The borough of Brooklyn hasn’t had a championship since “Da Bums” graced Ebbets Field in 1955, and the last time a New York (or New Jersey) team won a major league championship was in 2011 with the New York Giants. Which means the current nine-year dry run is the second-longest period in New York sports history without a winner, with the most extended drought happening between 1906-1920.
Will James Harden turn it around?
It’s quite possible. And it’s also possible the Brooklyn Nets’ big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the newly acquired Harden could go down in NBA history as the big three of all time.
But in order to even be considered on par with the Warriors of a few years ago, or the Bulls of the 1990s, or the Lakers of the ’80s, the Nets are going to have to win a championship or two. Or three.
“They’ve got three superstars, now the question is can it work with the three of them together,” Johnny Avello, the director of the DraftKings sportsbook, told NJOG. “The Nets gave up a bunch, and so they better win it all in the next couple of years.”
Nets odds go lower
The Harden trade certainly helps the Nets’ cause across the sportsbook landscape, as they’re now +300 on DraftKings to win the title. Hours before announcement of the Harden deal, they were +500. The change in odds was notable, but not earth-shattering; after all, they’re still behind the Los Angeles Lakers at +250.
“We’ve already got quite a bit of money on the Nets,” Avello said. “They were the second in handle and in bets behind the Lakers, so we’ve already taken a bunch and they were a lower price to start with.”
Interestingly, over at FanDuel, the Nets have been bet down to +270, just a shade behind the Lakers at +260.
“The Lakers will remain the favorites as Brooklyn will have to prove they can gel together and become a championship team,” said FanDuel’s John Sheeran in a note from the group’s risk and trading team. “But if the Nets are all healthy and playing well, the acquisition of Harden could see the Nets favored over the Lakers in a NBA Finals matchup.”
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) January 13, 2021
FanDuel matches up with DraftKings with the Nets having the second-most bets and second-most handle for NBA title futures, and FanDuel is carrying a pair of +1000 big bets (at $1,900 and $1,700) on the Nets back from October.
FanDuel’s biggest liability in the NBA championship futures market? Right now, it’s not the Lakers; it’s the Philadelphia 76ers.
Other books get involved
Other sportsbooks have gotten in on the action, most notably PointsBet, which “froze” the Nets’ championship price at +600 for an indeterminate amount of time. That offer is available only to customers who qualify for the company’s odds boosts.
NETS PRICE FREEZE❄️
We are keeping the Nets where they were! Check the PointsBet Home Page for this one…🧊
(Max Bet $50) https://t.co/KOnO2cY0tS pic.twitter.com/FHHjPu8UFE
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) January 13, 2021
FOXBet is also running a promo, boosting the Lakers to +280 and the Nets to +400, but the Nets boost is capped at $25.
And lastly, if you think James Harden is going to come to Brooklyn as a man on a mission, his best MVP odds are sitting at +4000 on DraftKings.