Chris Paul's trade to the Houston Rockets has had an impact on the betting odds for the 2018 NBA title. Paul, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers this recently-completed season, went to Houston in exchange for Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, and Lou Williams. The Clippers don't necessarily come off terribly from the deal, but it's the Rockets who have emerged as stronger contenders for the NBA title in the eyes of sports bettors and odds-makers.

Rockets' shortest odds at 9 to 1

The Rockets are now +1100 (11 to 1) to win the title with popular sportsbook bet365. At least one firm has Houston shorter as Sportingbet made the Rockets +900 (9 to 1) in the NBA outright.

Betway sportsbook has not reacted the same way, at this point, compared to the other sportsbooks. That firm has the Rockets at what needs to be called lengthy odds at this point, priced at +1600 (16 to 1).

Of course, it is a zero-sum world when it comes to sports futures and antepost: when one team shortens or sees their chances of doing well improved, another team is usually drifting. The Los Angeles Clippers are the team that have drifted as they parted ways with Paul, a nine-time All Star in the association. The Clippers could conceivably be heading toward a rebuild as they might not sign Blake Griffin this offseason. With J.J. Redick possibly heading out of town as well, it certainly isn't clear where Los Angeles are at right now in terms of trying to put together a competitive team.

Amidst the uncertainty, the Clippers have drifted out to +10000 (100 to 1) with Sportingbet to win the NBA title next season.

While one point of view might see the Clippers as ending a period where they were competitive, it could be that Los Angeles might simply be creating space to offer Griffin a competitive contract.

Brad Turner, a Los Angeles Times beat reporter, tweeted a statement to that effect on Wednesday: "The Clippers now believe this clear the way for team to sign Blake Griffin, per source" <sic>.

The Golden State Warriors are the favorites

The Golden State Warriors, as defending champions often are, remain the favorite in the market for next season.

They've been there since the odds opened shortly after the completion of the 2017 NBA Finals that saw them nearly sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bet365, for example, make the Warriors shorter than even odds for the 2018 NBA title, pricing them at -160 (5 to 8). Those are odds that have lengthened since the market originally opened earlier this month, with Golden State opening at -200 (1 to 2).

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