July 15, 2024

Betting buzz – Team USA basketball big favorites at Olympics


Everything that happens in sports has some additional context when viewed from a sports betting perspective. From season-changing injuries to record-setting moments and so much more, the sports news cycle will constantly and significantly affect the sports betting industry.

Our betting buzz file, with contributions from David Purdum, Doug Greenberg and others, aims to provide fans with a look at the sports betting stories that are driving the conversation.

Key links: Sports betting home | NBA odds page | NHL odds page

July 10: U.S. men, women commanding favorites for Paris Olympics

David Purdum: The United States men’s and women’s basketball teams are commanding odds-on favorites to win gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The U.S. men are -550 to win at ESPN BET, while the U.S. women are even stronger favorites at -1,500.

The U.S. men have won four consecutive Olympic tournaments and head to Paris as bigger favorites than they were in 2021, when they marched through the field to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics, going 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 27.9 points per game. The U.S was around a -350 favorite in 2021. The U.S. has claimed 16 gold medals in men’s basketball overall while all other countries have combined to win four.

Canada has the second-shortest odds to win gold at 11-1, followed by Victor Wembanyama and France at 15-1.

The U.S. men open Olympic play July 28 as consensus 12.5-point favorites over Serbia.

The U.S. women are seeking an eighth-straight gold medal, which would set an Olympic record for most consecutive gold medals for a country in a team sport.

Oddsmakers aren’t expecting the U.S. women’s basketball team to face much competition. No team outside of the U.S. has shorter than 20-1 odds to win gold at ESPN BET. Belgium has the second-shortest odds at 20-1, followed by Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan and Spain, which are each listed at 28-1.

The U.S. women open play July 29 against Japan and are 16.5-point favorites.

July 9: WSOP main event sets attendance record, prize pool tops $94M

Doug Greenberg: For the second year in a row, the World Series of Poker main event has set new high bars.

The 55th iteration of the WSOP main event, a $10,000 buy-in freezeout held in Las Vegas, registered 10,112 entrants to create a total prize pool of $94,041,600, breaking the previous records of 10,043 players and $93,399,900 set last year, according to Caesars Entertainment, which hosts the annual tournament series.

This year’s event also set a new single-day registration record by welcoming 5,014 entrants on July 6. Players were able to register through July 8 with late registration remaining open until then.

“10,000 entrants has become the new magic number for the WSOP main event,” Executive Director of World Series of Poker Ty Stewart said in a statement. “The response has been overwhelming since our move to the Las Vegas Strip.”

Although the overall pot is bigger, 2024’s winner will take home a smaller share of the prize pool at $10 million; last year’s champion, Atlanta’s Daniel Weinman collected $12.1 million for winning. Every player at this year’s final table will win at least $1 million and the minimum payout (1,517th place) will earn $15,000.

Final table payouts:

1st: $10,000,000
2nd: $6,000,000
3rd: $4,000,000
4th: $3,000,000
5th: $2,500,000
6th: $2,000,000
7th: $1,500,000
8th: $1,250,000
9th: $1,000,000

July 8: Caitlin Clark effect: Fever games draw three times more bets than WNBA average

David Purdum: WNBA games involving Caitlin Clark attracted approximately three times more bets than games without her in May, according to recently released results of an analysis by marketing firm Optimove.

Optimove, which works with sports betting and internet gaming companies, says it analyzed 15 million WNBA bets placed on 43 games during the month of May, including nine featuring Clark and the Indiana Fever. On average, Fever games saw a 380% increase in the number of bets compared to the baseline game (Washington MysticsConnecticut Sun, May 17).

The Fever’s season-opener against the Sun on May 14 attracted more bets than any other game during the month, according to the analysis. The Fever were involved in each of the five games that attracted the most bets during the first month of the season.

Optimove also analyzed Clark’s impact on the betting market during the final rounds of the NCAA women’s tournament this spring and found a similar surge in interest. Games involving Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes attracted 540% more bets on average in the Elite 8, Final Four and championship game.

Clark, who on Saturday became the first WNBA rookie to record a triple-double, is a -550 favorite to win Rookie of the Year at ESPN BET, followed by Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky at +300.

July 3: 76ers moves past Knicks in NBA title betting odds

Purdum: As NBA free agency winds down, three of the top four betting favorites to win next season’s title hail from the Eastern Conference – including the rising Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers’ title odds at ESPN BET moved from 12-1 to 7-1 this week after signing veteran free agent Paul George on Monday. George, along with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, give Philadelphia three all-stars from last season making them the defending-champion Boston Celtics’ biggest competition in the East, just ahead of the New York Knicks.

