The Brooklyn Nets were expected to be NBA title contenders this season. They came into the season led by star players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The duo never clicked and general manager Sean Marks decided to deal both of them before the NBA trade deadline. The Nets managed to stay afloat as a playoff team, going 13-15 after the trade deadline. However, they are no longer a true contender.
The Nets will take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. We’ll preview the series and give the best betting odds.
Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Nets and 76ers faced each other four times this year with the 76ers winning all of them. Brooklyn lost their season finale to Philadelphia, 134-105. If the Nets are going to win this series, they’ll need a number of guys to step up.
Mikal Bridges was acquired by the Nets at the trade deadline and has been the team’s leading scorer since the deal. Bridges averaged over 27 a game in his first 26 games with Brooklyn before playing just four seconds in the season finale.
The 76ers went 54-28 this year, which was good for third in the Eastern Conference. They were led by Joel Embiid, the likely league MVP. Embiid averaged 33.1 points in 66 games this season. James Harden, the former Brooklyn Net, was much more efficient than his previous season in Philadelphia. He’ll be looking to step it up in this year’s postseason after faltering last season.
The 76ers haven’t made it out of the second round in the Joel Embiid era. There’s no guarantee that will change this year but they are heavily favored to at least get by the Nets.
Oddsmakers Don’t See the Nets Winning This One
NY sportsbooks aren’t giving the Brooklyn Nets much of a shot at winning this series. This is in large part because Brooklyn does not possess a win-now roster. Going winless against the 76ers this year hasn’t helped their odds either.
The 76ers have a couple of star players that could help them make a legit run at an NBA title this year. The Nets can’t say the same and no one is entirely sure what the future holds in Brooklyn. If the Nets had their current roster the entire season it would be unlikely they’d even make the playoffs.
Nets vs 76ers Game 1 Betting Odds, Courtesy of FanDuel
|Brooklyn Nets||+8.5 (-108)||+300||O 215 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-8.5 (-112)||-370||U 215 (-110)|
Nets vs 76ers Series Best Betting Odds
|Team||Best Betting Odds|
|Brooklyn Nets||+660 FanDuel|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-900 DraftKings|
The Nets are series underdogs and game 1 underdogs. Among the teams locked into a playoff spot, the Nets have the worst odds to win the NBA title, according to FanDuel. They’re in a tie with the Wolves, at +37000 odds. The Wolves face an elimination game this Friday against the Thunder.
What the Nets Will Need To Do
Containing Joel Embiid will be Jacque Vaughn’s team’s number one priority. The last time he faced Brooklyn, the Sixers big man went for 37 points on 12 of 18 shooting. Nic Claxton will likely be the guy assigned to Embiid. Claxton is 6’11, so the Nets will be hoping he is able to bother Embiid.
The Nets will need to see more from Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie, who was traded from Dallas to Brooklyn mid-season, struggled with his shot in Brooklyn. Dinwiddie is a volume shooter from deep and has the capability of getting hot. He’ll need to be more hot than cold if the Nets want any chance at winning this series.
The Nets and Sixers will kick off the playoffs at 1 PM EST on Saturday, April 15th from Philadelphia. Game 2 will be on Monday. The Nets will need to steal one in Philadelphia before heading back to Brooklyn. If they look good on the road and take one, expect their odds to win the series to shrink significantly.