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June 14, 2019

2020 NBA Finals Odds: Sixers considered third-best bet in Eastern Conference

The defending champion Raptors don't even have the best odds in their own conference

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The Raptors, the team which barely squeaked out a second-round win over the Sixers, beat the Warriors on Thursday for the franchise's first-ever NBA Finals title.

Instead of giving the Raptors and their stupid quadruple-bounce championship some room to breathe and enjoy what they've accomplished, let's fast-forward to next spring: what are the odds the Sixers could be celebrating on Broad Street this time next year?

MORE: Lessons the Sixers (and the entire NBA) can take from 2019 NBA Finals

The too-early odds for the 2020 NBA Finals champions started trickling in on Friday morning. 

Here's what we've seen so far:

Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook: Philadelphia 76ers, 12/1 (T-3rd East, T-6th overall)

Here's the full list from Westgate, in case you're interested:

I'll say it: being tied with the Celtics feels too low. 

The Sixers, though they struggled head-to-head with Boston during the season, were clearly the better overall team during the regular season and the postseason. It doesn't seem like Kyrie Irving will be back wearing green and white next season, and Anthony Davis has made it clear he isn't interested in being a Celtic.

Otherwise, while I think the Sixers can beat the Bucks in a seven-game series, their falling behind the Bucks and the Raptors in the East is currently unavoidable. Putting the Rockets ahead of the Sixers also seems at least a little dubious, based on Houston's persistent playoff struggles. Philadelphia 76ers, 14/1 (3rd East, 7th overall)

You can peruse BetOnline's full list here.

If we already accept that the Rockets are probably a push, these odds also feel fair, even if a lot of the positioning for teams ahead of the Sixers is based on projection instead of reality.

BetOnline's brand manager Dave Mason explained the ordering in a statement:

“The NBA is always tricky since a big free agency signing can massively impact a team’s odd to win next season. And now that Durant and Thompson are injured, handicapping the NBA Futures became even more difficult. We have the Bucks as the favorite, but we still have to leave Toronto in the mix depending on if Kawhi leaves or not and also the Warriors are still up there with the possibility of Durant and Klay staying in Golden State and being ready for the Playoffs. However, they could drift off in price too.”

For what it's worth, ESPN's way-too-early Power Rankings for next season put the Sixers at No. 3 in the league -- behind, you guessed it, the Bucks and the Raptors. The East is now the beast.

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