Where Will LeBron James Play Next Season?

Last month Bovada posted an intriguing prop regarding 4-time MVP LeBron James and his impending free agency. This off-season LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all exercised the early termination option on their contracts which allowed these superstars to opt out of their contracts and once again dip their toes in the waters of free agency.

Although early sentiment from league insiders was that the Big Three would keep their core together in Miami, the Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as the new clubhouse leader to land King James. But where do oddsmakers think that LeBron will be playing next season?

The table below displays the odds at Bovada and Sportsbook.com, alongside with the implied probability for each landing spot.

Team Bovada (6/17) Bovada (6/18) Bovada (6/19) Bovada (6/21) Bovada Implied Probability Sportsbook.com (6/21) Sportsbook Implied Probability
Miami Heat -300 -300 -400 -500 83.33% -800 88.89%
Cleveland Cavaliers +350 +450 +500 +600 14.28% +550 15.38%
Chicago Bulls +650 +800 +900 +1000 9.09% +1500 6.25%
Los Angeles Clippers N/A +800 +900 +1000 9.09% +1500 6.25%
Houston Rockets +650 +800 +960 +1000 9.09% +800 11.11%
Los Angeles Lakers +1500 +2000 +2000 +2000 4.76% +3000 3.23%
New York Knicks N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000 1.96%
Dallas Mavericks N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3000 3.23%

Those who are not familiar with implied odds may be surprised to see that the percentages add up to 130%, but that number represents a 30 cent juice (130-100) used by the Bovada and a 35 cent juice used by Sportsbook.com.

When this prop bet was first posted, there were no odds available at Bovada for the Los Angeles Clippers despite rumblings that LA’s “other team” could be a potential landing spot for King James. However, early on Wednesday afternoon Bovada updated their prop bet and added the Clips as a potential destination. When the prop bet was updated several weeks ago, the Clippers moved from +800 to +900 and now have better odds than the Rockets and Lakers.

For the past several weeks every prominent book took down this prop bet entirely. However, on Wednesday (7/9) evening, the well renowned 5Dimes sportsbook updated their odds with the Cavaliers listed as -320 favorites to land LeBron.

Most NBA insiders expect that LeBron James will make his decision within the next 24-48 hours and the Cavaliers are looking like a more and more likely destination. In fact, Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cleveland could potentially trade for Minnesota forward Kevin Love if they are successful in their bid to sign LeBron. Perhaps that explains why the Cavs are now +375 to win the 2015 NBA Championship at 5Dimes.

Where do you think King James will be playing next season? Are there any longshots that should be added to this list? Should the Heat be the odds-on favorites to win the 2015 Championship? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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