Why Nets' Odds To Win NBA Title Improving Despite Slow Start
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The Brooklyn Nets entered the 2020 season as one of the most polarizing teams in the league. Steve Nash took over in a head-coaching role for the first time at any level, Kevin Durant returned from an Achilles injury that cost him nearly 600 days between regular-season games and Kyrie Irving attempted to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2020 campaign in which he played just 20 games.
But even with a pair of former All-Stars hitting their prime, results have varied. Brooklyn won its first two games in convincing fashion but has since dropped four of its last five games, including losses to the Grizzlies, Hawks and Wizards at home. The result is a 3-4 record that has them out of the playoff picture, albeit with 65 games remaining.
But online sports betting sites aren’t deterred by the slow start. In fact, the Nets were one of two teams whose NBA title odds improved this past week despite going 1-2. Brooklyn entered the season with +600 title odds, and they currently sit as low as +450 (PointsBet) in the latest NBA title odds, trailing only the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (+250).
Why are the Nets’ odds to win the NBA title getting better in the eyes of the bookies?
Nets Better Than Their Record
Brooklyn is 3-4, but that doesn’t tell the full story. Three of its four losses have come by a combined eight points, and the largest margin (five) was an overtime loss in which the Nets led with less than a minute to play.
Brooklyn’s three wins, meanwhile, have come by a combined 58 points. The result is the league’s No. 8 net rating — the other nine teams in the top-10 of net rating all have winning records and a combined win percentage of 69.3% (43-19). Brooklyn is an outlier. They’re better than their record indicates.
If the final possessions of a two-point loss to Charlotte and a one-point loss to Washington went differently, Brooklyn would be 5-3.
A Trade On The Horizon?
The Nets’ roster likely will look different in April and May than it does now. Sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a partially torn ACL last month, and the Nets applied for a Disabled Player Exception that will allow them to add up to $5.7 million in salary for a traded player on an expiring contract or a free agent on a one-year deal. Given Brooklyn’s win-now attitude, it’s likely its aggressive in filling the void left by Dinwiddie’s scoring and ball handling.
If you bet on the NBA, you also can’t overlook the possibility that the Nets take a big swing on adding a third star to the Durant-Irving combination. James Harden would be the biggest addition, though other fringe All-Stars like Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal would give Brooklyn the best trio in basketball.
Star power wins in the NBA playoffs — ask the Lakers — and though any deal would hurt Brooklyn’s depth, a trio of Durant, Irving, and another All-Star would make them title favorites.
CHECK OUT: NBA Expert Picks Throughout The Season
Playoffs Are A Different Animal
Nothing can replicate experience when it comes to the postseason, and Durant and Irving have plenty of it. Regardless of how Brooklyn’s regular season plays out, a healthy Durant and Irving will be dangerous and difficult outs. Durant has won two titles, two Finals MVPs and has averaged 29.1 points in 139 career playoff games. That’s fourth most all-time behind MJ, AI, and Jerry West.
Irving is no stranger to the postseason. He has a ring, four Finals appearances and has averaged 23.5 points in 61 career playoff games. He also owns perhaps the most clutch shot in NBA postseason history. He won’t be overwhelmed in the postseason.
If you are a believer in the Nets as many bookmakers still are, hunt around for value. They are +500 at several books and even +600 over at BetMGM.