The Milwaukee Bucks emerged as the consensus betting favorites to win the NBA title Wednesday after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported they would be acquiring superstar guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team blockbuster deal that shook up the odds at U.S. sportsbooks.
The Bucks moved ahead of the defending-champion Denver Nuggets and into the top spot in Caesars Sportsbook's odds to win the title. Milwaukee was +375 on Wednesday afternoon, after the deal was reported. The Nuggets were +425, followed by the Boston Celtics (+500) and Phoenix Suns (+550). No other teams had single-digit title odds at Caesars.
In the deal, Portland will receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Milwaukee's 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and unprotected Milwaukee swap rights in 2028 and 2030, sources told Wojnarowski.
Before the deal, the Bucks could be found as long as +850, behind the Nuggets, Celtics and Suns at some sportsbooks. Milwaukee had attracted the fifth-most bets to win the NBA title at DraftKings, behind Denver, Boston, Phoenix and the Miami Heat.
Jeff Sherman, a longtime Las Vegas bookmaker who oversees the NBA odds for the SuperBook, said the betting interest in the Bucks this offseason had been minimal and that they did not notice any flurry of interest ahead of Wednesday's report.
"No liability [on the Bucks], not that much interest and we didn't get hit on anything today as the news broke," Sherman said.
Sherman adjusted Milwaukee's season win total from 52.5 to 55.5 and moved the point spread on the Bucks' Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks from Milwaukee -3 to -4.5.
The Heat, who were considered among the favorites to land Lillard, saw their title odds rise from 6-1 to 25-1 Wednesday at Caesars Sportsbook.