Nets Championship Odds Shorten to +6000; Does Brooklyn Present Value Durant & Irving Potentially Healthy for Playoffs?
- The Brooklyn Nets sit at +6000 to win the NBA championship if we see a return to action
- Delay to the season could present opportunity for Brooklyn if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant return
- Is there value in backing the Nets to win the title?
The Brooklyn Nets are an irrelevant seven seed in the Eastern Conference as it stands. The suspension of the NBA season as a result of the coronavirus outbreak might benefit Brooklyn more than any other team in the league, however.
As a result, their price to win the 2019-20 NBA title has shortened to +6000.
Brooklyn’s NBA Championship odds have fluctuated all season long with Kyrie Irving in and out of the team. On March 9th, the Nets were +50000 to win the title, but the delay of this campaign, and uncertainty of when it will return, plays into their hands as both Irving and Kevin Durant could take part in the playoffs, having previously been assumed out for the season.
2019-20 NBA Championship Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+200|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+275|
Odds taken Apr. 13th
Prospect of Irving, Durant Returning
Irving had what was thought to be season-ending shoulder surgery. Despite clips of him getting up shots, Kevin Durant was not due to return this season. There were rumors that Durant was interested in this summer’s Olympics, however, which suggest he could be in contention to play NBA games in June or July.
We have no idea if or when basketball will return this season, and as such, it’s hard to judge if Irving and/or Durant will be available. The longer this suspension runs, though, it becomes more likely that Irving and Durant will take the floor for the playoffs. It’s possible the ’19-20 playoffs will take place around the date that the 2020-21 season was due to start.
If the All-Star duo are back, the Nets obviously become a much scarier opponent. Durant coming off an achilles injury is an unknown at this stage, and Brooklyn’s record with Irving was underwhelming at best this season, but it would be foolish to rule out a team with so much talent.
On-court chemistry could be an issue – as we’ve already seen with Irving – and it’s a huge ask for the pair to hit the ground running. The upside makes their NBA title odds an interesting topic, however.
Sitting in seventh, the Nets would avoid the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. If no more regular season games are played, the Nets would matchup with the Toronto Raptors. While Toronto have been superb this season, Brooklyn have a better chance of an upset against the reigning champions than they do against the Bucks or Celtics.
As an added bonus, the Nets wouldn’t have to face Milwaukee until the Conference Finals. This does, of course, all rely on all eight teams going into the playoffs. A shortened postseason could mean a change in format, perhaps with only the top four or six.
On the other hand, discussed scenarios which require quarantine for all playoff teams at a neutral location could favor Brooklyn. Eliminating home advantage should benefit all the teams seeded between five and eight – the Nets would much rather face the Raptors at a neutral site without fans than travel to Canada for a hostile atmosphere at Scotiabank Arena.
These are unique times. There is no precedent for the NBA in this situation, and definitely no precedent of a seven seed adding two elite talents for a possibly shortened playoff run on neutral territory.
Brooklyn’s 30-34 record is hardly exciting, but it shows they have been a solid team this season despite an unsettled few months off the court and the firing of Kenny Atkinson. Their best case scenario sees them throw a top five player and a top five point guard into the mix alongside Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie.
The uncertainty is obvious. Brooklyn may opt to leave Irving and Durant on the sidelines until next season and accept this as a lost season. Durant might take a long time to get anywhere near the player he was.
Despite that, the ceiling for Brooklyn is so high, and shorter playoff series without road games should work for them. The +6000 price looks very reasonable, particularly when compared to the Utah Jazz at +4000.