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Do Rockets or Warriors Now Present Better Value as Championship Bet After Cousins’ Injury

DeMarcus Cousins with basketball
Oft-injured Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus (Boogie) Cousins is out again with a torn ACL. How will this impact the Lakers' NBA title odds? Which Western Conference team should see their odds lowered - the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets? Photo from @LakersNation (Twitter).
  • Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus (Boogie) Cousins has suffered a torn ACL
  • Which NBA Western Conference team should jump ahead of the Lakers in the NBA finals odds?
  • Do the Houston Rockets (+800) or Golden State Warriors (+1000) warrant consideration?

If you’re a fan of the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors, the latest DeMarcus Cousins injury may leave you smiling.

Perhaps smiling is too strong an emotion. No one cheers a player injury – well, except for a few Toronto Raptor fans when Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals.

Regardless, what happened to Cousins, who has reportedly suffered a torn ACL in an offseason workout, is bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers. But is it also good news for some other NBA Western Conference contenders, including the Rockets and Warriors?

2019-20 NBA Finals Odds

Team Odds at Bovada
Los Angeles Lakers +300
Los Angeles Clippers +325
Milwaukee Bucks +550
Houston Rockets +800
Philadelphia 76ers +800
Golden State Warriors +1000

*Odds taken on 08/15/19. Check Bovada for the complete list.

Cousins was also injured while playing for the Warriors during last season’s NBA playoffs.

Breakdown Of Boogie Cousins Breakdowns

A four-time NBA All-Star, Cousins sure can play when he’s healthy. It’s just that he’s so rarely healthy, especially of late. He was limited to 78 combined games over the past two seasons.

The list of ailments suffered by Cousins are many. Since 2015, he’s injured both Achilles tendons, both ankles, his back and torn his left quadriceps.

Counting on such an uncertain presence, the heavily-favored Lakers always figured to be a bad bet as far as an NBA title wager was concerned. They gave off the impression of holding a strong hand, when in reality it was nothing more than a house of cards.

The question now is which team behind them benefits the most from this turn of misfortune?

A Case For The Warriors

With or without Cousins in Laker colours, it was going to be hard to see Golden State getting to a sixth straight NBA Finals, let alone winning it for the fourth time in six seasons.

They had Cousins a year ago and couldn’t win with him. He left town, and so did small forward Kevin Durant and super sub Andre Iguodala. Guard Klay Thompson (torn ACL) isn’t likely to play until well into the New Year.

The Warriors of today are reminiscent of the New York Islanders of the mid-1980s – a proud former dynasty that will still play solidly but is no longer a realistic contender to win it all.

A Case For The Rockets

Could Houston’s recent legacy of failure prove to be a motivator for this year’s club? After last season’s second-round exit at the hands of the injury-riddled Warriors, it was easy to write the Rockets off as just another talented team that can’t put it together when it matters most.

In Russell Westbrook, they added the 2016-17 NBA MVP and a second past NBA scoring champion to a lineup that already includes two-time scoring champ and 2017-18 MVP James Harden.

Yet all the hype when it comes to Western Conference’s dynamic duos goes to the newly formed Laker tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the Clippers new pair of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

This could prove the perfect storm for the Rockets. Expectations have been removed from their shoulders. They can lay in the weeds and quietly go about their business.

At +800, the Rockets are a good bet to win it all. The Cousins injury doesn’t make them a better bet than the Lakers or Warriors, though.

Houston was always the best bet among that trio.

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