Here We Go Again: Brooklyn Nets Early Favorite To Win 2021-22 NBA Title

Written By Dave Bontempo on July 22, 2021
NBA Betting

Chalk up slam dunk number one. New Jersey online sports bettors quickly changed the NBA betting futures landscape, making the Brooklyn Nets the favorite to win the 2021-22 championship within hours of odds being established.

Shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks won their first title in 50 years, major NJ sportsbooks enticed gamblers with NBA odds for next year.

Too early?

Heck no.

Garden State gamblers pounced on value, driving the Nets down to chalk status of +225 at William Hill. Brooklyn had opened as the co-favorite +375 with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are now +400.

Because of the Nets betting surge, the Bucks moved from +750 to +900. So much for winning it all.

Philadelphia received some betting love, with 76ers odds shifting from +2000 to +1800. The New York Knicks receive respect for making the playoffs and opened at +4000 before settling at +6000.

The Atlanta Hawks, who ushered both the Knicks and Sixers from the playoffs, opened at a nice price at +1800. They are now +3000 along with the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. 

Wow. It’s like the season never ended.


Cashing in on the NBA betting buzz

Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading for William Hill U.S, recently told that posting futures odds at season’s end began during the brick-and-mortar heyday of Las Vegas books. Following a Super Bowl, the books posted next season’s prices, enticing exit bets from tourists packing up to go home.

They wagered and they later returned.

Well, the NJ sports betting apps are roaring now. Customers can weigh in from any state and the Nets odds represent a sale: +375 while supplies last. And they didn’t last long.

“The Nets got every bad break humanly possible this year,” Bogdanovich said of a team that suffered numerous injuries and missed beating the Bucks by perhaps an inch, the distance separating James Harden’s buzzer-beater in Game 7 from two and three-point value. It went in as a two and forced overtime, where the Nets lost.

“Those things usually balance out,” Bogdanovich added, “But the Nets got a feel of how to play together and [Steve] Nash got a year of coaching under his belt. I think when push comes to shove and there aren’t any injuries to their Big 3, the Nets will have the most tickets and dollars when the season tips off.”

The Bucks took a charmed post-season ride. After eking past the Nets as a dog, they made it count in the chalk role with six-game series victories over the Hawks and Phoenix Suns. That’s the value of momentum.

The big winners were bettors who took the Bucks at +1600 when they trailed the Nets 2-0 in the conference semifinals. The odds reflected Milwaukee suffering a 125-86 Game 2 pounding by the Nets.

Taking the Bucks at that point, off of a 39-point loss, knowing they then had to win four of the next five versus the Nets, and then win two more series_ was a premier leap of faith.

But some bettors made it and were justifiably rewarded.


Will this NBA betting momentum carry over?

Talking big picture NBA betting, Bogdanovich said the Bucks just don’t draw the same level of money as some of those other teams.

“There was so much money for the Nets and Lakers this past season, so that’s a factor. And going back-to-back is no easy chore,” said Bogdanovich. “Everyone’s gunning for you and you don’t get the same breaks as the year before. I think the Bucks are priced fairly; I don’t think we’ll see a stampede of people running to take them at +750.”

Bogdanovich expects the off-season betting ride to be wild, especially if any team makes a high-profile move.


DraftKings Sportsbook: Phoenix is Sun-Sational

The Phoenix Suns, who reached the NBA finals, took 30% of the money for the 2022 title, with odds of +1300, according to a DraftKings Sportsbook report the book released right after the playoffs.

The Bucks, who toppled them, obtained 23% of the early cash, at +900.

The Sixers received 7% of the early betting support at +1600

The Nets, with a prohibitive price of +200, saw 6% of the early money. With prices like that, it pays to wait.

DraftKings also finalized its top winners for the past season.

The Lakers and Nets were the most bet teams. The Golden State Warriors were third and the Sixers were fourth.

The most profitable team in the league?

The Knicks.

Bettors jumped upon them, as the Knicks stormed past an over-under total of 22 games to make the playoffs. A breakout team will often pay bettors faster than the books will adjust the lines.

Many bettors rode the Knicks odds all the way to the end.

PointsBet: A win for the books

We wrote all season long about the Lakers being overbet and the Nets placing a huge liability on the books, who nonetheless took all the action.

The books were delirious when the Lakers and Nets were bumped out of the post-season. Seven-figure liability disappeared.

So, what does that look like after the smoke cleared?

PointsBet released some figures on Wednesday.

So what were the best results for the book?

The Nets being bounced in the second round by the Bucks was great for the book. Brooklyn took 22% of bets and 35% of the handle to win the title.

The Lakers first-round loss was another great result for PointsBet, with about 13% of both bets and handle on LAL to win the championship. Combine the Nets and Lakers and Points Bet shaved nearly half its liability with their playoff exits.

Pop the champagne.

Entering the finals, the Phoenix Suns were the larger liability taking 17% of the handle, therefore the Bucks winning the title was also a favorable result.

The sportsbooks, like the gamblers, are no strangers to betting big. They usually have more one-way action than they would like. They make some big scores and take some hits.

This was a score.

Taking a stab at NBA Draft betting

First came the 2022 NBA championship odds.

However, with the draft taking place on Thursday, July 29, the NBA tries to bridge the 2021 and 2021-22 campaign, which starts in October.

New Jersey bettors now know what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs realized about the recent NFL Draft. With late picks, where’s the early drama and speculation.?

The Knicks select 19th and 21st, the Nets 27th, and the Sixers 28th. So much can happen early.

I’ve seen four mock drafts with four different outcomes. Everybody’s guessing. There’s only one constant. Cade Cunningham, of Oklahoma State, to the Detroit Pistons as the first selection. But it’s -80000. You’re laying 80-1.

For Sixers fans, it only gets interesting if they trade up to get a shooting guard.

Which, in light of the Ben Simmons playoff fiasco, they might.



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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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