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Nets, Pelicans among favorites in NBA play-in games

Apr 8, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) brings the ball up court against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets are oddsmakers’ biggest favorites to win their opening games in the NBA play-in tournament this week. Basketball bettors like them the most, too.

The Nets, the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 seed, are 8.5-point favorites (-400 moneyline) at both BetMGM and DraftKings to beat the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night at home.

Per DraftKings, the Nets were seeing 93 percent of the handle and 89 percent of the total bets to win on the moneyline.

Despite having the No. 7 seed, the Nets are in fact one of the handful of favorites to win the championship. Buoyed by stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — who now can play home games thanks to New York lifting its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the private sector — the Nets have the third-shortest odds at both BetMGM and DraftKings to win the whole thing.

The Nets are +600 at DraftKings and +700 at BetMGM as of Monday evening. In both cases, they trail only the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.

Bettors at DraftKings also like the Pelicans (-210), the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, to beat the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs. New Orleans has received 62 percent of the handle and 64 percent of the total bets. But against the spread, the Spurs are five-point underdogs and attracting 77 percent of the handle at DraftKings.

BetRivers said 98.3 percent of the money on Spurs-Pelicans (moneyline) was going toward New Orleans. Similarly, the Nets were picking up 97.75 percent of the handle to win moneyline and the Atlanta Hawks, the No. 9 seed in the East, were responsible for 96.28 percent of the handle to beat the 10th-seeded Charlotte Hornets outright.

–Field Level Media

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