The rules have changed, and Kyrie is coming home. What will that mean for the Brooklyn Nets and how will it change the New York sports betting scene?
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving finally will be able to play in a regular season home game Sunday when the Nets host the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 p.m. in a battle of teams fighting for playoff positioning. The night before, the Nets visit the Miami Heat at 8 p.m.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday he was lifting the ban that prevented unvaccinated New York athletes and performers from playing and working in the state. The decision comes after months of pressure from sports teams and entertainment venues such as Broadway.
On the sports betting front, there was an expectation among bookmakers Irving would be able to play all games eventually, so the odds haven’t changed all that much.
What Are the Odds for Nets?
Here are the odds from BetMGM New York:
To win the Eastern Conference title, the Nets opened at -125 and are now +270, with 7% of the tickets and 5.9% of the handle.
To win the NBA title, the Nets opened at +225 and are now at +550, with 7.2% of the tickets and 10.9% of the handle.
For all the best information on New York NBA betting, check out EmpireStakes.com.
The Nets (38-35) are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The first six teams automatically qualify for the playoffs. Teams 7 thru 10 are involved in a pre-playoff.
Here’s how the pre-playoff works: The seventh-place team faces the eighth-place team with the winner becoming the seventh seed. The ninth-place team plays the 10th-place team. The winner of that game meets the loser of the 7-8 game for the right to the eighth and final spot.
The New York Knicks (31-42) are currently on the outside of the playoff picture, in 11th place, five games behind the Atlanta Hawks.
The regular season ends April 10.
If the regular season were to end today, the eighth-seeded Nets would have to visit the seventh-seeded Toronto Raptors, and the winner would play the second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
And that is a key scenario: Irving would not be allowed to play in a game at Toronto, due to Canadian COVID-19 restrictions.
A Look at Kyrie’s Career
Irving, who had been playing in road games, has been hot as of late, averaging 38 points per game in 36 minutes over his last five games. He has shot 59% from the field and 57% from 3-point range.
Irving hasn’t played at home since June 7 of last season.
Irving, who turned 30 earlier this week, is in his 11th NBA season. He has career averages of 23 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
A seven-time All-Star, he has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (six seasons), Boston Celtics (two season) and is now in his third year with the Nets
In the 20 road games he has played with the Nets this season, he has averaged a career-best 28.5 points per game and 5.5 assists.