Dominant Durant and wild Wednesday news cycle turn NBA odds upside down

Eddie Griffin

If you have done any NBA betting over the last 24 hours or so, things have been pretty boring, right?

Do those without Internet access over the last day need a little rundown?

Early yesterday, both James Harden and Kyrie Irving were expected to miss Game 5 between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Harden had been out since exiting Game 1 early with a hamstring injury, while Kyrie went down in Sunday’s Game 4 loss in Milwaukee with an ankle sprain.

Based on the Nets’ apparent injury situation, NBA betting odds looked rather different than they did when the Nets were 2-0 up on the Bucks last week.

NBA Betting Odds: Odds to Win the NBA Title as of Tuesday Morning

  • Brooklyn Nets +350
  • Milwaukee Bucks +370
  • Utah Jazz +380
  • Phoenix Suns +390
  • Los Angeles Clippers +550
  • Philadelphia 76ers +700
  • Atlanta Hawks +6500

And not only were the Bucks a solid favorite to win last night’s game in Brooklyn, series odds had also shifted in favor of Milwaukee.

Chaos reigns after Durant dominates to down Milwaukee

Then yesterday afternoon, the news emerged that Harden would likely play in Game 5. While it was uncertain what kind of impact Harden would be able to have, the news was enough to significantly affect NBA betting markets for Game 5.

However, the change in available personnel for the Nets failed to trouble the Bucks on the court early on. After a quarter, Milwaukee led by 14, and at halftime, they were up 59-43. If they could hold on, they would return home with a chance to eliminate the Nets.

And at that point, NBA betting odds favored that outcome and favored the Bucks for the NBA title.

Then one of the best scorers in basketball history took over.

The Bucks managed to fend off the inevitable for a while, but they had no answer for Kevin Durant and his dominant, historic performance. Behind KD’s 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists, the Nets rallied for the win and a 3-2 series lead.

Order restored…for the night.

Early this morning came the news that Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul had entered the NBA’s COVID protocols and was out for an undetermined amount of time. Then came the news that Kawhi Leonard would miss tonight’s Game 5 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz with a knee injury, which has been revealed to be an ACL injury. The severity of his injury is unknown, but at minimum, he is out for the remainder of the Clippers vs Jazz series.

If bad things happen in threes, then what could possibly be–“knocks on all wood nearby”

It’s safe to say that it has been a rather busy day for NBA betting oddsmakers. While the Nets are once again sitting pretty, the same can’t be said elsewhere.

NBA Betting Odds: Updated Odds to Win the NBA Title

  • Brooklyn Nets +200
  • Utah Jazz +250
  • Phoenix Suns +500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +650
  • Milwaukee Bucks +750
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1300
  • Atlanta Hawks +6500

NBA betting odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Wednesday, June 16 at 5:20 pm ET.

Nets Still the Team to Beat Even With Kyrie’s Status Up in the Air

So what does all of this mean?

For the Nets, Kyrie’s ankle is certainly a major concern, and there is still the matter of getting past the Bucks. But in Durant and Harden, they have arguably the best two players left standing–oh, where’s that wood, again?–in the NBA playoffs. That is, if you go by what should be a fairly uncontroversial line of thinking with Kawhi now sidelined. That goes a long way, especially with KD’s scoring ability.

As long as they have those two and keep winning, their status as NBA betting favorites should not change. Even a loss in tomorrow’s Game 6 in Milwaukee would not diminish that, given their home success against the Bucks in this series.

Clippers Pushing the Series to Seven Could Benefit the Suns

After knotting up their series against the Jazz in dominant fashion, the Clippers looked well-positioned ahead of Game 5 at Utah. The Jazz are dealing with their own injury issues with Mike Conley Jr. set to miss his fifth straight game of this series. Now the weight of their fate rests heavily on the play of Paul George. Can he lead, or is his best role as Kawhi’s sidekick?

That said, if ever there was a time to bet on the Clippers, it’s now. The latest NBA betting odds place them last among the remaining Western Conference teams to win the title, and they are at +600 to win the Western Conference and +280 for the series against the Jazz.

According to reports, CP3 is vaccinated, having received the vaccine in February. That could cut down on the amount of games he will have to miss. The best outcome for the Suns would be for the Clippers vs Jazz series to go seven games. Such a result would push that series all the way to Sunday. However, that possibility has been altered with Kawhi’s injury.

So, what else is coming? Injuries, more than anything else, have determined the course of this season. If there is anyone out there whose NBA betting has not been affected by injuries at any point this season, they are more fortunate than many. It would be ideal if this was it and the rest of the NBA playoffs could go off without a hitch.

But given how much has happened, that might be asking too much. Now, where’s that wood?

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