It is not often that CBA teams can add MVPs after the season starts. When things went wrong between James Harden and the Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets were ready.
When the rockets were flown by the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night and Harden said at his postgame news conference that he did not feel Houston could be cured, a trade was unavoidable.
In 2018, MVP was sent by Hardik to the Nets on Wednesday afternoon. The Nets were already one of the league’s most intriguing teams, along with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (when and if he returns to the Nets), and he added just one player, scoring 29.6 points per game over his nine Rockets seasons. Averaged out.
It’s a fun move and the Nets are adding an undeniably talented star. But does this make them a better team from a betting standpoint? If you consider the change in championship odds after trade, the Nets are now one of the two best teams in the NBA.
James Harden shakes NBA odds
BetMGM quickly canceled the NBA Championship odds after the trade details were settled. And they were bullish on the Nets.
The Lakers, who are coming off a title and always make plenty of championship bets, are still favorites at +250. The Nets are now +300 to win the title, which is incredibly low for a 6-6 team. The Nets were +600 to win the season at BetzMM, and they were the book’s second largest liability in that market.
No other team is even close to the Lakers and Nets. The Clippers are next at +600. The Bucks run at +700 and no team is below +1400.
This is not a big surprise. Big stars get a ton of attention and the Nets have a trio of superstars. He will have to figure out the chemistry and how to keep anyone, and Hardik has to prove that he is off the season after a lot of negative stories, but BetzM wasn’t going to pull off a huge number on the net. Winning it all.
How much will Harden help the Nets?
The Rockets were not good this season with Harden. They were 2–6 against the spread when he played. The Rockets won and were covered in the only game in which Harden was out.
Houston is not nearly as good as Brooklyn, of course. But the Nets left Jarrett Allen, Caris Levert and Torian Price in the trade. Levart was scoring 18.5 points per game. Allen averaged 11.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. Prince was leaping at 8.1 points. Brooklyn was not going bald to give any of those players in the deal, but it still has a lot to lose. And losing Allen makes the net worse in a significant way: defensively.
Allen was a solid rim protector on a team that was best on defense with him. Harden’s defensive shortcomings can be overcome, but he is not going to help much on that end of the floor. If Brooklyn does not win the Eastern Conference, the defense is likely.
The Nets are already playing at the fourth fastest pace in the league and can be quick with Hardik and Irving in both lineups. This would mean a lot of points, and also a lot of points allowed. The totals are about to go up / under, and they will still get a lot more often.
The Nets will probably do better with Hardik – they are just 5-7 against this season’s spread – but the market is going to adjust as well. If you want to win titles or make new bets on any game in the near future, there won’t be much value.
With a move on Wednesday, expectations for Brooklyn have changed a lot.
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