James Harden Active: How Game 5 Betting Lines Moved for Nets vs. Bucks

James Harden Active: How Game 5 Betting Lines Moved for Nets vs. Bucks article feature image
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Photo by Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets.

James Harden will play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.

The line has shifted shortly before tip-off to make the Nets the favorite at some books after they were listed as 4-point underdogs at most venues just a few hours prior (real-time odds here).

As of print, the Nets are half-point favorites at DraftKings while BetMGM, FanDuel and PointsBet have Brooklyn listed as 1-point underdogs.

3:18 p.m. ET Update

James Harden has been upgraded from out to questionable and plans on playing in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks unless he suffers a setback during pregame warm-ups, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Tuesday.

The betting odds at BetMGM shifted from Nets +4 to Nets +3 and the total increased from 219.5 to 220.5 minutes after the news broke Tuesday afternoon. The line later moved to 2.5.

DraftKings saw their line shift from Nets +4 to +2.5. Their total increased from 220 to 221.5 for a pivotal Game 5 in which the teams are tied at 2 in the series.

FanDuel and PointsBet also have the Nets at +2.5 as of Tuesday afternoon (real-time odds here).

Harden has played just 43 seconds this series after suffering a hamstring injury in Game 1. He had averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game in the Nets’ first round dismantling of the Celtics.

Kyrie Irving has already been ruled out of Game 5 after suffering an ankle sprain in the first half of Game 4. Irving averaged 23 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds across 41.1 minutes per game over the series’ first three games.

While the Nets were 4-point favorites at full strength in Game 1,  they dropped to 2-point home underdogs amid Harden’s absence in Game 2.

The total between Games 1 and 2 dropped precipitously from 239.5 to 229.

The Nets dominated the Bucks in Games 1 and 2 before Milwaukee eked out a close Game 3. The Bucks then won a Game 4 in which they held the lead for the entire second half — after Irving was forced to exit.

As of Monday, 85% of the money at PointsBet has been on the Bucks since Irving’s injury. There is also now more money on Milwaukee to win the series (53%) than there is on Brooklyn, as Darren Rovell reported Monday.

The Nets’ Big 3 has only played 13 full games together this season, including the playoffs.

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