After the NBA announced its new 22-team playoff format, the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers saw their odds to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship shift at legal sportsbooks across the US.
But regardless of the changes, according to TheLines.com, the three teams remain the betting favourites that track odds in regulated sports betting markets in the US.
The proposed new format includes the 16 teams that would have qualified for the playoffs when the season was postponed on March 11, plus six additional teams that would be competing for the 8th and 9th seeds in a play-in tournament.
All games will be held at Disney World in Florida, and the league is targeted to resume the season on July 31.
The significantly altered format changed the betting odds at DraftKings and FanDuel, as well as other major books representing the two market leaders in the legal online sports betting market.
The Bucks reopened on DraftKings at +250 – charging $250 on every $100 bet – and FanDuel at +200. When the season was postponed, the Bucks were +250 on DraftKings, and +240 on FanDuel. At +250 DraftKings left the Lakers unchanged and FanDuel’s line moved from +270 to +250
DraftKings had also unchanged the Clippers at +333 but moved from +340 on FanDuel to +325. The Brooklyn Nets were by far the biggest movers — moving from +20000 and +21000 to +8000 (DraftKings) and +5000 (FanDuel), respectively — on the slim hopes of star Kevin Durant returning.
Brett Collson, betting analyst at TheLines.com said: “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.
“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) — shifting from +2000 at DraftKings and remaining steady at FanDuel — making the Nuggets the pick of teams competing throughout the jurisdictions for legal sports betting. DraftKings left the Philadelphia 76ers at +3000, while FanDuel left the line at +2500 unchanged.