As the world awaits LeBron James' decision on where he is taking his talents next season, the betting markets have already been moving.
Specifically, the NBA title odds market has already seen huge shifts in prices due to potential LeBron destinations. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, opened at 20-1 (already an extremely rich price for a team that went 35-47 last year) simply because it is one of the teams James may choose. The Lakers are currently 8-1 to win the 2018-19 NBA title.
With the market seemingly down to a handful of teams, ESPN spoke to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook oddsmaker and director of race and sports John Murray about how LeBron's choice will impact the 2018-19 NBA title futures market.
All odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Los Angeles Lakers (current odds: 8-1)
Odds if LeBron doesn't go: 100-1
Biggest bets so far: $4,500 at 12-1, $1,200 at 20-1
Murray: "I think Los Angeles is where he will go. We're at 8-1 right now after taking a $4,500 bet at 12-1 the other day. To me, [Paul] George is a decent player, but he doesn't shake up the futures market. It's important to note that we don't think they'd have much of a shot against Golden State. We'd be at that number because we had such a high liability.
"I'd move them ahead of Houston if Kawhi went there, as they'd have two of the best five players in the NBA. It could be a clumsy fit because they play similar positions, but they'd be a contender for sure."
Cleveland Cavaliers (12-1)
Odds if LeBron stays: 10-1
Odds if LeBron leaves: 500-1
Biggest bets so far: $2,000 at 50-1, $1,000 at 50-1
Murray: "We took another bet on [the Cavaliers] on Monday, so we'd probably stay in the neighborhood of 10-1 or 12-1 if he stayed. Their win total would be in the low-to-mid 50s, but if James left it would be in the high 20s. I don't see how he plays all 82 regular-season games again."
Philadelphia 76ers (14-1)
Odds if LeBron goes: +250
Odds if LeBron doesn't go: 14-1
Biggest bet so far: $200 at 5-1 (no bets at 14-1)
Murray: "If all James cares about is winning, I think this is his best move. However, it doesn't look like he's going to go there, and there hasn't been much betting support on Philadelphia so far. If LeBron went there, and they added a veteran or two, they'd be the clear favorite in the East. If they managed to add Kawhi as well, they'd be neck and neck with Golden State. We love their young talent."
Houston Rockets (+450)
Odds if LeBron goes: +140
Odds if LeBron doesn't go: 4-1
Biggest bet so far: $500 at +350
Murray: "This is a team that almost beat Golden State this past season. I think Houston would probably be the favorite if LeBron went there due to the market and all the money they would attract. This is assuming they kept Chris Paul and Clint Capela as well."
Golden State Warriors (EVEN)
Odds if LeBron goes: -500
Odds if LeBron doesn't go: EVEN
Biggest bets so far: $10,000 at +120; $10,000 at +110
Murray: "Once [Westgate oddsmaker] Ed Salmons stopped laughing at me, he said -500 if LeBron went there. I don't think they'd cancel the NBA season, but they might as well."