NBA betting: Nets' odds to win title have changed significantly, and BetMGM isn't upset about it

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A few days ago, the Brooklyn Nets looked like they couldn't be stopped. This was a problem for BetMGM

Bettors have been taking the Nets to win the NBA title for months. As they went up 2-0 on the Milwaukee Bucks, beating the Bucks by 39 in Game 2, Brooklyn came close to having as much money bet on them to win the NBA Finals as every other team combined. Of all the money bet on who will win the title at BetMGM, 41 percent is on the Nets. That's a remarkable number in the second round of the playoffs. Brooklyn's odds dropped to +100 to win it all, another crazy number with two full rounds to go. 

And then in a few days the entire outlook of the playoffs changed, especially once Kyrie Irving turned his ankle

The Nets lost two in a row, and with the prospects of winning their series against the Bucks perhaps without James Harden and Irving, they're actually underdogs against the Bucks. Their NBA title odds have turned. That's big news for bookmakers. 

Nets' odds changed after Game 4 loss

The Nets are so good, they could lose a world-class player like Harden a minute into Game 1 against a good Bucks team and still flirt with beating them by 50 in Game 2. 

But losing a second world-class player? It's hard for any team to overcome that. 

Irving turned his ankle in Game 4 and it looked really bad. Milwaukee went on to a decisive win. The Nets haven't ruled out Harden or Irving for Game 5, but it doesn't sound too promising. If they play, they might be less than 100 percent or be risking making the injuries worse. 

The Bucks are now -125 to win the series. The Nets' NBA Finals odds moved from +100 to +260 at BetMGM. Keep in mind, last Thursday night with 12 seconds left, the Nets led Game 3 on the verge of going up 3-0 in the series. Had Jrue Holiday missed a go-ahead layup, or the Nets gotten the ball to Kevin Durant instead of Bruce Brown on the following possession, they might have been up 3-0, a lead that has never lost in NBA playoffs history. 

Now the Nets aren't even expected to advance to the next round, according to the odds. They are 2.5-point underdogs in Game 5 at home. 

When will Kyrie Irving return from an ankle injury? (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
When will Kyrie Irving return from an ankle injury? (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Nets aren't done yet

While the Nets' outlook has changed — and it says something about Brooklyn it might be down two of the top 20 players in the world and still isn't a huge underdog in the series — BetMGM has been playing close attention. 

Nobody is rooting for injuries, but the sportsbook is quite aware that 41 percent of the NBA title future handle is on one team. 

“It all looked so good for the Nets," BetMGM sports trader Darren Darby said. "Brooklyn was as short as +100 to win the title but have since drifted out to +260. Kevin Durant & Co. are still favorites, and BetMGM’s biggest liability, but they are vulnerable now. We never like to see any player get injured, but Kyrie Irving’s ankle injury has given every other team optimism.”

The Nets looked like they couldn't be stopped on the way to a title less than a week ago. The only thing that could reasonably derail them was injuries. Then another key injury happened. The Nets are far from dead in this series and in the playoffs generally. But it looks a lot different than it did late in the fourth quarter last Thursday night. 

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