on anybody. Coaches will be able to game-plan around Simmons’ lack of shooting and Embiid’s inability to switch on the perimeter. To be fair to Embiid, that’s a problem for any seven-footer in the pick-and-roll.

Another facet that can’t be overlooked for why the Sixers at +1600 don’t represent the best value is their depth as they didn’t add anyone to improve their roster while the two top dogs in the East did. The Sixers lost Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova in free agency and both of those midseason additions were huge in crunch time as Philly made its run in the East playoffs. Unfortunately, this all hinges on Simmons’ development and the improvement of his jump shot – an improvement that may not happen for a few years.

Bet on the NBA here!

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -195
  • Boston Celtics +500
  • Houston Rockets +850
  • Los Angeles Lakers +1000
  • Toronto Raptors +1400
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1600
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +3000
  • Utah Jazz +7500
  • San Antonio Spurs +8000
  • Milwaukee Bucks +10000
  • Washington Wizards +10000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +12500
  • Indiana Pacers +12500
  • Denver Nuggets +12500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +15000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +15000
  • Dallas Mavericks +25000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +25000
  • Miami Heat +30000
  • Detroit Pistons +30000
  • Charlotte Hornets +30000
  • Chicago Bulls +30000
  • Atlanta Hawks +40000
  • New York Knicks +40000
  • Phoenix Suns +40000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +45000
  • Brooklyn Nets +45000
  • Orlando Magic +45000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Sacramento Kings +50000

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