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Even sports bettors are Knicks NBA lottery conspiracy theorists

Maybe the Knicks envelope is once again frozen!

New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA will announce the results of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at 8:30 p.m. ET on May 14, and the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns hold the top odds (14 percent) to take home the No. 1 pick and the chance to draft Duke phenom Zion Williamson. This marks the first year of the new anti-tanking leveling system where the three worst teams get the same odds for the top pick — as opposed to the single worst team getting the best odds.

Offshore sportsbook is offering odds on who will land the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Knicks currently hold the top odds at +350. The Cavaliers and Suns are both listed at +600. All three teams started out the same, but sportsbooks have moved the Knicks first to +400 and then to +350 on lottery day.

You might be wondering why the Knicks have better odds than the other two teams when all three teams have the same percentage odds of winning the lottery. BetOnline’s chief oddsmaker told SB Nation that most of the action coming in at this point is on the Knicks. They want an even split of wagers, so they lowered the odds to generate interest in other teams.

The Knicks have a sizable fan base, but conspiracy theories likely play a bit of a role in this. There are few sporting events that have the conspiracy theory history of the Draft lottery. The NBA implemented a lottery in 1985 — a draft headlined by Georgetown star Patrick Ewing. The Knicks won the lottery, and we have had 34 years of rumors that the fix was in. The nature of a sports lottery is going to raise the possibility of conspiracies, and they have continued annually ever since.

Sports bettors look for any edge they can find to win a few extra bucks. I suppose rolling the dice on a conspiracy theory is no worse than just picking one of the three teams at random. That being said, the value right now is in betting Cleveland and/or Phoenix +600. The mathematical odds for the three teams are identical, so the fact you can get longer odds for two of the three teams means the smart bet is on either of them.

If you’re stuck on the conspiracy theory, however, Reddit user Shoresfinest is probably just as useful a resource as anybody else at this point. Good luck tonight!