The Brooklyn Nets are the favorites to win the Atlantic Division at -380 odds. They’re ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, but both teams are embroiled in their own dramas and controversies, which could derail their missions to win the NBA championship.
The Brooklyn Nets have three of the best players in the NBA on their roster, but will Kyrie Irving and his anti-vaccination stance be a distraction this season?
Down in Philadelphia, the 76ers and Ben Simmons are trying to mend their rift before both sides part ways as soon as the Sixers find a suitable trade partner for their disgruntled and janky-shooting point guard.
|NBA Atlantic Divsion Odds
- Brooklyn Nets -380
- Philadelphia 76ers +360
- Boston Celtics +1000
- New York Knicks +3000
- Toronto Raptors +5000
The Nets have been the consensus favorite to win the 2022 NBA championship from the moment that they were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 Eastern Conference finals. You can back the Nets at +200 odds to win the championship, while the Bucks are +900 odds to win back-to-back titles. The Philadelphia 76ers, with or without Simmons, are +2000 odds to win the title.
Brooklyn Nets -380
The Brooklyn Nets have a potential migraine brewing due to Kyrie Irving’s hardline approach in refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. New York City’s health mandate won’t allow Irving to play in home games at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden because he’s unvaccinated. Irving said he’d rather skip home games and just play on the road, even though he’ll lose approximately $380,000 per game. The Nets hope Irving will finally change his mind, but things could get messy if he doesn’t.
The NYC media is already having a field day with Irving’s anti-vaccination stance and the season has yet to begin. The longer he avoids the jab, the more the relentless media coverage will continue to escalate. That’s the kind of unnecessary drama that can cause a major distraction and disruption in the locker room. That’s why you should proceed with caution when firing away on any wagers on the Nets. Then again, even without Irving, the Nets are still a tough team with Durant and Harden.
For now, the Nets are -380 odds to win the Atlantic Division for the first time since they migrated from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The New Jersey Nets last won a division title back in 2005-06.
Philadelphia 76ers +360
When and where will the 76ers trade Simmons? All eyes are pointed toward the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers have been mentioned as potential destinations. Simmons surprised everyone when he finally showed up for practice after sitting out training camp and most of the preseason. The 76ers will have a better chance to trade Simmons after the season starts, especially if any other teams lose a point guard to an injury.
Both sides handled the situation poorly, but it looks like they’ve reconciled — at least temporarily — as all signs point toward Simmons suiting up for the season opener.
If the 76ers finally ditch Simmons, Joel Embiid stays healthy, and the Nets implode over the Irving vax drama, then they could snatch the division title. But, those are a lot of big ifs to overcome to win a divisional prop bet. For now, the 76ers are +360 odds to win back-to-back Atlantic Division crowns.
Boston Celtics +1000
The Boston Celtics are in rebuilding mode even though they have Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. Brad Stevens took over as general manager after Danny Ainge finally stepped aside. Stevens hired rising star Ime Udoka as the Celtics’ new head coach, so perhaps Udoka can breathe some life into the squad. The Celtics don’t have enough firepower to hang with the Atlantic Division elites like the Nets and 76ers, which is why they’re stuck in the middle of the pack at +1000 odds.
New York Knicks +3000
The New York Knicks were the surprise team last season with a #4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now that the word is out the Knicks are actually good, they’ll have a bigger target on their backs. Then again, they upgraded their backcourt by adding Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to the mix. The Knicks finally crawled out of the gutter after a decade of misery, but they’re still a long shot to win the Atlantic Division at +3000 odds.
The Knicks won a division title once since Pat Riley coached the Patrick Ewing-led team in the early 1990s. The Knicks luck-boxed a division crown in the 2012-13 season, but don’t expect them to win the division so long as Kevin Durant plays across the river for the Nets.
Toronto Raptors +5000
The Raptors are a team in flux after they let Kyle Lowry depart in free agency. They still have Fed VanVleet and Pascal Siakim as their core. Don’t forget about OG’s favorite player. OG Anunoby, who’s on the shortlist to be the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season. The Raptors have a win total at 35.5 o/u, but in the top-heavy Western Conference, they could sneak into the postseason with a .500 record. The Raptors are the longest shot on the board at +5000 odds to win the Atlantic Division.