The Los Angeles Clippers are now one of the top five favorites for the NBA title after acquiring James Harden.
The Clippers moved from +2000 on opening night to +1300 at BetMGM after getting Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that sent out three role players and multiple draft picks. The Sixers also sent P.J. Tucker to the Clippers.
Harden, 34, averaged 21 points per game in 79 regular-season games with the Sixers over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. A season ago, Harden had 21 points per game with 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per contest. Harden hasn't played so far this season as he tried to force a move away from Philadelphia.
He joins a Clippers team that’s chasing its first title. The Clippers haven’t made the Finals since getting both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and made the trade as an attempt to capitalize on what’s remaining of the prime of George and Leonard’s careers.
Harden is also reunited with Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles. The two played together for three seasons in Oklahoma City before Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2012-13 season.
The Clippers were the No. 5 favorite in the West behind the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors before the season began and, coincidentally, had the same title odds as the Sixers. Now the Clippers are just ahead of the Warriors and Lakers and only behind the Nuggets and Suns among teams in the West.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics continue to be the title favorites at +400 each, while the Nuggets and Suns are each at +550. That’s a big gap between the top four and the rest of the NBA, as it’s clear that oddsmakers have a preferred four.
The Clippers are tied with the Warriors at +700 to win the Western Conference and significantly behind the Nuggets (+280) and Suns (+300). The Lakers are at +900 to win the West, while the Mavericks are at +1200.
The Sixers, meanwhile, saw their title odds dip following the Harden deal. Philadelphia is now +2800 to win the title and +900 to win the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are the distant No. 4 Finals favorite from the Eastern Conference as the Cleveland Cavaliers are now No. 3 behind the Bucks at Celtics at +2500.