The Brooklyn Nets are the clear favorite to win the NBA championship. Their odds to win it all are just +250, the type of short odds you only see for great teams.
But the Nets haven't looked like a great team.
Brooklyn hasn't been bad. But 4-3 with blowout losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, the latter of which came at home, and another home loss to the Charlotte Hornets isn't what you'd expect from a runaway favorite to win a championship.
The Nets get an interesting test on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are 4-3 too, also a bit disappointing given their young talent and how they finished last season. The Nets are 5-point favorites at BetMGM.
There are two big adjustments for the Nets. James Harden is off to a slow start as he adjusts to officials being instructed to not call fouls when players use non-basketball moves. Harden is averaging just 18.6 points, though he is coming off a triple-double in Brooklyn's last game. The Nets are also getting used to life without Kyrie Irving, who is not playing due to his decision to remain unvaccinated. It says something about the Nets' talent that they're still +250 to win it all despite not having an elite talent like Irving.
The Hawks haven't been great out of the gate either and part of that is Trae Young also adjusting to the new rules about foul calls. His points are down from 25.3 to 22.9. He's shooting 3.4 fewer free throws per game.
Wednesday night is a fun matchup on ESPN between two of the best teams in the East. I'll take the Hawks' depth and the five points. The Nets will probably come around and those futures tickets with the short odds will look better, but it might take a while longer.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
What else is on the NBA docket?
There are 11 games, and ESPN got to the two best matchups. The 5-3 Charlotte Hornets play at the 5-1 Golden State Warriors. LaMalo Ball vs. Steph Curry is a fun one. The Warriors are a 6.5-point favorite.
The most interesting line could be the Indiana Pacers as a 1.5-point favorite over the New York Knicks. The Pacers are just 2-6 against the 5-2 Knicks, who rarely take nights off with hard-driving Tom Thibodeau as coach. The Pacers do have Caris LeVert back in the lineup from injury but still working back to his normal minutes.
What about the NHL?
There are just four games in the NHL. The top matchup on Wednesday night could be the 7-1 Edmonton Oilers hosting the 5-4 Nashville Predators. The Oilers are -190 favorites and it might be worth a bet. onthe underdog Predators, who have won four in a row after a bad start to this season.
Who cashed tickets on Tuesday?
The big win, of course, was the Atlanta Braves blowing out the Houston Astros in Game 6 to win the World Series. Congratulations to all those who had Braves futures. Atlanta's odds to win the World Series were +1200 before the playoffs.
A couple other trends continued in the NBA: The Miami Heat look like a machine early in the season and they covered easily as 2.5-point favorites at the Dallas Mavericks, winning 125-110. The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be unimpressive, winning 119-117 against the Houston Rockets, who were 10-point underdogs.
What's the best bet?
I'll go with the Knicks. The Knicks lost their last game, at home to the Toronto Raptors, but mostly they have looked pretty good. The style is different, with a lot more 3-pointers, but the Knicks have looked like they'll be able to continue the success they had last season. Getting 1.5 points at the Pacers is the way to go.