THE NEW Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets are oddsmakers’ biggest favorites to win their opening games in the National Basketball Association (NBA) play-in tournament this week. Basketball bettors like them the most, too.
The Nets, the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 seed, are 8.5-point favorites (-400 moneyline) at both BetMGM and DraftKings to beat the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night at home.
Per DraftKings, the Nets were seeing 93% of the handle and 89% of the total bets to win on the moneyline.
Despite having the No. 7 seed, the Nets are in fact one of the handful of favorites to win the championship. Buoyed by stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — who now can play home games thanks to New York lifting its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine mandate for the private sector — the Nets have the third-shortest odds at both BetMGM and DraftKings to win the whole thing.
The Nets are +600 at DraftKings and +700 at BetMGM as of Monday evening. In both cases, they trail only the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.
Bettors at DraftKings also like the Pelicans (-210), the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, to beat the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs. New Orleans has received 62% of the handle and 64% of the total bets. But against the spread, the Spurs are five-point underdogs and attracting 77% of the handle at DraftKings.
BetRivers said 98.3% of the money on Spurs-Pelicans (moneyline) was going toward New Orleans. Similarly, the Nets were picking up 97.75% of the handle to win moneyline and the Atlanta Hawks, the No. 9 seed in the East, were responsible for 96.28% of the handle to beat the 10th-seeded Charlotte Hornets outright. — Reuters