This summer’s NBA offseason has general managers and franchises scrambling to find a way to somehow compete against superteams Golden State and Cleveland next fall, and that’s forcing Nevada oddsmakers into continually updating their futures.
The flurry of activity has already seen multiple superstars switch teams in hopes of providing better competition against the Warriors and Cavaliers during the 2017-18 campaign. Paul George has departed Indiana for Oklahoma City, Chris Paul has left Los Angeles for Houston, and Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague are headed to Minnesota.
But will it make any difference? According to Nevada sportsbooks, no.
The Warriors are still the huge favorites at the Westgate SuperBook (5-11), with the Cavs holding the next best title odds at 3-1. The San Antonio Spurs follow at 12-1, then the Boston Celtics and Rockets at 15-1.
Led by the face of the franchise James Harden, Paul’s signing with Houston cut the Rockets’ title chance of 30-1 in half. But there’s still no conceivable way, according to most NBA experts, that the team will emerge out of the Western Conference.
The biggest NBA offseason winner so far seems to be the Timberwolves. Minnesota won just 31 games last year, the third worst record in the West. But by signing Butler and Teague, the SuperBook believes the T’Wolves will almost certainly make the playoffs (Yes -800, No +550).
He has been one of the most underpaid stars in recent years, but as of last weekend, two-time MVP Steph Curry finally got the contract he deserved. In fact, he received the richest contract in NBA history.
The Warriors agreed to pay Curry more than $200 million over the next five years. LeBron James, however, still feels the Golden State star is underpaid.
“Tell me again why there’s a cap on how much a player should get? Steph should be getting 400 million this summer,” James tweeted.
The Warriors are spending whatever it takes to keep the championship band together. The team that’s won two of the last three NBA titles is, in addition to signing Curry, spending $48 million to bring Andre Iguodala back, $24 million on Shaun Livingston, and $2.3 million on David West.
Kevin Durant, perhaps the biggest factor in the Warriors’ easy win over the Cavs during the NBA Finals last month, is expected to soon re-sign with the Warriors, too.
Over the last two regular seasons, the Warriors are 140-24 in the regular season, and 30-10 in the playoffs.
Despite all the transactions, sportsbooks still think the Warriors and Cavs are headed for their fourth straight NBA Finals. Vegas Insider shows the line on Golden State winning the Western Conference at 1-3, and the Cavs taking the Eastern Conference at 2-3.
But again, the oddsmakers believe it’s the Warriors’ championship to lose. The Cavs are searching for another superstar to compliment James and Kyrie Irving, and all eyes are on Carmelo Anthony.
The New York Knick has a no-trade clause, but rumors are surfacing that he might be willing to lift the restriction to go to Cleveland. Whether or not bringing Carmelo would move more sports gambling money to the Cavs remains to be seen.