The Battle for Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Clippers got very interesting when the Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over the weekend. Who will eventually prevail in this war remains to be seen, but one big winner is basketball fans in Southern California.
Oddsmakers believe the Clippers have the upper hand. When the team signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over the weekend, they became the favorites to win the NBA Title. The team is now 3/1 to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
There was some major movement after Leonard agreed to play for the Clippers. When the odds opened in the beginning of June the team was pegged at 16/1 to win. Two weeks later they jumped up to 7/1 on rumors that Leonard was considering returning to his hometown.
Toronto remained the favorite, however. Bovada had him at -125 to resign with the Raptors and defend their NBA Championship. The Clippers and Lakers were next at +190.
It was rumored that Leonard told the Clippers if they got George on the team, he would sign with them. When the team traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, as well as four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps for the All Star, Leonard agreed to come to the Clippers.
Lakers Make Moves
The Lakers struck first by signing Anthony Davis to join LeBron James, and were trying to woo Leonard to make the team a power trio. When that didn’t happen, the organization didn’t waste any time reloading.
They wanted depth, and they got it. The Lakers signed Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, JaVale McGee, Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo.
The starting five will probably be Rondo and Green at guards, James and Davis at forward, and Cousins at center.
Los Angeles Basketball Epicenter
After both LA teams struggling for dominance, the recent additions make them relevant once again. Former Laker Magic Johnson posted on Twitter that LA is now the Mecca of basketball.
“LA has just become the king of basketball with the Lakers adding AD, Cousins, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and KCP and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the Clippers. It’s going to be awesome to watch NBA basketball in LA this season!” Johnson tweeted.
While the Clippers won the Leonard Lottery, they still are No. 2 with bettors.
William Hill reported that for NBA title bets the Lakers were first with 21 percent of the tickets bet, and No. 1 in total dollars wagered. The Clippers were sixth at 6 percent of total tickets, and seventh in total dollars wagered.
Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports book operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook reported that there was little interest in the Clippers as well, saying only a couple of small bets had been placed on the team.
The teams will play each other four times, and oddsmakers at SportsbettingDime has them splitting the season series as the favorite at +110. The Clippers winning is at +150, and the Lakers at +225. The team split the series last year.
BetOnline believe one of those meetings will be on Christmas Day. They have the odds for a game on December 25 at -250 for yes, and +170 for no.