Updated NBA Championship Odds: Turmoil in the West

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and the Rockets have not gotten off to an inspiring start this season. What do our models say about their title odds?

The 2019-2020 NBA is just two weeks old, and we are already seeing massive change in title and playoff odds for a handful of teams.

Injuries to Stephen Curry and Zion Williamson have drastically changed the outlook for each of their respective squads. At the same time, teams with either strong or poor showings to begin the season saw their odds move as well.

Here’s a look at the teams that saw the biggest movement in their odds and numberFire title probabilities since the start of the season.

Golden State Warriors

FanDuel Title Odds: +16000
numberFire Champs Probability: 0.0%

First, we start with the most obvious team on this list – the Golden State Warriors.

Our metrics gave Golden State a 4.5 percent chance of winning the title – those odds are now down to zero. Curry’s injury is obviously a huge factor, but the thing is, their odds were already dropping based on the way they were playing even with the two-time MVP on the floor. Prior to Curry’s injury, the Warriors had lost by 19 to the Clippers, by 28 to the Thunder, and were down 29 to the Suns.

Golden State had the worst defensive rating in the league and allowed 83 points to the Suns with 8:31 left in the third quarter when Curry broke his hand.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine a way in which the Warriors can salvage their season, and their odds reflect that.

Los Angeles Lakers

FanDuel Title Odds: +440
numberFire Champs Probability: 22.4%

The Los Angeles Lakers were just the second of three teams to see their title odds move by more than two percentage points.

Los Angeles started the season with a 19.9 percent chance of winning it all, according to our algorithms. The Lakers currently sit at 22.4 percent in our odds.

After losing a close game to the Clippers on opening night, the Lakers have rattled off five wins in a row – including victories over the Jazz, Mavericks, and Spurs.

LeBron James looks revitalized, averaging 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game. Anthony Davis has been everything the Lakers hoped for when they traded for him, posting averages of 28.5 points and 11.5 rebounds through six games.

The Lakers’ nERD of 75.1 is currently leading the league.

Houston Rockets

FanDuel Title Odds: +800
numberFire Champs Probability: 7.4%

Aside from the Warriors and Lakers, the only other team to have their title odds move by more than two percentage points were the Houston Rockets. Houston has seen their title probability drop from 9.7 percent before the season, to 7.4 percent through two weeks.

Many people were waiting to see how the play of James Harden and Russell Westbrook would mesh in their first action together as superstars, and the results so far have been uninspiring.

The two have attempted a combined 242 shots through six games, and have hit at a 40.9 percent clip. Westbrook and Harden are also averaging nearly 10 combined turnovers per game. Moreover, they’re shooting just 22.4 percent from downtown. The Rockets have been outscored by 26 in the 131 minutes that Westbrook and Harden have shared the floor, according to Pro Basketball Reference.

Losses to the Bucks and Nets are understandable but losing to the Heat by 29 at full health is problematic. Houston’s three wins -- against the Pelicans, Thunder, and Wizards -- have come by a combined eight points.

Only the Warriors have a worse defensive rating than the Rockets. Houston won’t win any championships with the way they’re playing now.