Nets maintain position as favourites on NBA Championship odds

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts to a referee's call alongside forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in New York. (John Minchillo/AP)

Nets maintain position as favourites on NBA Championship oddThe Brooklyn Nets shook up their lineup with a blockbuster deal just ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, shipping James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and two first-round picks. So, despite currently being mired in a 10-game losing streak, the Nets remain set as +375 favourites on the NBA championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Thursday's move bolstered a Brooklyn lineup depleted by injuries to key personnel including Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as the sporadic availability of Kyrie Irving. It also brings an end to the Nets' dream team experiment, with Harden, Durant, and Irving managing to see action together in just 13 games since the trio joined forces in Brooklyn.

The Nets' current woes began with a COVID-19 outbreak in December, and they've been forced to use 22 total players in game action so far this season. Overall, Brooklyn has posted straight-up wins in just six of its last 17 contests ahead of Saturday night's matchup with the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. The team has also been a massive betting disappointment during its prolonged swoon. Brooklyn has covered just once during its current 0-10 slide, and is 5-17-1 against the spread in its past 23 games according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

Thursday's trade also put an end to the recent drama in Philadelphia swirling around Simmons, who has yet to see game action this season. The Sixers have succeeded despite the absence of the disgruntled guard, racking up a 32-22 SU record. And in the wake of Thursday's deal, the Sixers climbed from +1400 to +700 on the NBA championship futures.

The Sixers sit just one game up in the standings on the red-hot Toronto Raptors, who were also active at the deadline. The Raptors addressed a glaring lack of depth by shipping unhappy veteran Goran Dragic and a protected first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, and a 2022 second-round pick.

While the Raptors have climbed into contention for the top of the Eastern Conference standings during an eight-game win streak, they continue to rank dead-last in the NBA with just 22.9 points per game off the bench. Accordingly, the Raptors continue to sit off the pace on the NBA championship odds as a +8000 wager on the futures.

The top two teams in the Western Conference closely trail the Nets at the top of the updated NBA championship futures, with the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns sitting knotted at +450. The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks follow at +650. The Heat lag at +1200 odds, just ahead of the Utah Jazz, who round out the top of the futures board at +1400. Meanwhile, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have slid down to +2500 odds.

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