Are Markets Correct In Celtics Confidence After Ime Udoka Suspension?

There will be uncertainty heading into the season opener on Oct. 18

by

September 22

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the 2022-2023 season for violations of “team policies” Thursday, but betting markets remain steady for Boston’s title odds.

Of course, the situation goes beyond basketball, but it’s that factor that doesn’t seem to be baked in for oddsmakers. While personal sentiment should not be baked into how odds are made, there should still be some worry for those who did wager on the Celtics’ futures. Let’s first look at what Boston’s odds are across most sportsbooks:

DraftKings: +550
FanDuel: +550
BetMGM: +500
Caesars: +550
PointsBet: +550
BetRivers: +600

Only BetRivers has the Celtics as a co-favorite with the Bucks. Milwaukee and the Golden State Warriors are in the top three across other sportsbooks.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla reportedly will take over as interim head coach, and he has a tall task ahead of him. While Mazzulla has the resume to be an NBA head coach, the 34-year-old will have to manage what appears to be a fractured organization.

Udoka has issued out a public statement, but will he return as head coach? What do the players think of all this? Mazzulla will not only have to deal with internal issues, but Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams III will miss the beginning of the season due to their respective knee injuries.

Basketball can often be called a “player’s game,” but the history of the NBA has shown a good head coach is a key part of a title run. Udoka’s leadership was praised in Boston’s run at the NBA Finals. Can Mazzulla replicate those same results can get the Celtics over the top?

There’s simply too much uncertainty to be confident in a Celtics bet. Their win total had dropped two games to 54.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but the juice has leaned toward the Under at -130. Plus money is on the Over (+100), but, again, it’s hard to be confident in taking a $200 payout off a $100 bet.

This is an unprecedented situation in the NBA, and for now, sportsbooks are not letting emotions play into future odds.

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