Kevin Durant might be the best player in the league, but the vast majority of the public is betting against him in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
As of Wednesday morning, 96% of all tickets and 98% of all money sided with the Boston Celtics to win their first-round NBA playoff series against KD’s Brooklyn Nets, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
96% of the tickets and 98% of the money so far has been placed on the Celtics to beat the Nets in the first round of the #NBAPlayoffs 😮
The Celtics opened at +115 and are now favorites in the series. pic.twitter.com/g8jendovPH
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) April 13, 2022
Nets-Celtics promises to be ‘brilliant’ matchup in NBA playoffs
Boston, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, opened as a +115 underdog. But by Wednesday afternoon, as seen at many New York online sportsbooks, the Celtics shifted to -145 favorites, with No. 7 Brooklyn coming in as a +125 dog.
“Historically 8 vs. 1 and 7 vs. 2 matchups would be mismatches on paper, however this year we have some brilliant first-round matchups,” Caesars Sportsbook VP of Trading Craig Mucklow said. “Given all of Brooklyn’s injuries and missing player time, you don’t often get a team of their caliber lining up as the No. 7 seed. That’s what caused such a wild difference of opinion. This might not even end up to be the biggest discrepancy, a Warriors and Jazz series could figure to be more volatile.”
|Sportsbook||Odds to win series|
|BetMGM Sportsbook NY||Celtics -140, Nets +115|
|Caesars Sportsbook NY||Celtics -145, Nets +125|
|DraftKings Sportsbook NY||Celtics -130, Nets +110|
|FanDuel Sportsbook NY||Celtics -142, Nets +120|
At Caesars New York, the Nets (+750) have the third-best odds of winning the title, behind only the Phoenix Suns (+270) and the Milwaukee Bucks (+475). The Celtics (+900) are tied with the Golden State Warriors in fourth. Brooklyn (+380) is also just behind Milwaukee (+220) to emerge out of the Eastern Conference.
How Brooklyn Nets fair heading into NBA playoffs
Despite being title favorites coming into the season, the Nets needed to defeat the Cavaliers 115-108 in the play-in game to secure the No. 7 seed. Brooklyn led by as much as 22 in the third quarter before failing to cover the 9.5-point spread.
The KD-Kyrie Irving duo is as good as it gets in terms of talent. But the team has been inconsistent when its stars go to the bench for a rest. And defensively, it will be a daunting challenge for the Nets to defend superstar Jayson Tatum. The Celtics, though, are missing elite rim protector Robert Williams (knee).
“Doing a little bit more every day. … We’re still preparing for a series without him,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons (back) reportedly could return for the Nets later in the series. Game 1 is April 17 in Boston, with Game 3 not happening until April 23.
Brooklyn returns to practice on Thursday.
KD will likely have a good retort on the public NBA betting against him.