NBA Championship Odds on Houston Rockets Slashed After Russell Westbrook Trade

Martin Green

Friday, July 12, 2019 12:24 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 12, 2019 12:24 PM UTC

He'll form a devastating duo with James Harden...
<div><p>The odds on the Houston Rockets winning the 2020 NBA Championship have been slashed after they pulled off a stunning trade for Russell Westbrook. It will see him team up with superstar James Harden to form the NBA’s latest super team. In 2017, Westbrook just about beat Harden to the NBA MVP award after both men displayed utterly brilliant form. Last year Harden finally seized the coveted award and The Beard only just lost out to Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2019. Pairing Harden and Westbrook creates a truly formidable prospect and marks another fascinating twist in the summer trade period.</p><p>We have already seen Anthony Davis force through a move to LA, where he will team up with LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins at the Lakers. Kevin Durant has left the Golden State Warriors and he will link up with Kyrie Irving – who decamped from Boston – at the Brooklyn Nets. Andre Iguodala has also left Golden State and the Dubs have brought in D’Angelo Russell to play alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.</p><p>The biggest move of all saw Kawhi Leonard leave NBA champions Toronto to move LA, but he decided to sign for the Clippers instead of the Lakers. They also brought in Paul George, an MVP finalist this past season, as his running mate. But Westbrook’s decision to join Houston is also massive. The Rockets had to bid farewell to Chris Paul to get the trade done, but they are excited to reunite superstars Westbrook and Harden, who played together as youngsters at OKC.</p><h2>NBA Championship Betting Odds</h2><p>What a difference a year makes. In the summer of 2018, the Golden State Warriors were heavy odds-on favourites to win the Western Conference and then seize a third consecutive NBA Championship. Now they are 9/1 (+900) outsiders to win the Western Conference with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="William Hill">William Hill</a> and 14/1 (+1400) underdogs in the NBA Championship betting.</p><p>The Lakers were the overwhelming favourites to win the NBA Championship next season – until Leonard moved to the Clippers. The two-way virtuoso carried the Raptors to the 2019 Championship and he was the hottest property in basketball this summer. The Clippers have pulled off a stunning coup to secure his services, and <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> now makes them the 10/3 (+333) favourites to be named NBA champions next season. The Lakers are next, best priced at 9/2 (+450), while the Milwaukee Bucks are 6/1 (+600).</p><p>But the Westbrook trade has pushed out the odds on all the other teams, while Houston have gone in to 7/1 (+700) with Bet365. The Philadelphia 76ers are priced at 8/1 (+800) and only then do you come to the Warriors. Within the west, the Clippers are 2/1 (+200) favourites and the Dubs – who have won the conference for the past five years – are out at 9/1 (+900). In the east, the Bucks are the favourites, followed by the Sixers, the Celtics and then the Nets, who will probably have to wait a year for Durant to return from injury. Defending champions Toronto are out at 14/1 (+1400) in the east after losing Leonard, while you can find odds of 40/1 (+4000) on them winning the NBA Championship for a second consecutive year.</p><h2>NBA MVP Betting Shifts</h2><p>The trades have also skewed the MVP odds. Antetokounmpo, very much the main man at Milwaukee, is 3/1 (+300) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Unibet">Unibet</a> to win the award. Now that Durant has left Golden State, Curry is the 11/2 (+550) second favourite to win a third NBA MVP award. Harden is out at 15/2 (+750), although he could find it harder to stand out alongside Westbrook. Ditto James, Leonard, Davis and George. Antetokounmpo has been on fire for the past couple of years and at 3/1 he looks well priced to win the award again, given his starring role within the Bucks team.</p></div>
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