The NBA free agency window opened last night, but it also wasn’t the biggest news of the day in the league. Kevin Durant kicked off the madness by requesting business from Brooklyn earlier in the day. Phoenix emerged as a favorite destination for Sun Durant, and as a result, the Suns became the new favorite to win the NBA title in 2023.
Earlier in the week, we saw the news of John Wall joining the Clippers causing waves in the betting market. Atlanta also made an impact by acquiring DeJonte Murray from San Antonio. As reports and rumors fly by, the betting market for NBA Futures is changing within minutes.
Obviously, the biggest domino to fall will be the position of Kevin Durant. Durant is one of the best players in the league and any team that gets him will be an instant contender. As mentioned above, the Sun seems like a pretty likely destination. As a result, they went from 10-to-1 to +550 to win the NBA title, overtaking Golden State as the favorites to win the title.
The Miami Heat is also reportedly on Durant’s wish list, and bookies are betting there as well. Miami has gone from 14 to 1 to +900 for winning an NBA title in the last 24 hours.
Kyrie Irving’s condition is also worth keeping an eye on. If Brooklyn moves on from Durant, it’s possible that they move Irving as well. The Los Angeles Lakers and Irving have been linked in the early part of the off-season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kyrie reuniting with LeBron James in LA. The Lakers opened 22-to-1 to win the NBA title, went down 14-to-1, and now with Irving’s position regaining steam, their odds have changed again. The Lakers are now just 11-to-1 to win the NBA title.
With Durant and Irving imminent, it’s no shock that the Brooklyn Nets’ chances have waned. The Nets opened the offseason at +700 to win the NBA title, the third-best odds in the league. Currently, they are down to 30 to 1 winning it all, and once the trades are official, those odds will likely drop even further.
One team from New York is dropping, while the other team from New York is going up. The New York Knicks signed Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Harttenstein on their first day of free agency, and their odds have improved dramatically. New York opened 300-to-1 to win the NBA title, but those odds are currently 100-to-1. The Knicks are still definitely huge long shots, but at least they’re getting some respect. With Brunson joining RJ Barrett and Julius Randall, the Knicks should be back in the mix for a play-in spot in the East this coming season.
MLB Weekend Action Begins
While the NBA free agency is giving us a lot of drama, the only major sport actually playing the game right now is MLB. It’s a Friday, so we have a 15-game slate on tap to start the weekend.
The most interesting weekend series probably include the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. The Padres entered the series opener on Thursday just 1.5-game ahead of Los Angeles for first place in the NL West. However, the Dodgers won 3-1 on Thursday as -130 favorites. The Dodgers are the -175 favorite on Friday night, as Tony Gonsolin takes the mound against Blake Snell. Gonsolin has a 1.68 ERA and has yet to be hit with a loss, while Snell has a 5.60 ERA and is looking to take his first win.
Each team in the AL East outside Baltimore has at least five games under .500, but they are all first-placed New York Yankees by at least 12.5 games. The Toronto Blue Jays host the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend, with the Jays setting up Friday as the -150 favorite with Jose Berrios on the mound. The Boston Red Sox are -140 street favorites against the Cubs in a matinee affair. The Yankees are massive -225 road favorites against the Cleveland Guardians as they take on Gerrit Cole.
JT Poston Leads John Deere Classic
JT Poston shot 9-under 62 on Thursday in the first round of the John Deere Classic to lead a two-stroke lead into Friday’s second round. Poston is currently the +300 favorite to win the tournament.
The betting favorite before the tournament was Webb Simpson at 14-to-1. He also finished the first day and is in a state of not making the cut. Simpson is currently 66-to-1 to win the tournament.
Wimbledon and the UFC for Your Weekend
The third round of Wimbledon is underway, and tennis will continue over the course of next week-plus. The women’s final is next Saturday, while the men’s final will conclude next Sunday. Novak Djokovic is the -200 favorite on the men’s side, while Inga Swietec is the +150 favorite on the women’s side to win it all.
UFC 276 will take place in Las Vegas on Saturday. Israel Adesaniya is the -500 favorite in the main event against Jared Cannonnier.