Several sportsbooks posted updated NBA championship odds on Wednesday night, even though the league's Board of Governors reportedly won't vote on a proposed plan to resume the season until Thursday.
According to multiple media reports, the NBA board is expected to approve the league's plan for a 22-team return with all games played at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Under the plan, play reportedly would resume July 31 with the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals being Oct. 12.
Per reports, the 16 teams currently in postseason position will be joined by the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference and the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference, and each of the 22 teams would play eight regular-season games for seeding purposes ahead of the playoffs.
Either conference's ninth-place team reportedly would meet the eighth-place team in postseason play-in action if they are within four games of each other in the final standings.
With news of the format emerging Wednesday, several sportsbooks revised their championship odds -- and expressed their belief in the proposal's passing as only the 22 teams that would play under the plan are listed.
And while there is some variation in odds among the top three teams, one thing is uniform across all sportsbooks: the sharps expect the champion to come from Milwaukee or Los Angeles.
A trio of sportsbooks -- FanDuel, William Hill and Caesars -- all listed the Bucks, Lakers and Clippers anywhere between 200 and 340 but didn't have any other team lower than 1200.
--Caesars: Lakers (200); Bucks (275); Clippers (325)
--FanDuel: Bucks (240); Lakers (270); Clippers (340)
--William Hill: Lakers (240); Bucks (260); Clippers (320)
After the big three, the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have next-best odds.
The NBA stopped play on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. At the time, the Bucks owned the NBA's best record at 53-12, 6 1/2 games ahead of the Raptors in the Eastern Conference. The first-place Lakers (49-14) lead Clippers (44-20) by 5 1/2 games in the Western Conference, with the Denver Nuggets 1 1/2 games behind the Clippers.
--Field Level Media