LeBron James announced on Friday he was returning to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. It did not take long for odds makers to make adjustments on the NBA futures placing the Cavaliers at or near the top depending upon what bookmaker you looked at.
Online odds makers Bovada and sportsbook.com quickly reacted by changing the odds for Cleveland to 3 to 1, giving the Cavaliers the shortest price of all futures for the NBA championship.
When topbet and betonline first opened the NBA Futures only hours after the San Antonio Spurs had won the NBA title, the Cavaliers opened at 30 to 1.
When rumors started that James could possibly return to Cleveland, the Cavaliers started this week at 12 to 1, but late in the week it was 6 to 1 and ultimately lowered on Friday afternoon to 3 to 1.
As high as the Cavs rose, the Miami Heat cooled off and plummeted. Miami was adjusted to 100 to 1 on the announcement, while books had both the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 4 to 1.
After a short while, a number of books moved Cleveland to 4 to 1 with the Spurs. The books also adjusted Oklahoma City to 9 to 2.
The books received a great deal of action on Cleveland when the club was at 30 to 1 as well as when it drifted down to 12 to 1.
Some sites left San Antonio and Oklahoma City at 4 to 1, where they were prior to the announcement. They made Cleveland just 9 to 2.
The Heat has very little chance of winning the title without James in the lineup. It does look as though they will re-sign Chris Bosh which would likely help keep them where they are now on the futures chart.
One sports casino did not offer any futures on the NBA for the 2014-15 season just because of the doubt on where James would play.
The casino preferred not to become exposed while the basketball world waited to find out where the sport’s best player would end up playing.
A number of bookmakers have Cleveland close to even money to win the NBA Eastern Conference. However, others are remaining cautious to see where Carmelo Anthony ends up playing and if Kevin Love is traded.
The Chicago Bulls number could get shorter if they are able to sign Pau Gasol and or Carmelo Anthony to free agent contracts.
James had seven very successful seasons with Cleveland and the likelihood of the Cavaliers going deep into the postseason in 2014-15 is very high.
In his first time in Cleveland, he was immature and finding his way in the NBA. Now, James is a two-time NBA champion and looks to add to that back home in Cleveland.