NBA bad beat: There were an overwhelming number of bets on Clippers to win West, then they choked

Frank Schwab
·2 mins read

About a week ago, when the Los Angeles Clippers, were up 3-1 on the Denver Nuggets, bettors looked pretty smart for loading up on the Clippers to win the Western Conference.

They had to feel good when the Clippers held a double-digit lead in the second half of Game 5. And when they had a double-digit lead in the second half of Game 6 too. Even when the Nuggets forced Game 7, the Clippers were 7.5-point favorites on Tuesday night.

It had to be excruciating to rip up those Clippers future bet tickets on Wednesday morning. And there were a ton of those tickets.

BetMGM had a big liability on the Clippers winning the West. They dodged a six-figure loss when the Nuggets came back from the dead.

Almost two-thirds of West futures money was bet on Clippers

Bettors loved the Clippers to win the West, even though they’d never even been to the conference finals in franchise history. Of all the money bet on teams to win the West, 64.8 percent had come in on the Clippers. The Lakers were second at 14.6 percent. No other team was above 4 percent.

That left BetMGM looking at a six-figure loss if the Clippers won the West. The Clippers would have had to get past the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals, but it was still a position the sportsbook didn’t want to be in.

The only good news for bettors is that as of Tuesday afternoon, 80.1 percent of tickets and 74.4 percent of the money had come in on the Nuggets to cover the spread in Game 7. They did that and then some, so perhaps some of those future bettors on the Clippers got back some of their losses. But the result wasn’t good news to one bettor at BetMGM, who took the Clippers on the moneyline for $50,000 to win $15,625.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) reacts after a play against the Denver Nuggets in a Game 7 loss. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) reacts after a play against the Denver Nuggets in a Game 7 loss. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Updated odds to win NBA championship

The Nuggets are still big underdogs. They are +500 to win the Western Conference finals against the Lakers, with LeBron James and Co. at -715.

Here are the updated odds on who will win the NBA championship at BetMGM:

Lakers: -164
Miami Heat: +400
Boston Celtics: +500
Nuggets: +800

No matter who wins the NBA championship, BetMGM is just happy to not see the Clippers on that list anymore.

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