With LeBron James’ decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, the entire landscape of the NBA has changed.
One way to look at the impact of a move of this magnitude is to see how drastically the odds have changed at the sportsbooks. The odds are a good indication of both how much money Vegas expects people to bet on a given team to win the NBA title and what oddsmakers expect to happen.
Here’s what the NBA Finals odds looked like before and after James signed for the Lakers.
The numbers on the left had some liability baked in with the possibility of a few different teams getting the NBA’s best player. For instance, the Sixers were a little higher than they should have been because had James signed there, they would be favorites to win the title. Without James, the Sixers fall to 14/1 to take home the Larry O'Brien NBA trophy.
The Lakers jumped from 20/1 to win the title to 7/2, while, interestingly enough, the Warriors' odds to win the title actually got better with him joining perhaps the weakest team of his potential suitors. They clock in at 10/11 odds to repeat as champions.
The other end of the spectrum, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped from 30/1 to win the title to 500/1.
Time will tell the impact of James' big decision, but there are also a lot of big-name players who have yet to find their new team as well, so the odds will continue to change as more news comes our way.
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