Somewhere out there is someone who’s desperately hoping the Nets win the NBA title. A gambler put $400 down in January on the Nets bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to Brooklyn. At the time, the Nets were in a 14-game stretch that saw them lose 12. So the odds were long, 300-to-1, but the potential payout huge: $120,000.
Now, with the still iffy prospect of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning to play, that gambler is no longer a lonely man (or woman).
As Alex Schiffer reports, “since the season was suspended, only the Lakers have had more bets placed on them to take home a title” than the Nets. Woo-hoo. Now, it may be that the Nets are the ideal hedge bet. If you put $400 on the Lakers and they win at 2-to-1, you offset the risk on the Nets bet mitigate the risk.
But it’s also a bet that KD and Kyrie, despite all the reporting saying they won’t, will be in uniform and ready to go whenever the ball goes up at Walt Disney World. Schiffer writes...
When the NBA season was suspended in March, the Nets’ odds to win the championship were dismal at 150-1 on BetOnline.ag, 300-1 on DraftKings and 250-1 at the South Point in Vegas. Also at that time, Durant was playing three-on-three with the Nets’ “extra work group” and drew positive reviews from those involved in the games. Irving was just weeks removed from his shoulder surgery.
As of this week, those numbers have changed as rumors rose. A full 15 percent of the bets placed on the NBA championship race were placed on Brooklyn. So, here are the specific numbers, per Schiffer.
[T]he Nets odds’ to win the title have changed considerably to 75-1 (BetOnline.ag) and 60-1 (DraftKings). A week ago, BetOnline.ag had Brooklyn’s odds at 66-1. Still, analysts said the Nets’ odds are significantly less than teams that have been considered contenders all season, such as the Lakers (2.1-1), Bucks (2.75-1) and Clippers (3-1). Teams such as the Heat (20-1 odds) and Raptors (18-1), who have been among the top four in the Eastern Conference all season, have some distance between their odds and the Nets’.
Spencer Dinwiddie referred to the disparity on the Nets prospects not just for bettors but for his teammates.
noting that if they do return, “our expectations turn from the playoffs to the championship.” If not, he said the team would continue to “grind” in hopes of making “a run in the playoffs.”
Will KD and Kyrie return this season?@SDinwiddie_25 :— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) May 27, 2020
“That’s the billion dollar question... I don’t know. I know they’re working very hard. I know they’re both coming back from injury, obviously. They’re two of the hardest working guys in the NBA.”
(via @FirstTake) pic.twitter.com/trMj1NpsBS
Do bettors know more than most about the return of the Nets two superstars? Doubtful, in part because no one seems to know what the format will be if and when play resumes and because everything remains fluid. The Nets also are notoriously closed-mouth. Still, officials of more than one betting site said that if the two decide to return, it would immediately cut the Nets odds in half again.
So, in the meantime, a friendly wager perhaps, one that could make you some cash in September.
- How the Nets became one of the hottest teams in Vegas during the NBA hiatus - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York