How will free agency impact the 2024 NBA Finals odds?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 22: Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball against Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Kaseya Center on April 22, 2023 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton opted out of his contract and is currently a free agent. The Bucks are currently the No. 3 favorites for the NBA title at +600. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Friday is the time to act if you’re eyeing a team’s NBA Finals odds ahead of free agency.

Teams can start negotiating with free agents at 6 p.m. ET on Friday ahead of the official start of free agency on July 7. There will be a lot of deals agreed upon over the July 4 weekend and those deals — along with some possible trades — could shift the Finals odds landscape.

At the moment, the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets are the co-favorites to win the NBA title in 2024 at +450 each. The Celtics became the favorites after trading for Kristaps Porzingis and Denver’s odds have gotten slightly shorter after they won the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat in June.

Denver is largely bringing its title-winning team back with the possible exception of Bruce Brown. He’s set to be a free agent and could get a larger deal elsewhere because of Denver’s lack of salary cap space. Brown played a key role off the bench for the Nuggets in his first season with the team.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns are each at +600 to win the title and have more free agency questions than either the Celtics or Nuggets. The Bucks are looking to re-sign Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez while the Suns need to fill out their roster cheaply around Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

The Suns are reportedly set to meet with Kyrie Irving but it’s hard to see how Irving could become a part of the team unless he’s willing to take a massive pay cut.

There’s a sizable gap between the top four teams in the Finals odds and the rest of the NBA. The Golden State Warriors are at +1200 to win the Finals ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers at +1500. The Warriors need to bring Draymond Green back while the Lakers are hoping to retain restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

The Miami Heat’s odds have dropped to +1600 as they’ve been considered a possible landing spot for Damian Lillard if the Trail Blazers decide to trade their star guard. The Heat are ahead of the Clippers and 76ers at +1800. The Sixers could be looking for a way to trade James Harden after he opted into his player option for the 2023-24 season.

No other teams have odds better than +2200 and three teams have odds at +50000. If you want to bet $1 on either the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons or Washington Wizards, you’ll make $500 on an improbable Finals win. But we can say with confidence that you’re better off keeping your dollar.

Dodgers are Friday’s biggest favorites

The Los Angeles Dodgers make a rare visit to the Kansas City Royals on Friday and are the biggest favorite in baseball Friday night. The Dodgers are -225 to win outright against the Royals and pitcher Alec Marsh. He’s making his first start at the big league level after the team said Jordan Lyles would be scratched due to illness. Marsh has 56 strikeouts in 47 innings but has a 5.32 ERA and 1.585 WHIP in AA.

Collin Morikawa enters Round 2 in Detroit as the favorite

Collin Morikawa shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday in the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and is now +800 to win the tournament. Morikawa is two shots back of the lead after Peter Kuest and Taylor Moore each shot 64 on Thursday.

Ludvig Aberg is a shot back at 7-under and is +1200 to win. The newly pro former Texas Tech golfer is going to win soon on the PGA Tour and we wouldn’t be surprised if this was the weekend.

Who cashed tickets on Thursday?

Congratulations to those of you who were wild enough to bet on The Match and had Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes beating Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.