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Milwaukee Bucks Title Odds Improve to +390 After Lillard Trade

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in NBA Basketball

Updated Sep 27, 2023 · 1:22 PM PDT

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in a hoodie
Mar 31, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) watches players warm up prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
  • Damian Lillard has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks
  • The move improved Milwaukee’s title odds to +390, best in the league
  • Below, see the updated NBA champions odds for all 30 teams after the Lillard-to-Milwaukee deal

The NBA’s balance of power has been upset just weeks before the 2023-24 regular season is scheduled to begin. On Wednesday afternoon, the already-stacked Milwaukee Bucks traded for star point guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers

2024 NBA Championship Favorites

Team Moneyline
Milwaukee Bucks +390
Denver Nuggets +475
Boston Celtics +500
Phoenix Suns +600
Los Angeles Lakers +1200
Golden State Warriors +1300
Philadelphia 76ers +1500
Los Angeles Clippers +1800
Dallas Mavericks +2200
Miami Heat +2800
Memphis Grizzlies +2800
Cleveland Cavaliers +3000
New York Knicks +5000
New Orleans Pelicans +5000
Sacramento Kings +5500
Brooklyn Nets +7000
Minnesota Timberwolves +7500
Atlanta Hawks +7500
OKC Thunder +8000
Toronto Raptors +8000
Chicago Bulls +17000
San Antonio Spurs +20000
Utah Jazz +25000
Portland Trail Blazers +25000
Orlando Magic +30000
Indiana Pacers +30000
Houston Rockets +40000
Charlotte Hornets +50000
Detroit Pistons +60000
Washington Wizards +100000

The Bucks are now +390 favorites in the NBA Championship odds, with the reigning-champion Denver Nuggets dropping to second at +475. The Boston Celtics reaming the third-favorite, but fell from +500 to +600 with the Eastern Conference now looking all the tougher.


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Odds as of Sep. 27, 2023, at DraftKings Sportsbook. Claim a DraftKings promo code to bet on the NBA futures and check out DraftKings Kentucky if you reside in KY.

Lillard Gives Giannis Legit Backcourt Superstar

The deal for Lillard fills the most-obvious hole on the Milwaukee roster. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez dominating the frontcourt, and oft-injured Khris Middleton laboring in the backcourt, Lillard represents a perfect fit for the star-studded Bucks.

Oddsmakers agree. Milwaukee had been a +460 second-favorite to the reigning-champion Nuggets. Their move to +390 represents an increase in their implied win probability from 17.86% to 20.41%. It might not seem like a huge jump on paper, but it is. Indeed, it boosts their implied win probability 14.3% from where it stood before the trade.

The full deal involved three teams, including the Phoenix Suns. The Blazers obtained a solid return for Lillard, getting Jrue Holiday from the Bucks plus Deandre Ayton and rookie Toumani Camara from the Suns, along with Milwaukee’s 2029 first-round pick and pick-swap rights in both 2028 and 2030.

The deal makes a ton of sense for Milwaukee’s win-now mentality. Holiday, who had been running the point, would have been redundant with Lillard on the roster, while retaining their picks for the next six drafts ensures they won’t age too quickly.

Lillard’s Health Less Than Ideal, But Production as High as Ever

Lillard only managed to play 58 games for the also-ran Blazers this past season. He was shutdown in March due to “calf tightness”.  But it’s unclear how much of that was to protect him as a trade asset.

His production last season was the best it’s ever been. He averaged a career-high 32.2 PPG along with 7.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and nearly one steal per game. The seven-time NBA All-Star and former All-NBA First Team selection just turned 33 in the summer and has two years left on his current contract. He carries a cap hit of $45.64 million this year and $48.79 next year.

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