The Knicks are coming off one of the worst seasons imaginable, but according to one Las Vegas sportsbook the team is a good bet to win it all next year, primarily because of persistent rumors concerning certain free agents to be.
Despite finishing the 2018-19 campaign at 17-65 — tied for worst record in franchise history — the Knicks are opening up in The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook with 16-1 odds to be crowned champions next year, according to this article from ESPN. There are only five teams with better preliminary odds: the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets.
With these opening odds, if you were to bet $100 on the Knicks to win the title next year, you’d…
… lose $100. Because barring an honest to goodness miracle, that simply ain’t happening.
Jeff Sherman, who according to ESPN oversees NBA odds at the sportsbook in question, told the Worldwide Leader in Sports that the Knicks odds would drop dramatically if the team somehow fails to land Durant and/or other big-time free agents. If the Knicks were to falter in free agency, their odds could fall to something like 300-1, he said, which would put the ‘Bockers in line with teams like the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Cleveland Cavaliers, among others.
2019-20 NBA Championship winner— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) May 4, 2019
Phi, Hou 10/1
NY, LAC 16/1
Tor, LAL 20/1
Den, OKC 25/1
Utah, Por 40/1
Orl, Atl, Chi, Sac 100/1
Det, Char, Mia, Wsh, Cle, Min, Mem, NO, Phx 300/1
Wait, you mean there’s a chance the Knicks don’t get Durant in addition to other superstars? That can’t possibly be true. Everyone keeps saying how all the best players are planning to come to New York. The newest super team is essentially already here, we just have to wait until July 1, or so we’ve been led to believe.
In the event that the Knicks do sign, say, both KD and Kyrie Irving, Sherman said it’s possible the team’s odds would get even better, landing somewhere around 12-1. As ridiculous as this all sounds, in a world where the Knicks land multiple major free agents, the team would immediately be thrust into the contender conversation. The Knicks were really bad last year, but they do have a couple of promising pieces, such as Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox. How quickly do those guys mature if they’re playing with truly premier talents? These are intriguing questions to be sure.
“All we’re doing is making these odds based on today’s perception on where people think these guys might have a legitimate chance of going,” Sherman said in the ESPN article.
Oh. Whatever. Let’s ride with these title odds. The Knicks are currently among the six most likely teams to win the NBA championship next year, according to the opening odds in The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.