As of Wednesday, the Celtics are 3-1 to repeat as NBA champions, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and 76ers, who are each at 8-1. The Knicks are +825.

Notable NBA title odds movement at ESPN BET:

Dallas Mavericks: The addition of Klay Thompson had minimal impact on Dallas’ title odds. The Mavs moved from 11-1 to 10-1.

New Orleans Pelicans: New Orleans acquired guard Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade, a move that shortened the Pelicans’ title odds from 60-1 to 50-1.

Oklahoma City Thunder: With the additions of Alex Caruso and Isaiah Hartenstein, Oklahoma City moved ahead of the Denver Nuggets on odds boards. The Thunder went from 10-1 to 8-1, while the Nuggets have fallen from +650 to +875.

Orlando Magic: Orlando’s odds improved from 80-1 to 50-1, some of the movement the result of the addition of guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Golden State Warriors: With the loss of Thompson and Chris Paul, Golden State’s odds have lengthened from 22-1 to 40-1.

LA Clippers: James Harden is returning, but with the loss of George to the 76ers, the Clippers’ odds have moved from 20-1 to 40-1.

July 2: Predators move big, Oilers become favorites after free agent frenzy

Doug Greenberg: July 1 is always a big day for the NHL but 2024’s edition was one of the biggest yet, with over $1 billion in new deals handed out through free agent contracts and extensions. Amid all the transactions made by teams in the daylong frenzy, arguably no one made a bigger splash than the Nashville Predators, who saw their future odds and action see considerable activity as a result.

The Preds saw the most line movement of any team in the league at ESPN BET, moving from 35-1 to 18-1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2025. DraftKings reports identical movement, while FanDuel moved Nashville from 31-1 to 20-1. DraftKings also took the Preds from 17-1 to +900 to win the Western Conference.

The thrilling additions of Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and Brady Skjei, among others, has the Predators as one of the most popular teams with the betting public: DraftKings says that, since June 30, Nashville has taken 35% of the bets and 76% of the handle to win the conference.

However, there was one team that took more bets (42%) to win the West over the same time period and that was the reigning Western Conference champion Edmonton Oilers, who solidified what is likely the best offense in the NHL by re-signing Adam Henrique, Mattias Janmark and Corey Perry, then bolstered it by adding Jeff Skinner and Viktor Arvidsson.

Those transactions moved them from 10-1 at their opening odds to +900 on Tuesday morning on ESPN BET, tying them with the reigning Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers to win it all; Edmonton became the outright favorites at +800 a short time later. The sportsbook also notes that their odds of winning the Pacific Division shortened as well.

But for the big winners in the betting odds after the first day of NHL free agency, there were also a few losers. The 2023 Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights moved from 11-1 to 18-1, and the Carolina Hurricanes, who were favored to win it all in 2024 at the start of the playoffs, moved from +950 to 14-1 to hoist the Cup in 2025, per FanDuel.

June 28: Knicks have best preseason title odds this century

Purdum: In the betting market’s eyes, the most impactful moment of the NBA draft occurred approximately 24 hours prior to Wednesday’s first round, when the New York Knicks traded for Mikal Bridges.

The Knicks’ odds to win the title at ESPN BET went from 16-1 to 10-1 after the trade. New York’s odds had shortened to 8-1 by Friday, the second-best odds in the Eastern Conference behind the champion Boston Celtics, and third best overall. The Denver Nuggets have the shortest odds to win the title in the Western Conference at 15-2.

Additionally, multiple sportsbooks reported an uptick in action on the Knicks to win the 2025 NBA title in the days after the Bridges trade, which was reported Tuesday around 10 p.m. ET. Betting interest on the NBA title 12 months in advance is typically minimal and driven by recreational bettors, but the Knicks attracted more action since the trade than all other teams combined at some sportsbooks.

On Thursday afternoon, DraftKings reported 76% of the money that had been bet on the NBA championship winner market since the Bridges trade was on the Knicks. Fanatics and BetMGM reported similar results.

The Knicks gave up Bojan Bogdanovic and four unprotected first-round picks to get Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets, but now have their best preseason title odds this century. According to betting odds archive SportsOddsHistory.com, the last time the Knicks had preseason title odds shorter than 9-1 was in the fall of 2000.



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