After a surprising Game-1 win against the Miami Heat Monday night, the Bulls’ odds seemed to be improving. But before what some have called the playoff upset of the decade, the battered Bulls were hardly a safe bet.
The Heat are the reigning champions and overwhelming favored to repeat.
In a ceremony before Monday night’s game, LeBron James was named the league’s most valuable player for the fourth time in five years.
The only player to interrupt his reign was Derrick Rose.
But Rose didn’t play in Game 1...or any other matchup this season.
And yet the Bulls managed to knock King James – and oddsmakers – off their game Monday night.
In fact, Miami was so favored to win the series that in order to win a single dollar off a bet in their favor, you’d have to put up $30. Again, to win a dollar...you’d have to bet 30.
But then the Bulls won--and the odds began to change.
“A lot of people are betting on the Bulls tonight with the points...it’s a lot of points, with 12 points. One book said it’s like 80 percent of the bets so far were on the Bulls,” David Purdum explained.
Purdum covers the sports-betting industry for OddsShark.com. He said the Bulls odds may still improve if they can get healthy. But, that some players’ return is more impactful than others.
“Luol Deng coming back would even surpass the impact on the line that Derrick Rose, if he was to decide to play. You just don’t know what you’re going to get out of Rose,” said Purdum.
Rose and Deng have both been ruled out for Wednesday’s game.
But here’s to Bull-ieving...
Katie O’Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her @katieobez.