Bookmaker's Corner: NBA Futures & LeBron James Props
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 5/19/2010
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ departure from the 2010 NBA playoffs at the hands of the Boston Celtics wasn’t the greatest news for Bodog’s online sportsbook. About the only thing we can take from Cleveland’s loss is the fact we won’t have to pay out all those bettors who bet on the Cavs’ odds to win it all, of which there were many.
Not surprisingly, we saw a bump up in interest on our LeBron James prop that asks where the superstar will be playing next year. Let’s just say there was a lot of action on teams other than Cleveland immediately after the team went down with what you could only describe as a whimper.
The Cavs are still the 1/1 favorites to retain LeBron’s services, followed by the Chicago Bulls (3/2) and New York Knicks (5/2). The New Jersey Nets (11/2) and Miami Heat (15/2) are also in the picture, but bettors don’t appear to think they’re the frontrunners in the King James sweepstakes.
I’m not afraid to say that given the popularity of LeBron with our players, we were hoping the Cavs would make it all the way to the Finals this year. Alas, it wasn’t to be and here’s to a long series between the Celtics and Orlando Magic. That’s how most bettors seem to think it will play out at least, with the action on the series’ odds fairly evenly distributed on both sides. After Boston took Game 1 in Orlando, the odds on each team to advance to the Finals were an identical -110.
As for the odds to win the 2010 NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers are now the clear-cut favorites at 5/6, followed by the Magic and Celtics, both at 3/1, and the Phoenix Suns, who are well back at 9/1.
Bodog booked a ton of action on Game 1 of the Suns-Lakers series Monday night. Both these teams have a loyal group of betting supporters and the 6 pm PST start time allowed bettors in the east to watch the game without falling asleep at work the next day.
It’s tough to say what would be our ideal Finals match-up in terms of maximizing handle. We’d probably want the Celtics to come out of the east, but either the Lakers or Suns out of the west would make for a compelling story. Lakers-Celtics is always huge, but the Suns would be one heck of a Cinderella team if they managed to knock off Kobe Bryant and company.
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