Knicks are popular long-shot pick in Las Vegas to win NBA title

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Golden State Warriors will tip off the season as odds-on favorites, but no team has attracted more bets to win the NBA championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas than the New York Knicks.

The Knicks opened as 100-1 long shots to win the title at the Westgate but have been bet down to 60-1. They are all the way down to 20-1 at MGM sportsbooks.

The bets on the Knicks aren't very big, but there are lots of them. MGM assistant sportsbook manager Jeff Sherman said the average ticket on the Knicks is $25.

New York has not made the playoffs since 2013 and finished 32-50 last season. Knicks president Phil Jackson revamped the roster in the offseason, adding veterans Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to go along with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.

New York opens the season tonight against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the second most favored at 11-4. The San Antonio Spurs are next at 6-1. The Warriors are 2-3. No other team has odds in the single digits.

While the Knicks are attracting the most bets, the big money is on Golden State. At William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, 36 percent of the total money bet on the odds to win the NBA title is on the Warriors.

Golden State went 73-9 last season, setting a record for the most wins in the regular season, but lost in the NBA Finals to the Cavaliers. The Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant in the offseason and became the first preseason odds-on favorites since the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors open the season tonight against the Spurs.

The Boston Celtics andLos Angeles Clippersare each 20-1, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder at 30-1. The Celtics have attracted the second-most bets, behind the Knicks, at the SuperBook. The Cavaliers are third in bets, followed by the Spurs and Warriors.

The Brooklyn Nets are the biggest long shots on the board at 1,000-1. The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns are each 500-1.

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