After acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in an active offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder's odd have moved from 60-1 to 16-1 to win the 2017-18 NBA championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
With George and Anthony joining reigning MVP Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, the Thunder have narrowed the gap with the other top tier of contenders in the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are each listed at 15-1 to win the championship at the SuperBook.
But, one month before the regular season tips off, everyone is still looking up at the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors remain heavy, odds-on championship favorites at 5-11 at the SuperBook. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are next at 4-1. No other team has odds in the single digits.
The Boston Celtics have attracted the most bets to win the championship at the SuperBook and have seen their odds improve from 15-1 to 10-1. The Washington Wizards are the next team behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference at 40-1.
The top-heavy NBA landscape has made it difficult for Las Vegas books to generate any action on some of the long shots. As of Sunday, the SuperBook had not taken a single championship bet on the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers or Denver Nuggets.
"The problem with the state of the NBA is that you know some teams don't have a chance going in," said Jeff Sherman, an assistant manager at the SuperBook, who oversees the NBA odds. "Tickets are far and few between other than just fans of those teams."
The Anthony trade was first reported Saturday afternoon, during a busy college football slate. A bettor at a CG Technology sportsbook in Las Vegas placed a $200 bet on the Thunder at 20-1 odds right as the news was breaking.
"They beat us to it," CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal said.
With the addition of Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, the Thunder's season win total increased by one game, from 51.5 to 52.5, while the New York Knicks, Anthony's former team, saw its win total drop from 30.5 to 29.5 at the SuperBook.