August 02, 2017
The Sixers are a team on the rise. There's no doubt about that. And after fours years of finishing at or near the bottom of the standings, simply making the playoffs would be a big step in the right direction.
However, when you talk to the players and those around the team, they hardly believe a postseason berth is a stretch. And after a draft in which they landed No. 1-overall pick Markelle Fultz and an offseason that saw them acquire J.J. Redick, Vegas oddsmakers seem to be in agreement.
In June, Westgate posted that the Sixers were -125 to make the playoffs, meaning they were favored to do so.
At the time, which was shortly after the NBA Draft, Vegas Insider had the Sixers tied with the Timberwolves at +7500 to win the 2017-18 NBA title. That was a marked improvement from where OddsShark had them listed a month earlier, when they were in a nine-way tie for the 11th-best odds (or 10th-worst depending on how you look at it) to win the title at +15000.
We'll chalk this up to the Fultz Effect, which when combined with boost they'll get from the previous year's top pick – don't forget Ben Simmons hasn't played a regular season game for the Sixers yet either – probably has more to do with team expectations then anything else.
And now, after free agency and a brief look at Fultz in summer league, the Sixers' odds have improved once again. This time, they come from Bovada, who recently released updated odds for the upcoming NBA season.
Not only are the Sixers right near the top, but they're at +5000, which is three times better than where they were at the end of the regular season (+15000).
That's pretty high standing for a team that won just 28 games last season and just 75 over their last four combined.
Oh, and for those keeping track at home, the Sixers currently have the third-best odds of any Eastern Conference team behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.
Of course, the regular season is still almost three months away.
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