Despite the fact the Brooklyn Nets may not have seven-time All-Star guard Kyrie Irving at all this season because he refuses to get the COVID vaccine, the Nets are +240 title favorites as the season tips off Tuesday with Brooklyn as a very short favorite at defending champion Milwaukee. Let’s take a look at how the teams are performing so you can place your NBA Odds.
How to Bet Nets at Bucks NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Nets -1.5 (total 237.5)
Of course, these teams met in a stellar Eastern Conference semifinals and the Bucks won in seven on the way to the NBA title. Brooklyn probably wins that series if both Kyrie Irving and James Harden played in every game but both were hurt. In the 2020-21 regular season, the Bucks won two of three matchups.
Why Bet on Brooklyn?
While the Sixers led the Eastern Conference with a 49-23 record last season, the Nets were a game behind at 48-24 for the highest winning percentage in franchise history. Brooklyn led the league in offensive rating (117.3), field goal percentage (49.4), and effective field goal percentage (57.5) while ranking second in 3-point percentage (39.2).
Unless New York City changes its COVID protocols or Kyrie Irving gets the vaccine, he will not play for the Nets this year – and will lose about $18 million. The team still has to pay Irving for road games missed because the team decided to keep him away. Irving isn’t allowed to play in home games due to the mandate in NYC. Any employee that works at an indoor facility in the city has to have received at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work, hence Irving not being eligible to play.
Fellow superstar James Harden has hardly played basketball in the last six months; since April 1, he’s played seven games at roughly full strength and limped through three others against Milwaukee. He completed the preseason on Friday by taking seven shots in 31 minutes.
The Nets enter the 2021 preseason with eight players who spent time with the Nets last season: five who spent the whole season with the team (Bruce Brown, Nic Claxton, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving), two who were acquired in-season and finished the season with the team (Blake Griffin and James Harden) and one who was acquired in-season but retired prior to the end of the season (LaMarcus Aldridge).
The additions over the summer of veterans such as Paul Millsap and Patty Mills, along with the return of Aldridge, have stretched out Brooklyn’s depth and lineup options. Coach Steve Nash has said it will be a work in progress and rotations may be fluid depending on circumstances.
“I think the difficult part is finding minutes for everyone,” said Nash. “The beneficial part is that we have options, we have depth, so hopefully, we not only can help guys get through the season without deteriorating physically, but they also have different profiles and can fit different roles, matchups, lineups, so I think we try to play to our strengths and try to use that to our benefit.”
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
The Bucks will raise their championship banner to the rafters before the game. However, a couple of key players are out. Bobby Portis, key off the bench last year, is dealing with a hamstring injury. Starting guard Donte DiVincenzo tore ligaments in his left ankle during the playoffs and isn’t ready yet.
Over the last three seasons (since head coach Mike Budenholzer took over), the Bucks have amassed the best regular season record (162-65, .714) and the most playoff wins (31) in the NBA. Milwaukee has also led the league in scoring each of the last three seasons, including averaging a franchise record 120.1 ppg last season.
Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to win multiple MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year award and be named NBA Finals MVP in a career. Antetokounmpo, who is now a five-time All-NBA selection and a four-time All-Defensive team pick, was selected as the unanimous 2021 NBA Finals MVP after putting up 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game on 61.8% shooting from the field during last season’s Finals.
Jrue Holiday was a huge trade addition and tremendous third scorer during the regular season, averaging 17.7 points on 59.2 percent true shooting (.503/.392/.787). Had he not missed 10 consecutive games in February due to COVID, there’s a chance he’d have received his second All-Star berth.
Shooting and scoring were a bit of a struggle for Holiday in the playoffs, as all of his shooting percentages dropped by about 10 percent and he shot just 49.5 percent from inside the paint. He found other ways to make a positive impact as Holiday averaged 8.7 assists to just 2.4 turnovers and played lockdown defense to help the Bucks win their first championship in 50 years.
- Nets are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
- Nets are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Nets are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Milwaukee.
- Nets 114, Bucks 112