Will he or won’t he? That has been the pressing question surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s unwillingness to get the Covid-19 vaccination.
Either way, under New York’s mandate, the Brooklyn guard must be vaccinated to fully participate in team activities. Initially, there was speculation that the NBA All-Star might play part-time (road games) during the 2021-2022 NBA season. However, the Nets’ emphatic statement Tuesday was that part-time play is not an option, per general manager Sean Marks.
So what does this all mean for Brooklyn’s chances at hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy next summer?
When it comes to futures bets, the Nets championship odds haven’t moved significantly – even with the Kyrie Covid saga. Currently, FOX Bet has the Nets as the favorites to win the title at +230 (meaning a $10 bet would win you $33 total). Brooklyn is followed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the odds, who sit at +400 to win it all.
As for how Irving impacts the Nets from a gambling perspective moving forward, FOX Bet Sports Trader Dylan Brossman advises that Kyrie’s latest behavior barely moves the needle in that regard.
“I don’t believe Kyrie is worth more than 1-2 points per game on this star-heavy roster,” Brossman said. “Brooklyn was 12-6 last season without Kyrie and 36-18 with him (identical winning percentage).”
Brossman also explained why they haven’t moved the team’s futures odds.
“In the end, the Kyrie drama is largely priced in and hasn’t affected the Nets title odds, as there remains hope for Kyrie to ultimately 1. Get vaccinated or 2. Get traded,” the oddsmaker explained.
Even without Irving, this roster is absolutely loaded with talent, including two of the best players in all of the NBA. Kevin Durant — the biggest star of BK’s Big Three and arguably, of the entire League — averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 boards, and 5.6 assists last season. James Harden isn’t too shabby himself, as he averaged 24.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.8 assists last year. Based on those stats, having Insta-Live Irving on the team is more of a bonus than a necessity.
“In the unlikely event that Kyrie is confirmed to play next Tuesday against the Bucks, I would only expect to see the line move 0.5 to 1 point, considering he has not been with the team this offseason,” Brossman stated.
The Nets opener against the defending champion Bucks is right around the corner, on October 19th. There doesn’t seem to be any movement on Kyrie’s stance, so we shouldn’t expect to see Irving in a Nets uniform next week.
But from a betting angle, whether you do or don’t wager on Brooklyn should not be based on if the star guard plays or sits.
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