NBA fans are doing a double-take today as the betting odds for the Nets/Celtics series available on New York sports betting apps flipped in less than 24 hours.
When betting odds for the first-round series opened on Tuesday, No. 7 seed Brooklyn was the favorite, with the No. 2 Celtics priced at +115. The Nets are coming off a decisive win in the play-in game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Still, it’s not every day you see a 7th-seeded team listed as the favorite against a No. 2.
Bettors saw an opportunity and jumped on it, pouring money on Boston at +115. Caesars New York reported on Wednesday that a whopping 98% of the money on the series had been placed on the Celtics to beat the Nets.
This remarkable one-sided wagering caused a series flip, and as of Thursday morning, the Celtics are priced at -145. The Nets are now +125. The series opener is Sunday afternoon in Boston. The Celtics are favored by four points.
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Why The Nets Were Favored
The betting odds opened Tuesday after the Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA play-in game. Some fans were surprised to see No. 2 Boston open as underdogs against the No. 7 seed Nets. But the Nets are looking formidable for the playoffs with their all-star lineup almost completely intact for the first time this season.
Kevin Durant returned from injury in March, and Kyrie Irving was cleared to play home games again after a ban on unvaccinated players was lifted in New York. The Nets are also talking about Ben Simmons’ potential return from a back injury in time for part of the playoffs.
Irving was trending on Twitter after shooting 100% in the first half during the play-in game Tuesday. So yeah, you could say the Nets were looking strong on Tuesday when the odds opened.
But the Celtics can’t be overlooked so quickly, as they pulled off one of the league’s most remarkable turnarounds this season.
Boston started well out of the top 10 and wasn’t looking like a playoff contender, but in January, it caught a winning streak and came back to finish at No. 2 in the East thanks largely to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics finished the regular season strong with a 15-4 record in March and April.
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Another Wrinkle: Nets Still Ahead In Futures Markets
The plot thickens when you look at the overall NBA championship betting market.
In the Eastern Conference and NBA championship markets, the Nets have better odds to win both than the Celtics. The Nets are listed at +350 to win the East and +850 to win the NBA Championship, while the Celtics are +425 for the East and +900 for the Championship.
Needless to say, we’re excited about the playoffs.
Photo courtesy of Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire