The NBA playoffs officially got underway on Saturday, and this year’s postseason has one of the most wide open fields in recent memory.
This is especially true in the Western Conference, where the lower seeds are considered to have just a good a chance of advancing as those at the top. Some of them are even favored in their first round series.
Kings And Lakers Are Huge Liabilities For Sports Books
One bettor at @CaesarsSports made two giant futures wagers on the Sacramento Kings to win the 2022-23 NBA title this summer:
$10,000 at 750-1 odds
$8,000 at 350-1 odds
Bets would win a combined $10.3 MILLION.
Kings start their playoff push to cashing those tickets today
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) April 15, 2023
For the oddsmakers and the sports books, there are a couple of teams out West that are a huge liability should they win the NBA Championship.
The first is the Sacramento Kings. The “Beam Team” enjoyed the biggest turnaround of any team in the league this season, improving their win total by 18 games from the year prior. They have already defied massive odds in winning the Pacific Division, overcoming a 250-1 listing to begin the season.
But the biggest liability comes from one particular unnamed bettor in Nevada. Last July, the subject walked into the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas and placed a couple of hefty wagers on Kings future bets.
Sacramento had just finished 2021-22 with 30 wins, their 16th losing season in a row, and there wasn’t a lot of promise of a quick turnaround into title contenders. But the bettor put a $10,000 bet on the Kings to win the NBA Championship, and nabbed them at 750-1 odds. The same person later put down $8,000 on the same bet, but with odds down to 350-1.
Books wouldn't mind a Lakers' first round upset but they don't want LA going too far pic.twitter.com/jEHBD2FmkY
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 16, 2023
Lakers Are The True Threat For The Oddsmakers
9 months ago, it felt absurd that anyone would waste $18,000 on a futures bet for the Sacramento Kings. But the sports books are now worried that they’ll have to pay out $10.3 million should the team do what was thought to be impossible.
The Kings have a long way to go, and it is the Lakers that actually present the biggest liability to the sports books. Los Angeles started off the season with a 2-10 record, as their odds of winning the NBA Championship dropped all the way down to 125-1 at one point in November.
There were plenty of people who took advantage of that extended line, and are now sitting in a great position to cash in. The Lakers were one of the hottest teams down the stretch of the regular season, and are one of the hot picks by experts to make it all the way to the Finals. Their current odds currently sit at +1600, or 16-1.
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