NBA bettors might have been confused by the odds board Monday.
The Brooklyn Nets are still favored to win the NBA title at most Las Vegas sportsbooks, but they are no longer favored to win their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
For example, the Nets are the +350 favorites to win the title at the Westgate but are +160 underdogs to the Bucks (-180).
This paradox was created by injuries to Nets stars James Harden and Kyrie Irving, two of their “big three” with Kevin Durant. Harden and Irving have been ruled out for Game 5 on Tuesday, and their status for the rest of the series is uncertain.
“But we have to take into account the possibility of them returning if they get through this series,” Westgate sportsbook vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said.
The Bucks are 4-point road favorites at the Westgate for Game 5.
The Nets were the clear title favorites coming into the playoffs (around +180) and would be heavily favored again if they get past the Bucks with Harden and Irving healthy.
But as things stood heading into Monday’s games, the Nets were +350 at the Westgate, followed by the Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz all at 4-1.
Circa Sports made the Jazz the favorites at +355 with them holding a 2-1 lead over the Clippers going into Game 4 on Monday. Circa had the highest price on the Nets in Las Vegas at +410, tied as the second choice behind the Jazz with the Bucks and Suns.
Boyd Gaming also had the Jazz favored to win the title at 3-1. Station Casinos had the Suns, the only team that has clinched a spot in the conference finals, favored at +275.
NBA title odds
Before Monday’s games