Houston Rockets basketball is back in full swing tonight, and it looks like a lot people will be watching this team more closely for reasons unrelated to sports.
According to the popular betting affiliate Oddschecker.com, 15% of all bets recorded within 24 hours of this past Tuesday were placed on the Rockets (+1600 odds) to win the NBA championship.
During the same timeframe, only the Los Angeles Lakers, the favorites to win it all with a +270 odds, received more bets.
Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt (no relation to J.J.) gives some insight as to why the Rockets wager has become a fan-favorite:
“Given that the Rockets odds of +1600 imply just a 5.88% chance of winning, the betting trends clearly demonstrate that bettors believe that Rockets are great value and have confidence that their small ball style could cause serious problems for the biggest teams in the league... Given that a current wager would be increased sixteen fold in the event of a successful Rockets’ challenge, it’s easy to see why they’re proving so popular.”
As of right now, Oddschecker has Houston with the fourth-best odds to win title, trailing only the Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks (+280), and the Los Angeles Clippers (+340). The Boston Celtics round out the top five with an odds of +2000.
The Rockets still have a ton of work to do to please their backers. Houston has the possibility of landing anywhere between the second and seventh seed in the NBA playoffs. Even with a wide array of possibilities for their postseason destiny, the Rockets will have only one opportunity to play a team that falls in the #2-#7 range in West, and that’s tonight against the Dallas Mavericks.