Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Title Odds Shrink After Reports of Donovan Mitchell Trade

Posted on: September 3, 2022, 07:00h. 

Last updated on: September 3, 2022, 12:51h.

It’s not yet “officially official, but reports of the Utah Jazz trading star guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers have sent shockwaves through the NBA. And those waves could be felt at sportsbooks, too.

Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell sets up the team’s offense during an NBA Playoffs first-round game at the Dallas Mavericks on April 18, 2022. Reports indicate the Jazz will trade the all-star guard to Cleveland, and sportsbooks have significantly shortened the Cavaliers NBA title odds as a result. (Image: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

According to reports, the Jazz will receive quite the haul for the 25-year-old Mitchell. Cleveland will send forward Lauri Markkanen, wing Ochai Agbaji, and guard Collin Sexton out West. In addition, the Cavs will give Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027, and 2029. The teams will also swap picks in 2026 and 2028.

The deal, first reported on Thursday, was an eye-opener. If any team seemed likely to get Mitchell, who turns 26 next week, it was the New York Knicks. However, talks between the Jazz and Knicks reportedly broke down earlier this week.

Mitchell, a three-time NBA All-Star, has averaged at least 20 points per game in each of his five seasons. Last season, he scored 25.9 points per game, ninth-best in the league.

And while the Cavs gave up quite a bit to land one of the league’s top scorers, they were able to keep a pair of all-stars from last season in guard Darius Garland and center Jarrett Allen. They also have Evan Mobley, who finished second last season in Rookie of the Year voting, to give Cleveland four very good or better players, all of whom are under 26 years old.

The Cavs just missed out on the playoffs last season. The addition of Mitchell vastly improves their chances of building upon last season’s 44-38 record in what’s become a tough Eastern Conference.

Cavs No Longer 100-1 Shots

Cleveland’s still considered somewhat of a longshot to win the NBA Championship next season. But oddsmakers have shortened the Cavs odds considerably in wake of the reported trade.

BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel all had LeBron James’ old team at +10000 (meaning a $100 bet would net $10,000) to win the title next season. After the trade, BetMGM listed the Cavs at +3000, FanDuel cut their odds to +3300, while Caesars reduced the odds to +5000.

DraftKings had the Cavaliers at +9000, and since the news broke, the odds have shortened to +3000.

Mitchell’s reported arrival also changes some win totals on futures lines. DraftKings initially set the Cavs over-under at 42.5. Now, it’s 46.5. Caesars also started Cleveland at 42.5. But now that futures line is set at 45.5.

Boston the Favorite, But Four Other Teams Lurk

Oddsmakers also agree with the belief that there’s not really a standout team in the NBA. Each of the Big Four sports betting operators has five teams with odds less than +900 in their championship futures pool.

The Boston Celtics, last season’s runner-up, are the favorite at all four. BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel offer the Celtics at +500, while DraftKings has them at +550.

DraftKings then has the Los Angeles Clippers and defending champion Golden State Warriors at +600. The Brooklyn Nets, now that the Kevin Durant drama has subsided (for now, anyway) are next at +700, with the 2020-21 champion Milwaukee Bucks at +800.

FanDuel has the Bucks as its second choice at +650, with the Nets, Clippers, and Warriors all at +700.

Caesars lists the Warriors at +600, with the Nets and Bucks at +750. The Clippers follow at +800.

BetMGM also has the Warriors at +600, the Bucks at +650, and the Nets and Clippers at +700.

The NBA regular season starts on Oct. 18.