Where Will LeBron James Sign in 2018?

Despite being a year away, offshore sportsbooks are getting a head start on the LeBron James free agency hype train. BetOnline has posted odds on every team in the league to land the superstar and although they are the favorite at +250, the odds reflect that the Cavs will most likely be without LeBron for the 2018-19 season. 5Dimes also recently offered a Lakers vs. Field prop for 2018-19.

NBA source said today: “This will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair.”

— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) August 16, 2017

Where will LeBron James play opening day of 2018-19? (via 5Dimes)#Lakers +180
‘Field’ -260 pic.twitter.com/IlcDsUp9Jw

— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) August 18, 2017

Let’s take a look at how the latest news has affected the odds.

Team 8/16/17
(BetOnline)
7/27/17
(BetOnline)
Cleveland +250 +250
LA Lakers +275 +300
Boston +700 +700
San Antonio +1000 +1000
Houston +1000 +1000
Minnesota +1400 +1400
Philadelphia +1600 +1600
Miami +2500 +2500
Golden State +2800 +2800
Denver +3300 +3300
Milwaukee +3300 +3300
New Orleans +3300 +3300
Chicago +4000 +4000
Dallas +4000 +4000
New York +4000 +4000
Washington +4000 +4000
LA Clippers +4000 +4000
Oklahoma City +5000 +5000
Charlotte +5000 +5000
Portland +5000 +5000
Detroit +6600 +6600
Toronto +6600 +6600
Indiana +6600 +6600
Memphis +10000 +10000
Atlanta +25000 +25000
Brooklyn +25000 +25000
Orlando +25000 +25000
Phoenix +25000 +25000
Sacramento +25000 +25000
Utah +25000 +25000

As you can see, the books love the Lakers’ chances at landing James. It seems like just about every future free agent star wants to go to La-La Land. What could their lineup look like next year with the likes of James, Russell Westbrook, Paul George…Lonzo Ball?!?

The Celtics are next on the list at +700. As a Mass native, I can say without doubt that LeBron is one of the most disliked individuals in the Boston area. Though +700 doesn’t imply that it is a likely event, it is strange that the Celtics are the third most likely landing spot.

Two more Western Conference powers, the Spurs and Rockets, are listed at +1000. Both are hoping to contend this year without LeBron, but adding him to the mix next season could put either team in contention with the Warriors.

Will the Cavs be gunning for a 2019 lottery pick? Are the Lakers the next super team? Only time will tell, but LeBron James’ decision next summer could change the entire pecking order of the league.

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Does Gordon Hayward really improve the Celtics’ title odds?

With the acquisition of Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics have closed the gap between themselves and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the battle for the Eastern Conference.

Jeff Sherman, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook Manager, reported that the addition of Hayward moved the Celtics from 15/1 to 12/1 to win the 2017-18 NBA Championship. The signing also had an effect on the Cavaliers, dropping them from 3/1 to 13/4.

NBA Title odds updated

Warriors 5/11
Cavaliers 13/4 (from 3/1)
Celtics 12/1 (from 15/1)
Spurs 12/1
Rockets 20/1
Thunder 30/1
T’Wolves 40/1

— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) July 4, 2017

In terms of the Eastern Conference, Boston is now listed at 3/1 (from 4/1 on June 24) while Cleveland is currently 4/9 (down from 2/5).

The offshore market reacted a bit differently– at BetOnline, the Celtics moved from 15/1 to 15/2 over the last week in anticipation of Hayward’s arrival. Heritage also lists the Celtics at 15/2 now, while Bovada offers 10/1.

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2017-18 NBA Divisional Odds

NBA Free Agency is in full swing and BetOnline recently posted divisional odds for each team. We’ll continue to update the tables and potentially provide some value plays closer to the season.

ATLANTIC (EAST)

Team July 2 Odds
Celtics -200
Raptors +350
76ers +650
Knicks +1400
Nets +5000

CENTRAL (EAST)

Team July 2 Odds
Cavs -600
Bucks +600
Pistons +2000
Pacers +2800
Bulls +5000

SOUTHEAST (EAST)

Team July 2 Odds
Wizards -125
Magic +450
Heat +600
Hornets +650
Hawks +1200

NORTHWEST (WEST)

Team July 2 Odds
TWolves +220
Jazz +225
Thunder +250
Nuggets +800
Blazers +1000

SOUTHWEST (WEST)

Team July 2 Odds
Spurs +110
Rockets +125
Pelicans +1000
Grizzlies +1600
Mavs +2500

PACIFIC (WEST)

Team July 2 Odds
Warriors -2500
Clippers +2500
Lakers +2500
Suns +10000
Kings +10000

You can also check out recent posts on trade impacts and title odds:

Jimmy Butler to TWolves

Chris Paul to Rockets

Paul George to Thunder

2017-18 NBA Title Odds

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NBA Trade Impact: Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Hours before the 2017-18 NBA Free Agency window officially opened, the Indiana Pacers traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. The early consensus among experts and fans is that the Pacers didn’t get nearly enough back in the trade, and it’s hard to argue that. Indiana was always expected to lose George, but a future draft pick in return was almost certain. The morning after the trade, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pacers previously wanted Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and multiple 1st round picks from Boston but the Celtics weren’t ready to make a move before acquiring Gordon Hayward.

