Big Bet Swings Houston Rockets NBA Championship Odds

Posted on: August 22, 2020, 06:21h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2020, 02:24h.

When the Houston Rockets continue their first-round NBA playoff series on Saturday against Oklahoma City, they’ll have one particularly invested fan.

Houston Rockets James Harden
Houston Rockets guard James Harden led the NBA in scoring with 34.3 points per game. (Image: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

According to Kevin Hennessy, the director of publicity at FanDuel Sportsbook, a customer placed a $47,000 wager on the Rockets to win the NBA championship. At the time, they were listed at +950 to win the title. That potential payout would be $493,500.

As of Saturday morning, the Rockets were $850 at FanDuel. That trails only the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks, who are co-favorites at +260, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who are +460. Houston and the defending champion Toronto Raptors are tied with the fourth-shortest odds.

The big bet means Houston’s odds are shorter at FanDuel than at some other sportsbooks. While the Rockets are +800 at PointsBet, they are +900 at William Hill and DraftKings, and +1,000 at BetMGM.

Led by superstar James Harden, Houston, which is the fourth seed in the West, leads the Thunder 2-0 in their best-of-seven series.

Power Resides in West

The Rockets’ biggest obstacle is their residing in the Western Conference. The Lakers and Clippers have been dominant for most of the season en route to earning the first and second seeds, respectively, in the conference playoffs. Potentially, Houston would have to get through both teams — the Lakers in the semifinals and the Clippers in the finals — to even reach the NBA finals.

Meanwhile, the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, who are tied at a game apiece, will play Game 3 of their series on Saturday. Led by Damian Lillard, Portland has been a trendy pick since the postseason began.

The Trail Blazers have seen the most bets this week in the NBA Championship market, followed by the Clippers,” Hennessy said. “The Portland Trail Blazers are now our biggest liability in the NBA championship market.”

In the process, they have moved from +6,000 to +3,000 to win the championship, Hennessy said.

NBA Draft

While the playoff teams are battling for the championship in the NBA’s playoff bubble, the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday won the NBA Draft Lottery and the right to the No. 1 overall draft pick.

According to DraftKings, Anthony Edwards is the favorite to be that pick at -134. He is followed by LaMelo Ball (+280), James Wiseman (+320), Deni Avdija (+2,000), Onyeka Okongwu (+2,000) and Obi Toppin (+3,000).

Golden State, which had the NBA’s worst record and, as a byproduct, the best odds of getting the first pick, will pick second.

Here’s the draft order of the teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs and were in the lottery.

  1. Minnesota
  2. Golden State
  3. Charlotte
  4. Chicago
  5. Cleveland
  6. Atlanta
  7. Detroit
  8. New York
  9. Washington
  10. Phoenix
  11. San Antonio
  12. Sacramento
  13. New Orleans
  14. Boston (from Memphis)