Upcoming Match-ups

Bucks & 76ers See Their 2020 NBA Championship Odds Improve as Kawhi Vacates the East

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NBA Basketball

Jul 6, 2019 · 7:41 PM PDT

Philadelphia 76ers
Both the Bucks and 76ers saw their NBA Championship Odds shortened after Kawhi Leonard signed in LA. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
  • The Bucks and 76ers have by far the shortest NBA Championship odds among teams in the East
  • Philly has made major changes to their roster this offseason, while Milwaukee lost its best guard
  • Who is the better bet to win the NBA Title?

It’s starting to look awfully sunny in Philadelphia now that Kawhi Leonard has left the East. Leonard’s departure to LA has created a major talent gap between the 76ers and Bucks and the rest of the Eastern Conference, and as a result both of their title odds have been shortened.

2020 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Clippers +300
Los Angeles Lakers +400
Milwaukee Bucks +500
Philadelphia 76ers +800
Houston Rockets +1400
Golden State Warriors +1400
Denver Nuggets +1600
Utah Jazz +1600
Boston Celtics +2000
Brooklyn Nets +2000
Toronto Raptors +2000
Indiana Pacers +3300

*Odds taken 07/06/19

Milwuakee’s average NBA Championship odds are now the third shortest on the board, but it’s Philly, who comes in at number four, that has the more compelling case to win it all.

Philly has the Best Starting Five is the East

While the rest of the NBA is getting smaller, the Sixers have doubled down on size. Their new starting five is ridiculously long and should improve what was already a top-tier defensive unit.

Al Hortford was an all-defensive team selection two seasons ago, and Josh Richardson’s ability to defend point guards will allow Ben Simmons to focus on bigger players on the defensive end.

Losing the scoring JJ Reddick and Jimmy Butler provided hurts, but Hortford and Richardson are excellent spot-up shooters. According to ESPN, the duo has made 573 catch-and-shoot threes over the last three seasons, just two less than Reddick and Butler.

The Sixers Will Be a Harder Team to Play Against

Philadelphia was a matchup nightmare for the Raptors in the postseason, and if it wasn’t for Leonard morphing into 1997 MJ in Game 7, it could have easily been the 76ers playing for the NBA title. Their length wreaked havoc on Toronto’s smaller players and it will do the same to the Bucks once they inevitably meet in next year’s Conference Final.

Players like Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Wesley Matthews and Kris Middleton will face a major size disadvantage and will have a difficult time creating their own shot against this lineup. Of course you could argue Giannis Antetkounmpo is an X-factor, but now the Sixers have not only Embiid, but Hortford protecting the rim as well.

Trust the Process

Milwaukee may have shorter NBA Championship odds than Philly now but don’t be surprised if the gap closes in the next few months. The loss of Malcolm Brogdon is a big blow and so far the Bucks haven’t done enough to replace his production. 50/40/90 guys don’t exactly grow on trees, and while Middleton is a quality player, his inconsistency is going to force Giannis to shoulder the offensive load on most nights.

The 76ers meanwhile are incredibly balanced and the addition of Horford should allow the team to scale back on Embiid’s minutes and preserve his health for a lengthy playoff run. This Philly team is going to be a problem for the opposition every night and right now their title odds are too good to pass up.

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