NBA

NBA Odds Update: What to Make of the Rockets?

In this edition of the NBA Odds Update, we’ll look at which teams saw their odds move the most since our last update.

Teams that had strong weeks and are starting to look like cohesive units will likely see the most upward movement, while those who had it rough could see their odds spiraling.

If you want to see our odds for every team, be sure to check out our power rankings. Here's a look at four of the teams who had the most movement in title odds over the last couple of weeks.

Houston Rockets

FanDuel Title Odds: +1200
numberFire Champs Probability: 4.1%

A month ago, you could've gotten the Houston Rockets at 15/1 on FanDuel Sportsbook. That value is now gone, as Houston possesses the fourth-best odds of winning the Finals, at +1200.

The Rockets have won 10 of their last 12 contests, including victories over the Boston Celtics (twice), Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers. That's an impressive stretch, especially considering the uniqueness of their lineup, with not a single starter taller than 6'7".

Houston posted the league's fourth-best net and offensive rating in the month of February to go with the seventh-best defensive efficiency. Russell Westbrook was a man possessed during that aforementioned 12-game stretch -- he posted averages of 33.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.9 steals on 54/38/76 shooting splits. He was also doing stuff like this:

Mike D'Antoni's squad is now 39-20 and just 1.5 games out of the second seed in the West. If you want a value bet in the Western Conference, you might want to consider the team that's getting hot at the right time while beating quality opponents. Oh, and they have two former MVPs on their squad.

Los Angeles Clippers

FanDuel Title Odds: +320
numberFire Champs Probability: 5.4%

In the last edition of this piece, I mentioned how the Los Angeles Clippers have shown no consistency and need to start finding an identity. It took exactly one week for them to shove my foot in my mouth.

The Clippers won each of their three games this week, including two victories over playoff-bound teams. Los Angeles secured a particularly impressive -- and important -- win against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, as their 29-point thrashing brought them to even with Denver for the second seed in the West.

What's encouraging is that Paul George had his most efficient two-game stretch (60.7 percent from the field) since his first two games with the team back in November. Doc Rivers' unit has been hard to beat when George has looked his old self. In games where PG-13 has hit more than 45 percent of his shots, the Clippers are 16-2 with an average margin of victory of 16.7 points.

Nevertheless, at +320, it's still hard to see value in betting on the Clippers -- but it's more palatable than it was a week ago.

Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Title Odds: +2400
numberFire Champs Probability: 6.6%

It was just a week ago that the Toronto Raptors were rolling, winning 17 of 18 games. Then, in just a week's time, they lose three in a row -- including a defeat by the 21-39 Charlotte Hornets -- and Kyle Lowry is trying to nutmeg players... with his body.

In fact, Toronto was our biggest mover of the week, with their title odds dropping by 2.8 percentage points, according to our model.

The Raptors seemingly forgot how to play offense this week, as their effective field goal percentage was more than two points lower than any other team over that small sample.

Granted, it was just one week, but there have been a few stretches this season that have led to people questioning whether Toronto can find enough offense to keep up with the likes of Milwaukee and Boston. Given that their odds are currently set at 24/1, it seems like oddsmakers are betting on the answer to that question being "no."

Milwaukee Bucks

FanDuel Title Odds: +230
numberFire Champs Probability: 45.6%

Just when you think the Milwaukee Bucks can't reach new levels, they reach new levels.

Milwaukee went 10-1 in the month of February and posted a net rating of 14.2. The Bucks' defensive efficiency for the month was 6.9 (nice) points better than the next best team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a subpar month (sarcasm), averaging *just* 29.6 points, 17.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.7 steals plus blocks on 56.2 percent shooting since February began.

Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton has also played okay basketball of late. Over his last 12 contests, Middleton has posted averages of 26.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on hard-to-believe 53.5/48.8/94.5 shooting splits.

The Deer beat three playoff-bound teams this week and saw their title probabilities rise to a whopping 45.6 percent, per our models.