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How NBA Trade Deadline Moves Impacted Betting Markets

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 10 mins

How NBA Trade Deadline Moves Impacted Betting Markets

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The NBA trade deadline is always wild, but we’ve never seen anything at the top quite like this.

Beginning with the James Harden-for-Ben Simmons swap all the way down to the Bucks quietly adding some frontcourt depth, here’s a look at all the headlines from a wild trade deadline week in the Association.

Harden For Simmons headlines NBA trade deadline

It’s arguably the most significant deadline trade in NBA history. James Harden, a 10-time All-Star in the prime of his career, for a 25-year-old All-NBA defender and three-time All-Star in Ben Simmons.

The trade also featured a pair of inter-conference contenders—Brooklyn is struggling but is still the NBA betting title favorite, while the Sixers are within reach of the East’s top seed behind MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid (+200 to win the MVP award).

It simply doesn’t get any bigger than this swap. On the surface, the Sixers improve the most. Harden takes a lot of heat for his postseason shortcomings and defensive struggles, but when committed and focused he’s still a top-3 offensive player in the NBA.

That matters in the playoffs, and Embiid can cover up plenty of defensive weaknesses. They’re going to be a trendy pick to win the NBA Finals—and for good reason. Let’s not forget that they still have Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, and a host of solid complementary pieces for Doc Rivers to utilize. Their +700 title odds on NBA futures markets will only shrink as the season goes on.

RELATED: Harden For Simmons Trade Sees Nets Title Odds Tumble, Sixers Surge

Nets & Sixers NBA Title Odds After Trade

Here are the current odds for the Nets & Sixers to win the NBA championship via DraftKings following their mega-trade.

Team Pre-Deal OddsPost-Deal Odds
Nets +300 +370
Sixers +1300 +700

Odds via DraftKings and accurate as of publication

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It's a bit cloudier for the Nets, who couldn’t risk losing Harden for nothing this summer after he became unhappy in Brooklyn. Simmons hasn’t played an NBA game in nine months and reportedly isn’t mentally ready to play. The Nets really only need him for the playoffs, but it’d help if he could return in time to get Brooklyn out of the East’s Play-In Tournament.

Kyrie Irving still isn’t allowed to play in Nets (or Knicks) home games, meaning he’s eligible for just 11 of Brooklyn’s final 28 regular season games. Kevin Durant was playing as well as anyone in the league before his knee injury, which will still keep him out a handful of weeks. Their +370 title odds are the shortest in the league, but that’s banking on a healthy KD, a vaccinated Irving and a non-rusty Simmons. It’s a lot to ask so New York sports betting fans thinking about jumping on the Nets should keep all that in mind.

Mavs ship out Kristaps Porzingis

It’s true that Kristaps Porzingis didn’t have the friendliest contract in the league, but to see a contender in Dallas dump him for a similarly awful Spencer Dinwiddie contract was baffling. The Wizards improve with a chance to get back into the Play-In Tournament in the East, while the Mavs are setting up for something longer term or hoping for a Dinwiddie revival.

Dallas is fifth in the West right now but a clear tier behind the true contenders. After this trade, there’s not much value in their long +4000 title odds.

Mavericks NBA Title Odds After Trade

Team Pre-Deal OddsPost-Deal Odds
Mavs +4000 +4000

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Celtics stay busy, acquire White and Theis

Don’t sleep on these deals. The Celtics have won six straight and 10 of 13, and are moving up quickly in a wide-open Eastern Conference. They see the opening, too, dealing for Derrick White and his 14.4 points and 5.6 assists. He’ll give Boston a ball handler and creator on the perimeter and a true third scoring option next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Boston also grabbed Daniel Theis in another deal for additional frontcourt depth. We’re just saying, the Celtics at +6000 to win the NBA Finals and +2500 to win the East aren’t the worst values on the board…

Celtics NBA Title Odds After Trades

Team Pre-Deal OddsPost-Deal Odds
Celtics +7000 +6000

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and accurate as of publication

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Tanking Blazers ship CJ McCollum to Pelicans

The Zion-less Pelicans began the season 1-12 and ended January by falling a season-worst 14 games below .500. But a hot start to February may have given the team—or at least the front office—a jolt. They pulled the trigger on acquiring C.J. McCollum and his 20.5 points per game from the Blazers in exchange for prospect Nickiel Alexander-Walker and other parts.

The deal doesn’t make the Pelicans (+100000) contenders—even if Williamson returns—but they’ve got a real shot at the Play-In Tournament with McCollum entering as Brandon Ingram’s new No. 2. That's at least something to get excited about for Louisiana sports betting fans considering a play on the Pelicans.

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Kings go all-in on postseason berth

Speaking of the Play-In Tournament, the Kings have the NBA’s longest postseason drought. The front office understood that and went all-in to fix it, acquiring All-Star center Domantas Sabonis in exchange for talented sophomore Tyrese Haliburton.

The deal gives the Kings (+100000) a shot at a top-10 seed in the West, though they had to mortgage a significant part of the future to do so. From an NBA odds (and NBA perspective), Sacramento remains irrelevant.

LeVert Heads To Cleveland

The Cavs are still long shots to win the NBA Finals (+5500), but they're one of the best stories in basketball and haven't slowed down - even after losing Collin Sexton. They added Caris LeVert at the deadline to give them another scoring option alongside Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.

We still feel they're a tier below the powerhouses in the East, but Garland's and Mobley's maturation late in the season could push them toward contention in the East.

Adding LeVert only makes that more realistic. There's some value here, especially in them to win the East (+2500).

NBA Trade Deadline Betting News & Notes

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks received some Brook Lopez insurance by acquiring veteran center Serge Ibaka as part of a four-team deal with the Clippers, Kings, and Pistons. Milwaukee’s title odds remained steady around +600 at most betting sites while the chaos around them ensued.

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors (+10000 on betting apps) have exceeded expectations all season long and so were buyers at the deadline, adding savvy veteran Thaddeus Young in exchange for Goran Dragic. They remain a third-tier East team, but Nick Nurse’s teams have surprised in the past.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets (+15000) see a wide-open East and think, “Why not us?” They added much-needed interior help in the form of Montrezl Harrell, who was enjoying a career year in Washington (14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds). For bettors, there’s nothing to see here.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.