Bucks' NBA Championship odds improve despite quiet trade deadline
The fun and fervor of the NBA trade deadline is now in the rearview mirror.
There were some blockbuster moves, and several teams positioned themselves for either a lengthy playoff run or a potentially painful rebuild.
In the aftermath, the Milwaukee Bucks are now the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Championship.
Odds to win the NBA Championship
|Team||NBA Championship Odds|
Bucks outright odds shift despite quiet trade deadline
The Bucks didn’t make any moves at the NBA trade deadline, but they also didn't have to.
Milwaukee has the best record in the NBA right now, and it leads the red-hot Toronto Raptors by seven games in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee’s outright odds were +300 prior to the deadline, and they have shifted down to +260 as of Friday morning at BetAmerica.
The reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has been on a tear lately, scoring 30 or more points in each of the last five games, and ultimately positioning himself for another MVP nod.
The Bucks continue to roll with the league’s best offense. Of course, none of this will matter much if they don’t win the East. After all, they were favored to win the East last year too before imploding in the playoffs.
Battle of Hollywood: Clippers, Lakers have second-best odds
The Clippers were busy at the deadline, landing Marcus Morris from the Knicks and Isaiah Thomas from the Wizards.
Their outright odds shifted following the deadline, from +320 to +300 at BetAmerica. They’ve won nine of their last 11 games following a string of inconsistent performances leading into the Christmas break. Their recent run of play includes a solid 17-point victory over a very good Miami Heat team on Wednesday, the night before the deadline.
The Lakers’ outright odds, meanwhile, moved from +280 to +300 at BetAmerica after a quiet deadline for LeBron James and Co.
They were favored at home against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, but came away with a 10-point loss. They’ve taken care of business against teams that are below the .500 mark, but they’re only 14-10 against teams with a winning record.
You can't count out the Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are enjoying a 12-game winning streak. They have emerged from their go-around with the injury bug, and are now second in the Eastern Conference.
Like the Bucks, the Raptors didn’t do much at the deadline. That's quite a departure from last year, when they made a number of moves which were key to winning the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.
They don’t have Kawhi Leonard. And when Leonard left for Los Angeles in the summer, a number of pundits wrote off the Raptors for 2019-20.
Maybe – maybe – they could make the playoffs. But championship contenders? C’mon…
The Raptors have outright odds of +2500 at BetAmerica, eighth on the board despite their win streak. They were underdogs in the Eastern Conference Final a year ago and went on to upset the Bucks and then the Golden State Warriors for the championship.
It would be against the odds to go on another magical run this year, especially with no Kawhi. But Kyle Lowry is playing some of the best basketball of his career and Pascal Siakam is becoming a dominant force.
It would be foolish to count them out at this juncture of the season.