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How Did LeBron James Going To The Cavs Affect the Betting Odds?

On July 11th, 2014 to quite the surprise, LeBron James announced that he was going to be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Of course, this has had a lot of diverse and drastic changes to the NBA Betting Odds for the 2014 season.

First of all, let’s look at the betting odds of LeBron actually GOING to the Cavs.

As soon as it was announced that LeBron would be a free agent and shopping around, the online sportsbook

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was right on top of it, offering up betting odds on who Lebron James would play for in the NBA 2014/2015 season.

The betting odds on who LeBron would play for were:

  1. Miami Heat: -300
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers: +350
  3. Chicago Bulls: +650
  4. Houston Rockets: +650
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: +1500

So the Miami Heat were heavy favourites to get LeBron James back. -300 means you would be betting $100 to profit $33.33 and would have of course, lost that $100.

If you bet $100 on LeBron James going to the Cavaliers at +350 odds then you would have picked up a healthy $350.

So that was the odds on LeBron James GOING to a team – and I should note the exact wording of the bet is “who will he play the first game of the season for”.

But how did it affect the NBA Championship odds? Let’s again check with

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NBA Odds Before LeBron James Cavaliers Return:

Miami Heat 3/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 6/1
San Antonio Spurs 6/1
Los Angeles Clippers 9/1
Chicago Bulls 12/1
Indiana Pacers 12/1
Houston Rockets 16/1
Golden State Warriors 25/1
Portland Trailblazers 25/1
Brooklyn Nets 28/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 33/1
Dallas Mavericks 33/1
Memphis Grizzlies 33/1
Washington Wizards 33/1
Los Angeles Lakers 40/1
New York Knicks 40/1
Toronto Raptors 40/1
Boston Celtics 50/1
Denver Nuggets 50/1
Detroit Pistons 50/1
New Orleans Pelicans 50/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 66/1
Atlanta Hawks 75/1
Charlotte Hornets 75/1
Phoenix Suns 75/1
Orlando Magic 150/1
Sacramento Kings 150/1
Utah Jazz 150/1
Milwaukee Bucks 200/1
Philadelphia 76ers 200/1

NBA Odds After LeBron James Cavaliers Return:

Cleveland Cavaliers 4/1
San Antonio Spurs 5/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 6/1
Chicago Bulls 7/1
Houston Rockets 8/1
Los Angeles Clippers 10/1
Indiana Pacers 18/1
Golden State Warriors 25/1
Portland Trailblazers 25/1
Dallas Mavericks 33/1
Los Angeles Lakers 33/1
Washington Wizards 33/1
Brooklyn Nets 40/1
New York Knicks 40/1
Toronto Raptors 40/1
Memphis Grizzlies 50/1
Miami Heat 50/1
New Orleans Pelicans 50/1
Denver Nuggets 66/1
Phoenix Suns 66/1
Atlanta Hawks 75/1
Boston Celtics 75/1
Charlotte Hornets 75/1
Detroit Pistons 100/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 100/1
Milwaukee Bucks 200/1
Orlando Magic 200/1
Philadelphia 76ers 200/1
Sacramento Kings 200/1
Utah Jazz 200/1

The Lebron To Cavs Impact:

LeBron James going to the Cleveland Cavaliers caused one of the biggest betting odds changes in history. They went from 33/1 dogs, most likely not expected to make the playoffs, to 4/1 favourites all because of one player.

The Miami Heat meanwhile, went from the favourites to win the Championship at the heavy odds of 3/1, to not expected to make the playoffs or even contend next season. With Chris Bosh also looking like he will leave the Heat, the bookies are already expecting that and have taken that into account with those 50/1 odds.

Gotta wonder how long until we get the ability to bet on the Heat matching the Cavaliers record losing streak!

A recent similar odds change of this magnitude was for last years NFL Season, when Peyton Manning chose the Denver Broncos. They went from 75-1 to win the Superbowl, to just 10-1 within minutes of his arrival, and those odds got shorter and shorter as time went on.

Additional LeBron James Betting Props:

Over at

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you can currently bet on the following:

  • Lebron James Average PPG: Over/Under 27.5
  • LeBron James Average RPG: Over/Under 7.5
  • LeBron James Average APG: Over/Under 7
  • Will LeBron win the MVP? Yes 3/2 No 1/2

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