NBA Futures Odds Adjustment after Kevin Love Trade
by George Monroy - 8/28/2014
The Cleveland Cavaliers gave up the last two No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft for perennial all-star and one of the 10-best players in the league, Kevin Love, over the summer and instantly became the favorite to win the 2015 NBA Finals. The question of whether or not Cleveland deserves to be labeled as the favorite is yet to be seen, but in the NBA the money goes where the marquee players in the league go.
Most NBA pundits do not believe that LeBron James moving to Cleveland and attracting another big-name star to play along side him changes much in the East. There were only two contenders in that conference to begin with, the Chicago Bulls and whatever team James happened to be on. The trade does, however, impact bettors and the way they will approach the 2014 NBA season. Let's a closer look at how the Kevin Love trade impacts the rest of the NBA and the betting odds.
Impacting the Title Odds
San Antonio: +400
Oklahoma City: +600
Los Angeles (Clippers): +1100
James heading back to Cleveland and Love being traded has positioned the Cavaliers as a +320 favorite to win the 2015 NBA title. The San Antonio Spurs, who should be the true favorite, are getting +400, and the second-best team in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder, is sitting at +600.
What the Love trade has essentially done is overvalue the Cavaliers and undervalue the other contenders. Cleveland will get the most attention next season, which will sway bettors into believing that Cleveland is the title favorite. However, as any NBA expert (fan or media member) will tell you, at the moment San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Chicago all have better teams than James' squad.
Impacting the MVP Odds
LeBron James: +160
Kevin Durant: +300
Derrick Rose: +1200
Blake Griffin: +1500
Chris Paul: +1500
The Love trade has James positioned as the favorite to win his fifth MVP award at +160. Current MVP Kevin Durant is next in line at +300, and former MVP Derrick Rose is in a distant third at +1200. Again, expecting Cleveland to be a powerhouse and making James the MVP favorite is overvaluing one player and adding extra betting value to the other top candidates.
Sure, James returning to Cleveland and leading his hometown team to 60 wins and a No. 1 seed would be a great story for his MVP candidacy. However, the dirty little secret is that he will not be forced to carry this Cleveland squad the way he did in Miami. James will be looking to rest his weary legs during a long grind of a season. The two-time NBA champion is on the backend of his career and wants to preserve his prime for as long as possible.
For a player that will be entering his 12th year in the league, letting the young guys do more of the work, while resting and protecting his body, might be more important than adding stats to an already ridiculous resume. Durant will average 32 points and carry the Thunder to 60-plus wins next season. James, on the other hand, might settle for a No. 2 seed and a little more rest throughout the year.
Conclusion : the Love trade makes Cleveland and James overvalued in the NBA title and MVP futures odds. A bettor might take a wait-and-see approach or even wait until the middle of the season before placing a bet on either category.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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