When the second-place Brooklyn Nets host the first-place Boston Celtics Thursday night, they will be without the services of All-Star forward Kevin Durant.
Brooklyn (27-13), just 1½ games behind the Celtics (29-12) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, announced earlier this week that Durant suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee in Sunday’s 102-101 road victory in Miami. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.
The effect already is noticeable on New York sportsbooks.
With Durant out, Brooklyn is a 3-point and +130 moneyline underdog at Caesars Sportsbook NY this morning.
Boston is at -165 on the moneyline, with the game’s over-under point total at 228.
The timing is unfortunate for the Nets, to say the least. The team finally was putting it together.
Brooklyn has won games in a row, is 9-1 in its last 10, and has won 14 of its last 15. After the Boston showdown, the Nets host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday before embarking on a four-game, six-day West Coast swing, starting at the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Currently, the Celtics are the favorite to win the NBA title on NY betting apps.
Boston is at +360 at Caesars Sportsbook futures market, with the Nets second at +625. The Milwaukee Bucks (+700) are third, the Golden State Warriors (+750) fourth and the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets tied for fifth at +900.
EmpireStakes.com also has tips for the best New York NBA betting sites.
Future Bets on Durant
The injury is a huge blow since the 34-year-old superstar has been having a stellar season.
Before Thursday, Durant had missed just one of the Nets’ first 40 games this season. He is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 36 minutes per game.
Durant is currently the sixth favorite at Caesars to win the regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at +1800, just behind the Philadelphia Sixers’ Joel Embiid (+900). The Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic are the favorites, tied at +275.
Remember, though, in New York you can’t bet on awards that are decided by vote.
Keep close to EmpireStakes.com for developments on New York sports betting, as well as for the best NY betting promos.