On the cusp of potentially knocking the Los Angeles Lakers out of the NBA Playoffs, the Phoenix Suns are now turning into an increasing liability for sportsbooks.
“The Knicks would have been the worst result for our book,” said John Sheeran, director of risk and trading at FanDuel. “Most of our exposure is in the East with the new 76ers and the Nets, but the Suns are the second-biggest liability for us in the NBA Championship outright market right now (behind Philadelphia).”
Sheeran said FanDuel has a seven-figure liability on the Lakers. But, elimination comes with mixed feelings, he says, because he knows having LeBron James in the NBA Playoffs would increase betting.
For PointsBet, the bets combined with the longer odds initially made the Suns their top liability to win the Western Conference. After the Suns’ Game 5 win against the Lakers in Phoenix, PointsBet adjusted the Suns’ odds to win the Western Conference from 5/1 to 4/1 and moved the Suns’ title odds from 12/1 to 10/1.
When the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas opened its 2021 NBA title odds on Sept. 19, there were 13 NBA teams that were deemed more likely to win than the Phoenix Suns:
- Los Angeles Lakers (7/2)
- Los Angeles Clippers (4/1)
- Milwaukee Bucks (6/1)
- Boston Celtics (12/1)
- Golden State Warriors (12/1)
- Brooklyn Nets (14/1)
- Miami Heat (16/1)
- Toronto Raptors (20/1)
- Denver Nuggets (20/1)
- Houston Rockets (20/1)
- Philadelphia 76ers (30/1)
- Dallas Mavericks (30/1)
- Portland Trail Blazers (30/1)
The Phoenix Suns opened at 40/1, along with the Jazz and Pelicans.
The Suns are now at 14/1.
2021 Phoenix Suns Chasing Franchise History
A win on Thursday would put the Suns in the Western Conference semifinals to play the winner of the Nuggets vs. Trail Blazers series. The Suns most recently made a Western Conference semifinals appearance during the 2009-10 season, when they knocked off the San Antonio Spurs.
They have not played for the NBA Championship since 1993, which they lost in six games to the Chicago Bulls. The franchise has never won it all.