The route to back to back NBA Championships looks an awful lot easier for the Milwaukee Bucks following the news that Kyrie Irving won’t be playing for the Brooklyn Nets for the foreseeable future
It’s a unique issue but one that had only one answer that was ever going to make sense. If Kyrie Irving wanted to play for the Brooklyn Nets this season, he simply had to get a vaccine. The NBA has a 96 per cent vaccination rate amongst players and all of the science proves that it is both safe and saves lives. Between his influence on the wider public and the clear risk to those working in the facilities run by the Nets, Irving had to know that there was no plausible way he’d be able to be involved with his team without getting vaccinated.
It’s his choice not to get vaccinated, nobody is arguing that. It is also the choice of the wider public not to put itself at risk to exposure, which unvaccinated people in indoor areas clearly present.Kyrie has made his choice and it’s going to cost the Nets, with the latest NBA betting odds clearly showing a move away from the Brooklyn Net.
The Nets remain outright favourites, which is absolutely wild to me, but they are going to come out. I’d hold off on betting on them right now and wait a couple of weeks into the season. Right now, the value is in the Milwaukee Bucks who are +900 and retain all the pieces that matter from their championship squad. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a fun and fulfilling summer that helped him get the rest he needed before an enormous 12 months which he hopes to cap with a second NBA championship and the Eurobasket 2022 title. Expect him to pace himself early and really kick on after the All Star break. I love this team at these odds as, worst case, you will be able to lay them in either the Eastern Conference Finals or the NBA Finals.
Out west, the LA Lakers remain second favourites to win it all behind the Nets, at +400, but I’d give them a month and hope their odds push out a bit as it looks like they might need some time to gel. That should make the market a bit more nervous. The value in the Western Conference comes with the Utah Jazz (+1600) and Phoenix Suns (+1700) with both a bit longer than expected due to the market buying back into the Golden State Warrirors (+1200). I’d be shocked if one of the Jazz and Suns don’t make it to at least the conference finals so go with one of them so you have an option to lay later in the season.