The Beard is heading to Brooklyn, and oddsmakers are adjusting accordingly.
The most-discussed trade possibility of the NBA season became a reality Wednesday, when the Houston Rockets sent former MVP James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team blockbuster deal. The Nets had to part ways with a bevy of draft picks and multiple players, including promising talent Caris LeVert, but they'll now add Harden to a star-studded nucleus that already included Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The Nets are 6-6 on the young season and currently third in the Atlantic Division, behind both Philadelphia and top-seeded Boston. But after acquiring Harden they became the team to beat in the East, with odds to win the NBA title dropping from +600 to +300 at PointsBet Sportsbook. The adjustment gave them shorter odds than every other team in the league except for the defending champ Los Angeles Lakers, who moved from +250 to +275.
Odds on the Nets to win the East also shifted from +275 to +110, while they went from +110 to -125 to win their division after acquiring Harden.
Odds to win NBA title after Harden trade (via PointsBet)
+275: Los Angeles Lakers
+300: Brooklyn Nets
+550: Los Angeles Clippers
+650: Milwaukee Bucks
+1800: Philadelphia 76ers
+2200: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets
+2500: Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz
Brooklyn had already been a popular pick in the futures market before the trade, accounting for 23 percent of all wagers at PointsBet after opening at +1500. For those who have yet to secure a Nets ticket, PointsBet is offering a "price freeze" promotion that offers the pre-trade title odds of +600 on bets up to $50.
But the Nets weren't the only team affected by the blockbuster trade. Houston parted ways with their top player but also acquired Victor Oladipo among three players in addition to a haul that included four future first-round picks. The Rockets (3-6) are mired in last place in the Southwest Division, but the loss of Harden didn't help their chances in the futures market. Previously listed at +6000 to win it all, Houston is now out to +10000 as the post-Harden era begins.
The Indiana Pacers swapped Oladipo for Levert and will look to build off a 7-4 start to the season. While still looking up at Milwaukee in the Central Division, their title odds fell from +8000 to +4600 after swapping stars. The fourth team involved, Cleveland, remained at +50000 after adding Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen.
While it remains to be seen when exactly Harden will suit up for the Nets, oddsmakers at PointsBet have already set lines for total points (O/U 25.5), assists (O/U 6.5), rebounds (O/U 5.5) and made three-pointers (O/U 3.5) for his first game in a Brooklyn uniform, whenever that may be this season.
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