As news of LeBron James opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat on Tuesday morning spread, some insiders in the gambling world took the ultimate measure to minimize their risk. They pulled all future odds on all NBA teams to win next year's title.
Several sports books in Las Vegas, including the Wynn, took the drastic measure.
"When a player like LeBron decides to change teams, it not only affects the status of the Heat, but the entire NBA," said John Avello, the head of the race and sports book at the Wynn. "I have to close everything to evaluate. If he leaves the Eastern Conference, it makes an additional handful of teams a contender."
Avello said he assumes most sports books will pull their odds, though when they put them back up could vary depending on new information. Avello, who last pulled the entire league odds before James' "Decision" in the summer of 2010, said it's possible he might want to wait until James actually announces his commitment.
Online sportsbook Bovada.LV followed suit.
"When Carmelo opted out we adjusted some of our future odds, mainly doubling the Knicks' chances and lowering teams like the Bulls, who are the favorite to land him, according to our odds," said the site's bookmaking manager, Kevin Bradley. "LeBron opting out has a much bigger impact and forced us to close down our odds until the dust settles a bit and we have a little more information on what his plans may be."
Some sports books are rolling the dice, betting that James will still wind up back with the Heat.