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July 06, 2019

Updated NBA championship odds after Kawhi Leonard and Paul George land with Clippers

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Kawhi-Leonard-Joel-Embiid_070619_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard is headed to the Clippers (along with Paul George). How did that change the title odds for the Sixers and the rest of the NBA?

By the time much of the sports world was waking up on Saturday morning, a seismic shift had taken place in Los Angeles. And, no, we're not talking about the earthquake that rocked the West Coast on Friday night — we're talking about the shift in power that took place in the NBA.

After a rumored-filled free agency period, Kawhi Leonard and his team shocked the world, not only by signing with the Clippers — over the Lakers, Raptors and others — but also by helping convince the Thunder to trade Paul George to Los Angeles to show him on the Clippers. 

And the oddsmakers are already predicting big things from the new top dogs in L.A. 

Once the favorites to win the 2019-20 title, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers saw their top spot ripped away from them by the team with which they share their home arena. The Lakers, who were 2/1 to win next season's NBA Finals prior to this weekend, quickly fell to 7/2, while the Clippers went from 20/1 to 3/1 favorites to win the championship, according to SportsBetting.ag. And the Raptors, the team Kawhi helped lead to its first NBA title this past season, saw their odds drop from 7/1 to 16/1. 

So, what does that mean for the Sixers' odds? Well, not a whole bunch, as their odds, which climbed, after the team re-signed Tobias Harris and brought in Al Horford and Josh Richardson, remained unchanged on Saturday morning at 10/1. However, Kawhi's decision certainly helps clear their path out of the East, with the Bucks (6/1) now the only Eastern Conference team with better odds than Philly after the Raptors fell behind.

But, with the rise of the Clippers, the Sixers still have the fourth-best overall odds in the entire NBA, even after losing Jimmy Butler. And that's not too shabby. 

Let's take a look at the full slate of odds for the 2019-20 NBA title, according to SportsBetting.ag:

Los Angeles Clippers - 3/1
Los Angeles Lakers - 7/2
Milwaukee Bucks - 6/1
Philadelphia 76ers - 10/1
Houston Rockets - 12/1
Golden State Warriors - 14/1
Toronto Raptors - 16/1
Utah Jazz - 16/1
Boston Celtics - 20/1
Denver Nuggets - 20/1
Brooklyn Nets - 22/1
Portland Trailblazers - 33/1
Indiana Pacers - 40/1
Oklahoma City Thunder - 50/1
Dallas Mavericks - 50/1
New Orleans Pelicans - 66/1
San Antonio Spurs - 66/1
Miami Heat - 80/1
Sacramento Kings - 100/1
Orlando Magic - 100/1
New York Knicks - 150/1
Washington Wizards - 150/1
Minnesota Timberwolves - 150/1
Atlanta Hawks - 150/1
Memphis Grizzlies - 150/1
Detroit Pistons - 200/1
Chicago Bulls - 250/1
Charlotte Hornets - 250/1
Phoenix Suns - 250/1
Cleveland Cavaliers - 250/1

Over at Westgate Superbook, the Sixers still have the fourth-best odds, but the they're slightly better odds — and the second and third teams are in a different order. The biggest differences come further down the board, where, for example, the Raptors are a whopping 80/1, five times worse than the odds listed above. 

How this all plays out once games start being played remains to be seen, and it would be foolish to crown an NBA champion in early July, less than a month after the last NBA season came to an end. But, at least for now, the Sixers have to like where they are positioned among the NBA powers heading into next season.


MORE: Sixers 2019-20 roster, salary cap breakdown


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