LAS VEGAS -- Decision II is in the books, and the reaction in the sports books here has been fast and furious even before Friday's official announcement that LeBron James is returning to Cleveland. Everyone is talking about the power shift in the NBA with LeBron James taking his talents back to Cleveland, and by now you've probably heard that the Cavaliers are the future-book favorite at many shops to win the 2014-15 NBA title.
The Westgate SuperBook (formerly LVH) reopened the Cavaliers at 3-1 on Friday morning when the news broke (before sports book director Ed Salmons got in to work), and then they readjusted them to 4-1. But the Cavs' favoritism isn't unanimous, as the Wynn and the William Hill sports books both went with the Cavs at 9-2 with the Oklahoma City Thunder the 4-1 fave at the Wynn, and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs the 4-1 fave at William Hill. So the question now is: Are the Cavaliers a good bet?
From a market standpoint, the answer is clearly "no." As was pointing out in David Purdum's piece on ESPN.com posted this past Monday, the Cavaliers have been getting pounded in the futures the past two weeks as the rumors of King James' intentions grew louder and louder. Most books are reporting that most of the liability is from wise guys who were betting when the Cavs were still around 30-1 and before the books dropped their odds further to slow the flow of betting.