Sportsbooks Winning Big on NBA Title & Finals MVP Futures

With so many top seeded playoff teams eliminated, sportsbooks are having postseason. The Action Network's Darren Rovell explains.

Jason Scott, the vice president of trading for BetMGM, likes what he sees when he looks at his NBA futures book.

More than 80% of the money that was bet on teams to win the title has gone bust. The top five most-bet teams — the Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, 76ers and Jazz — have all been eliminated before the conference finals.

“We’re a small loser on the Hawks alone, but the books as a whole is in terrific shape on NBA futures,” Scott said Monday afternoon.

It’s the same story almost anywhere you go.

Johnny Avello, head of DraftKings sportsbook, said roughly 78% of the money on teams to win the title has lost, with the Milwaukee Bucks on their own being a small loser.

“We were due,” Scott said. “We’ve gotten hammered recently with the favorites winning. The Dodgers hit. The Lakers hit. The Chiefs hit. I actually think people were playing the favorites more to win the title because it seemed easier.”

BetMGM’s MVP Finals futures book is also looking stellar.

That’s because 44.1% of the money was on three Brooklyn Nets — Kevin Durant (29.6%), James Harden (11.5%) and Kyrie Irving (3%).

The 76ers and the Nuggets being eliminated took out another 11.2%, with Joel Embiid (7.1%) and Nikola Jokic (4.1%) taking up a relatively large share.

A sportsbook having more than 50% of the money in-hand before a conference final is rare.