Las Vegas sportsbooks were scrambling early this week to revise their odds and futures on both the NBA Playoffs and upcoming NFL regular season after two of the most valuable players to their respective franchises endured outcomes that will temporarily prevent them from playing.
On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan ruled 2-1 that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted appropriately in handing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a four-game suspension for his role in “Deflategate.”
The NFL accused Brady of knowingly being involved with the specific air pressure of footballs used during a playoff game in January of 2015. According to their allegations, Brady and Patriots equipment personnel deflated certain footballs to make it easier to grip in the cold weather.
Moving to basketball, on Monday night reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry announced he would miss at least the next two weeks after a MRI revealed a Grade 1 sprain in his right knee. With the Golden State Warriors currently in the midst of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets, the defending champs look to finish off their series 3-1 lead on Wednesday without their superstar.
Air out of Pats’ Sails
Last week, the Patriots were favored to win Super Bowl LI. Following the federal appeals court ruling this week, New England is still a frontrunner, but a frontrunner that comes with a bit of added risk.
The books in Nevada and Las Vegas have made slight adjustments to the Pats’ 2016-2017 outlook, with Bovada listing their win total through the first four games without Brady at 1.5. Previously favored in all four matchups, losing Brady has moved books to believe New England will likely go 1-3 or 2-2 to begin their season.
Of course, the season consists of 16 games, so Brady will be back for the remaining 75 percent. And betting against the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t been a historically intelligent bet over the last decade, which is why the oddsmakers aren’t moving the Pats far from the top.
Per OddsShark.com and VegasInsider.com, the consensus in Nevada is that the Patriots are still the team to beat.
Ultimate Hurt Warrior
After winning a record 73 games during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors seemed destined to repeat as NBA champs. They were the heavy favorite all year with only the San Antonio Spurs thought to be a serious threat in the Western Conference.
That all changed Sunday when Curry exited the game in the first half with a bum knee on top of the same ankle that earlier sidelined him.
Last week, the Warriors were a -125 favorite to win the NBA title according to the Westgate SuperBook. Today, the Westgate has the Spurs with the best odds to win the NBA Finals.
The Spurs are at odds of 3-2, followed closely by the Warriors at 9-4 and the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Eastern Conference at 3-1. Fortunately for Golden State fans, Curry should be back in time for the Western Conference Finals should they be able to overcome the Los Angeles Clippers or Portland Trailblazers in the semis.