Let's Set Odds: Will the Nets Land in the NBA's Play-In Tournament?

Kyrie Irving, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets have lost eight straight games and find themselves in the No. 7 seed for the NBA Play-In games.
Kyrie Irving, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets have lost eight straight games and find themselves in the No. 7 seed for the NBA Play-In games. / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have lost eight straight games, James Harden is rumored to be unhappy and potentially on the move, Kyrie Irving is still only playing on the road, and Kevin Durant remains on the shelf with a sprained MCL.

Yet, oddsmakers don't seem to be concerned in the slightest with the current state of the Nets.

Over at WynnBET Sportsbook, the Nets still remain the favorites to win the NBA Finals, despite the current unrest surrounding the team. Yet through their eight-game losing streak, they've fallen from first place in the Eastern Conference all the way down to seventh place; which would technically place them "out" of the playoffs and into the NBA's play-in round.

Brooklyn is now 29-24, 4.5 games back of the Miami Heat who currently have a 0.5 game lead for the top spot in the East over the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. Cleveland, currently in the No. 4 spot is just one game back, and the Philadelphia 76ers are only 1.5 games back, despite being in the 5-seed.

If spots 1-6 are considered making the playoffs, what should the odds be that the Nets actually miss out?

While WynnBET doesn't offer this particular proposition, that doesn't mean that we can't make that evaluation ourselves.

Odds that the Brooklyn Nets Miss the Playoffs (7 Seed or Worse)

  • YES: +425
  • NO: -450

Over at Five ThirtyEight, they calculate what's called their Elo ratings: forecasting 50,000 simulations of the remainder of the season to make an evaluation on what their likelihood is to make the postseason. The Elo forecast is based on margin of victory, head-to-head results, as well as quality of opponent.

The Elo ratings determine that the Brooklyn Nets as currently constructed have an 81% chance to make the playoffs. If we use implied probability to determine what those odds are, that would place the Nets right at odds of -427 (bet $427 to win $100).

So if the sportsbooks weren't taking any commission off the bet, they could just set the odds at -427 for Brooklyn to make the playoffs, and +427 for Brooklyn to miss them.

However, they need to take into consideration a wide variety of factors, including current liability, as well as how they would expect the market to attack the set odds.

Therefore, by placing it at -450, that increases the expected win percentage from 81% to 81.82%, while also giving off a nice round number for bettors.

Will the Brooklyn Nets Miss the Playoffs?

The East is turning into a surprising and exciting race at the top, but with the amount of talent the Nets have on their roster, I'd be stunned if they somehow can't lock up one of the final six seeds.

With Durant suffering his injury in mid-January, and the timetable for recovery at 4-6 weeks, the Nets still have more than enough talent to ride the ship and hang within the first tier of the East.

Over their current losing streak, Brooklyn's offense issues have been on display, but it's their defense that's fallen to the bottom third of the league in defensive rating that is most alarming. Before their losing streak began on January 21st, Brooklyn ranked 13th in defensive rating, and sixth in offensive rating.

Kevin Durant's return in a few weeks should make this a no-brainer, but unless you think Brooklyn's season is already over, there's no use rushing to bet that they won't make the postseason with still plenty of action to come.

Follow all of Ben Heisler's betting picks in real-time HERE!