The Brooklyn Nets’ regular season didn’t go as anybody expected. From losing Kyrie Irving for home games, to having James Harden become a disinterested participant and force a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets have been fighting to keep their heads above water since opening tip.
The winding road of a season was a hard one to figure in New York sports betting.
Of course, Kevin Durant missing 27 games throughout the season to injury didn’t help, the same way a COVID-19 outbreak throughout the league also served to hamper the team’s ability to gel and evolve. Finally, the addition of Ben Simmons, who eventually will be a vital cog in the team’s rotation, hasn’t done anything to improve the team this season as he works his way back to full-game fitness and tries to learn the team’s schemes.
When your roster boasts three of the best scorers who ever have graced the NBA, and one of them (Durant) is arguably the greatest player in the world, expectations are going to be high.
Coming into the season, the Nets were seen as the unequivocal favorite to lift an NBA championship trophy at the end of the season, with DraftKings odds of +250.
Bookies don’t always get things spot on, though – especially in preseason, as the trials and tribulations of an NBA season have yet to seep into a roster and begin altering trajectories. That’s why the Los Angeles Lakers had odds of +340, the Los Angeles Clippers at +500 and the Milwaukee Bucks at +650. Looking back now, some of those were bad bets. For instance, the Lakers didn’t make the postseason and the Clippers’ Paul George missed most of the season. The defending champion Bucks, however, still look like a powerhouse.
Of course, the Nets also have added some much-needed perimeter shooting in Seth Curry, and with their team finally looking healthy, it has every chance to come good on their preseason odds, even if they’re going to have to do it the hard way.
The Nets finished the regular season as the seventh seed, forcing them to compete in the NBA’s play-in tournament. For those who are unfamiliar with the play-in tournament, it essentially works like this:
- 7 plays 8
- The winner becomes 7th seed
- 9 plays 10
- The winner plays the loser of 7 vs. 8
- That winner becomes the 8th seed
Brooklyn will be facing the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday in the first play-in game. The winner will encounter the impressive Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Nets went 1-3 against the Celtics in the regular season and would find it difficult to beat a team that finished the year as the league’s best defensive squad.
But Brooklyn can't worry about Boston unless they overcome a pesky Cavaliers team that plays with physicality and size. According to DraftKings, the Nets head into the game with the Cavs as an 8.5-point and -400 moneyline favorite. Cleveland is a +300 underdog.
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Current Championship Odds
After a season of struggles and failures, the Nets no longer are favored to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in NBA betting this season, but they’re still considered to be one of the top contenders. DraftKings has the Nets at +600 in their future options, behind the Milwaukee Bucks (+500) and the Phoenix Suns (+250).
Those odds have become longer than just a few weeks ago, when the Nets (at +450) were second to the Suns (then at +290).
The Nets do face a tough route to the NBA finals, though, with their potential bracket looking like this:
- Celtics round 1
- Winner of Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls round 2
- Winner of Miami Heat vs. 8th seed will face winner of Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors. Brooklyn will then face the winner of that series in the conference finals
- NBA finals
The Eastern Conference is vastly improved from recent years, so the Nets have a tough run ahead of them. In all likelihood, should Brooklyn make it to the conference finals, they would face the Miami Heat. It is far from certain the Nets make it past the Eastern Conference top seed in a seven-game series.
Still, Brooklyn is all but guaranteed to boast the best player in any series they play. In the NBA, that’s always enough to ensure you’re there or thereabouts come the final whistle.