How Should Oddsmakers Handle Kyrie Irving Situation?
by Mike Sullivan Scores & Statson
There’s a fascinating question currently being debated in sports betting circles. It centers around Cavaliers PG and NBA superstar Kyrie Irving. There’s no doubt Irving has made a ton of news lately.
It was reported that Irving wants out of Cleveland. He is demanding a trade because of a variety of reasons. He apparently doesn’t like playing with LeBron James (for some reason), he also wants more shots, and wants to be the centerpiece of a franchise. It’s kind of weird to hear someone say they want to overstep LeBron freaking James. After all, Kyrie took more shots than James this season and has been a huge part of the Cavs success.
Nevertheless, this sure seems like yet another Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook type marriage breakup between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. It will be fascinating to see how it all transpires.
But this leaves Vegas oddsmakers in a difficult spot. I mean, how are they supposed to handicap the Cavaliers if they don’t even know if Irving will be on the team next season? How drastically does this change the overall odds?
Simply put, it varies by the sports book. A lot of Vegas books are keeping their Cleveland Cavaliers odds as is. While a lot of offshore books are removing the Cavs from betting options.
For example, Jeff Sherman, manager at the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book, says his book will maintain its odds on the Cavaliers to win the 2018 NBA Finals at +350 and the Eastern Conference at -175.
“It’s all speculation at this point to where he might go and what [the Cavs could get back from him],” Sherman said to the media. “[Irving’s] still under contract for a few years with Cleveland so this could happen this summer, before the trade deadline or after next season.”
He’s right. It’s all speculation. But it’s also hard to believe that a player who so publicly demands a trade would play for that team again next season.
Reportedly, Irving has told Cleveland a list of 4 places he’d like to play next season: Minnesota, New York, Miami, and San Antonio.
(Side note: Can you imagine if once again Cleveland loses a superstar to Miami!? Wow.)
The Irving uncertainty definitely affects sports betting whether the odds change now or later. I’d certainly recommend people to stay away from betting on the Cavs right now. I never want to place my money somewhere where there’s so much uncertainty.
Plus, if you’re still confident in Cleveland without Irving, you’ll get better value odds if/when he leaves. And I’d certainly expect Cleveland to get a nice package return in exchange for the all-star point guard.
Another example of how sports betting is altered because of Irving is BetOnline.com. They are an offshore book that has taken its Cavaliers future odds down, but they have replaced it with some prop bets on where Irving will play next season.
For reference stand point, a sportsperson for BetDSI.eu says the book estimates it would lower the Cavaliers odds to win the NBA championship from +400 to +700 should Kyrie Irving be traded.
It will be very interesting to see what ultimately happens with this situation. Keep your eye on the rumor mill and also your sports book’s odds.