NBA odds: Fade the Brooklyn Nets despite Kevin Durant staying

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By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

August is the NBA’s quietest month, but Kevin Durant’s decision to stay in Brooklyn and retract his trade demand had enormous implications on the Nets’ odds to win the title.

Back in early July, days after Durant demanded to be dealt from Brooklyn, the Nets got to as high as 50-1 to win the 2023 NBA Championship. If you were one of the lucky few to get down some money on Brooklyn, congratulations.

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But you’ll forgive everyone else who didn’t because, in recent times when NBA stars say they want to be traded, they get their wish.

Over the past 15 years, the biggest NBA stars that said they wanted out – Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia), Paul George (Indiana), Jimmy Butler (Minnesota) – were able to force their way out. Granted, none of those players had four years left on their deal like KD, but historically, that hasn’t mattered.

After the Nets announced Durant was staying – along with Irving, who has one year left on his deal – Brooklyn’s odds to win the title shortened all the way down to 18-1. They are even as low as 7-1 at some books as I write this. 

Roster-wise, I’d put the Nets behind only Boston in the East. When you look at just the talent for players 1-10, Brooklyn is unequivocally better than the Bucks, Heat and Hawks. But, I’m here to burst that championship bubble. Let’s jump into why I’m fading the Nets this year.

NETS ODDS FOR 2022-23 SEASON (all odds at FOX Bet) *

Nets to win NBA title: +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)
Kevin Durant to win NBA MVP: +1000 (bet $10 to win $110 total)
Kyrie Irving to win NBA MVP: +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)

* = odds as of 8/23/2022

First, let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind, which is, can this team stay healthy?

Last season, Durant, Irving and Joe Harris all missed significant time with injuries. Meanwhile, Simmons hasn’t played regulation basketball since May 2021. If everyone can stay healthy, chemistry will be another issue. Yes, they’ll have all season to build cohesion, but that will take time and healthy bodies. Given the team’s injury history thus far in the Durant/Irving era, it’s a valid concern.

As for the biggest reason why I’m out on the Nets, I’ll sum it up for you with just one name: Kyrie Irving. His future is going to be a giant storm cloud hovering over this team this season.

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Let’s face it, for as talented as the star PG is, you never know what you will get from him on the court, or if he’ll even play. If Irving wants to stay in Brooklyn beyond this season, he’ll try to play in 70-plus games, and if that happens, he’s likely to be an All-NBA player. But, if he knows he’s gone, does he go all-in and play at a high level every game? Or does he only play well enough to get a maximum contract offer next summer from someone else. 

Either way, tying up money for nine months on Irving seems like an extremely high-risk futures bet. In a staggering stat, you have to go all the way back to 2017 to find the last time Irving was healthy enough to play double-digit playoff games.

This is all to say I won’t be betting on any Nets futures this upcoming NBA season.

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.

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