The Houston Rockets began the NBA offseason in a precarious situation with two veteran superstars surrounded by a lackluster supporting cast while replacing their head coach and general manager.
Already considered long shots to be a factor in the Western Conference -- much less for the NBA title -- in 2021, Houston saw its odds of being a factor next season take a massive blow with the trade of nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night.
Houston acquired another star guard, John Wall, but he is marking the two-year anniversary of the last game he played due to multiple injuries.
Following the Wizards confirming the deal, the Rockets' odds of winning the 2021 NBA title moved from 5000 to 8000 at PointsBet and from 3000 to 6000 at SportsBetting.
Houston is still grappling with rumors that perennial MVP candidate James Harden also wants out of town, preferably to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets.
With the franchise in turmoil, the Rockets' odds of winning the Western Conference lengthened from 1500 to 2800 at SportsBetting.
The Wizards were long shots to be a factor before acquiring Westbrook, and those odds saw marginal impact following the deal.
Washington's title odds moved from 15000 to 12500 at SportsBetting while the Wizards' Eastern Conference odds shortened from 6000 to 5000. The story was similar at PointsBet, where their title odds shortened from 20000 to 12500 while their conference title odds moved from 8000 to 6000.
That's not to say that Westbrook's arrival won't make the Wizards a more competitive team night in and night out. That was reflected by PointsBet, with the sportsbook moving Washington's over/under win total significantly from 28.5 to 33.5 games.
--Field Level Media