As a result of the trade, NBA title odds for both teams quickly moved for next season:

  • At Bookmaker, the Thunder moved from 75:1 to 33:1 to win the NBA title while the Pacers moved from 200:1 to 450:1.
  • At 5Dimes, the Thunder moved to 30:1 to win the title but the Pacers actually remained at 200:1.
  • At Bovada, the Thunder moved down to 25:1 while the Pacers are 200:1.
  • At BetOnline, the Thunder are available at 40:1, a much better price than around the market. Since the Western Conference is so stacked, they’re also listed at 25:1 to win the conference, which is the same price you’d get at Bovada for OKC to win the title. The Pacers are 200:1 to win the title, consistent with 5Dimes and Bovada.
  • Paul George is currently listed at 12:1 to make the All-NBA First Team next season (via 5Dimes).

Chris Paul Trade Impact to the Rockets

Jimmy Butler Trade Impact to the TWolves

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NBA Trade Fallout: Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets

This year’s offseason has already been significantly more entertaining than the NBA Finals, but the fireworks continued on Wednesday with a blockbuster trade. Earlier this afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Los Angeles Clippers have agreed to trade nine-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-round pick. It will be interesting to see how Paul meshes with James Harden, another ball dominant guard, but this trade cements Houston’s place as a legitimate title contender.

The 32-year-old Paul opted into the final season of his contract, forgoing a massive potential free agent payday to play for Houston. Although he missed 21 games during the regular season, Paul averaged 18.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game last season while shooting 47.6% from the floor and 41.1% from downtown.

Before this deal was finalized, BetOnline listed the Clippers at 40/1 and the Rockets at 25/1 to win the 2017-18 NBA Championship. For Houston, those odds were the fifth-shortest behind the Warriors (-175), Cavaliers (+450), Celtics (+1000) and Spurs (+1000).  At the time of publication, all NBA futures were off the board at BetOnline.

At the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, the Rockets were listed at 30/1 and the Clippers were listed at 40/1. Following today’s shocking trade, the odds for both teams changed dramatically with Houston moving from 30/1 to 15/1 and Los Angeles dropping from 40/1 to 100/1. It’s tough to imagine anybody unseating the Warriors in the Western Conference, and Golden State’s odds of winning the title (-220) remain unchanged at the Westgate.

NBA Champ updated

Warriors 5/11
Cavaliers 3/1
Spurs 12/1
Celtics 15/1
Rockets 15/1 (from 30/1)
Wizards 40/1
Clippers 100/1 (from 40/1)

— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) June 28, 2017

Bettors can track the latest odds, public betting trends, injuries, and futures by visiting our free NBA odds page.

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Jimmy Butler Trade Fallout

During the NBA Draft on Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls completed the biggest trade of the offseason. After months of rumors, Chicago shipped three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick (Justin Patton) to Minnesota in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the 7th overall pick (Lauri Markkanen). This blockbuster deal reunites Butler with former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, and most analysts have unequivocally agreed that Minnesota fleeced Chicago.

If this was the best offer the Chicago Bulls got for Jimmy Butler, I would have kept him. I’m stunned no other team was able to beat it.

— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) June 22, 2017

The 27-year old Butler is still under contract for two more seasons and is viewed as arguably one of the top ten to fifteen players in the league. Last season Butler averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while playing stifling defense and providing veteran leadership. The Bulls were clearly looking to rebuild their roster and start from scratch, but this deal doesn’t return adequate value for a star player in their prime.

Before this deal was finalized, the Bulls and Timberwolves were both listed as 100/1 longshots to win the 2017-18 NBA championship at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Following Thursday’s trade, the Bulls dropped from 100/1 to 500/1 while the Timberwolves improved from 100/1 to 60/1.

Minnesota has built an impressive young core, highlighted by a pair of number one overall draft picks: Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Despite their wealth of talented prospects, the Timberwolves have struggled over the past few seasons — especially on the defensive side of the ball. Last season Minnesota finished with a 31-51 record and failed to make the playoffs for their 13th consecutive season. With the addition of a bonafide superstar and the expected growth of their young talent, oddsmakers are optimistic about Minnesota’s prospects next year.

On Saturday, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook listed the Timberwolves at -260 to make the playoffs and +220 to miss the playoffs. After accounting for the juice, that translates to a 69.8% implied probability that Minnesota will end their playoff drought.

The Timberwolves finished nine games out of the playoffs last season, but Jimmy Butler’s value can’t be overstated. Last season Butler was worth roughly 2-3 points to the spread which put him on par with the likes of Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan and new teammate Karl-Anthony Towns. However, Butler’s value to the spread will likely decrease next season as the talent surrounding him improves.

It will also be interesting to see how these odds fluctuate over the next few weeks, as there’s a lot of talent available via free agency and trade. Chris Paul, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap, Otto Porter, Serge Ibaka and Danilo Gallinari are among the most coveted players in this year’s free agent class, and their ultimate destinations will have a major impact on the futures market. The Clippers were the four-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, but they could quickly plummet if they lose Paul and/or Griffin in free agency.

The Jazz were the five-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, but losing Gordon Hayward would be a devastating blow. If either of these teams falter, the Wolves could easily slip into the postseason.

For months there have been rumors that the Timberwolves have been looking to deal point guard Ricky Rubio, who will make $14 million next season. Even if Minnesota can’t trade Rubio, they should have significant cap room (potentially more than $20 million) to make a run at second-tier free agents.

Cap space for Minnesota will range from $18-22m. T’wolves have until June 30 to guarantee Jordan Hill $4m contract.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 23, 2017

It’s tough to imagine anybody unseating the Warriors in the Western Conference, but the Timberwolves have assembled an excellent young core that could develop into a championship contender down the line.

Bettors can track the latest odds, public betting trends, injuries, and futures by visiting our free NBA odds page.

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

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