While the Houston Rockets' reported trade for Russell Westbrook might not dramatically shift the NBA's balance of power, it did give them a boost in the eyes of Las Vegas.
Caesar's Palace moved the Rockets from 10-to-1 (+1000) odds of winning next season's NBA championship to 7-to-1 (+700) after the deal was reported, according to Bleacher Report. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who dealt Westbrook in exchange for fellow point guard Chris Paul and a package of first-round picks, dropped to 100-to-1 (+1000) longshots.
Thunder are now 100-1 to win the title— B/R Betting (@br_betting) July 12, 2019
But the movement didn't stop there. Both teams' odds slightly worsened in the ensuing hours, with the Rockets falling to 15-to-2 (+750) and the Thunder falling to 150-to-1 (+1500). The Warriors, who were 12-to-1 (+1200) after news broke of the team agreeing to a sign-and-trade for D'Angelo Russell on June 30, were 14-to-1 favorites (+1400) as of press time.
The new odds reflect what NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole noted earlier Thursday: Westbrook to the Rockets moves the needle a bit, but not enough to make Houston favorites.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is betting otherwise. He won't be allowed to place any money on it without running afoul of NBA rules, but someone who has been so outspokenly obsessed with beating the Warriors and winning a championship probably won't mind much at all if his gamble pays off.