The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers have seen their odds to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship shift at legal sportsbooks across the US after the NBA announced its new 22-team playoff format.
But regardless of the changes, the three teams remain the betting favorites according to TheLines.com which tracks odds in the US regulated sports betting markets.
The proposed new format comprises the 16 teams that would have qualified for the playoffs when the season was postponed on March 11, plus six additional teams that will be included in a play-in tournament for the eighth and ninth seeds.
All games will take place at Disney World in Florida, and the league is targeting July 31 to resume the season.
The significantly altered format changed the betting odds at DraftKings and FanDuel, which represent the two market leaders in the legal online sports betting market, as well as other major books.
The Bucks reopened at +250 on DraftKings — paying $250 for every $100 bet — and +200 on FanDuel. The Bucks were +250 on DraftKings and +240 on FanDuel when the season was postponed. DraftKings left the Lakers unchanged at +250, and FanDuel’s line moved to +250 from +270.
The Clippers were also unchanged at +333 by DraftKings but moved to +325 from +340 on FanDuel. The Brooklyn Nets were by far the biggest movers — moving to +8000 (DraftKings) and +5000 (FanDuel), from +20000 and +21000, respectively — on the slim hopes of a return by star Kevin Durant.
“The Bucks, Lakers, and Clippers were always going to remain favorites, but the prospect of some stars returning from injury, especially Kevin Durant of the Nets, significantly altered the lines,” said Brett Collson, betting analyst at TheLines.com.
“The specific target date for the resumption of the season also gives bettors something to look forward to. Factor in pent-up demand and the next two months should spur huge interest in futures betting.”
The Denver Nuggets reopened at +3000 (DraftKings) and +2500 (FanDuel) — changing from +2000 at DraftKings and holding steady at FanDuel — making the Nuggets the favorite among teams that play in legal sports betting jurisdictions. DraftKings left the Philadelphia 76ers at +3000, and FanDuel left the line unchanged at +2500.