Injuries to Kyrie Irving and James harden have reversed the odds on the brooklyn nets–Milwaukee dollars‘Eastern Conference Playoffs, placing sports betting in a unique position where the current favorite to win the NBA title is now an underdog in the conference semi-finals.
The Bucks tied the series 2-2 with a 107-96 win Sunday on the Nets in Game 4. Irving left the game and did not return after sustaining an ankle injury in the second quarter, and Harden has not played since he injured his hamstring early in Game 1.
With the status of the two Nets stars uncertain, sports betting made Milwaukee the frontrunner to win the series. The Bucks are as high as -150 series favorites, with Brooklyn sitting around +120 underdogs.
But the Nets remain the favorites to win the Eastern Conference and NBA championships. At Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, Brooklyn is +155 to win the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Bucks at +175, and +260 to win the NBA title, ahead of the Utah Jazz at +325.
“The philosophy is that if they can overcome the short-term injuries against the Bucks, they will be well positioned in the long term to win the conference and the championship,” Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM, told ESPN. “However, if they are both left out in the long run, those futures markets will change. It’s very fluid right now.”
At Caesars / William Hill, the Nets had -440 favorites over the Bucks after winning the first two games of the series. A week later, they are underdogs riddled with injuries.
Nets coach Steve Nash said after Sunday’s game that Irving’s ankle x-rays were negative, but the availability of the all-star goaltender for Tuesday’s Game 5 is uncertain. Harden is also questionable for Tuesday’s game in Brooklyn. Harden has been working the field in recent days, according to Nash, but his availability for Game 5 was unknown on Sunday.
The Bucks were installed as three-point favorites in Game 5.
Jeff Sherman, who oversees NBA odds for the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, expects the Game 5 line to come close to picking them if Harden was allowed to play.
“We expect to see money in Milwaukee, especially if these guys are advertised,” Sherman said.