Jimmy Butler Reportedly Being Traded to 76ers Fuels Updated NBA Title OddsNovember 10, 2018
The 2018-19 NBA championship odds shifted on Saturday thanks to an apparent resolution to the ongoing Jimmy Butler trade saga.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Butler and Justin Patton will be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves will receive Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round draft pick.
As a result of this reported blockbuster, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has moved the 76ers from 30-1 to 16-1 to win the NBA Finals.
Expectations were high in Philadelphia to start this season following a 52-win campaign in 2017-18. While the 76ers are strong on defense—ranked 10th in the NBA in efficiency—their scoring has been inconsistent.
They rank 21st in offensive efficiency, and there's little indication Markelle Fultz has fixed his shot with a 39.5 field-goal percentage. Butler gives the 76ers a dominant all-around talent who is averaging 21.3 points per game and has a track record of playing at an elite level.
The Toronto Raptors appear to have made significant strides thanks to the addition of Kawhi Leonard. Their 11-1 record is the best in the NBA, one game ahead of that of the Golden State Warriors.
There are also teams that were expected to be powerhouse contenders who have started slowly. The Houston Rockets, who were connected to Butler last month, are lying in the weeds at 4-6.
Per Gilles Gallant of OddsShark, the Warriors are still title favorites at -155. The Raptors and Boston Celtics (+800) are tied for second, followed by the Rockets (+1200).
The Milwaukee Bucks have been the big winners of the early season. Thanks to a 9-2 start under head coach Mike Budenholzer, their odds currently sit at +1600 after being +3500 on Oct. 31.
The Warriors, by virtue of the talent on their roster and winning three titles in the past four seasons, will likely be the odds-on-favorite until they are eliminated from the playoffs.
Assuming the blockbuster trade goes down, Butler's presence alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would give the 76ers an incredible trio of talent and make them a formidable challenge to any of the top challengers in the Eastern Conference.