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James Harden Traded To Nets: Brooklyn an NBA Title Liability for Sportsbooks

James Harden Traded To Nets: Brooklyn an NBA Title Liability for Sportsbooks article feature image

Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets.

The James Harden saga in Houston is finally over as the Rockets traded the disgruntled star to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team deal with the Cavaliers and Pacers.

In the immediate moments following the leaked trade, the Nets dropped from +500 at DraftKings to +450 to win the NBA title before coming off the board. BetMGM had the Nets at +300. FanDuel listed the Nets at +270, only behind the Lakers at +260.

The Nets are the second-highest NBA title liability for BetMGM, making up 11 percent for the overall futures money, according to The Action Network’s Darren Rovell.

William Hill moved odds from +550 to +325 with the trade. The Nets have the second-most money wagered to win the title there behind the Sixers, with the most valuable ticket a $3,000 one that pays out $39,000 (12/1).

At DraftKings, the Nets are second in overall handle, but third in potential liability because there’s more bet on the Lakers and longer odds on the Sixers.

Harden’s been publicly displeased with the franchise all offseason, pushing for Russell Westbrook to be traded a year after pushing for Chris Paul to be traded for Westbrook. Harden’s early request was a trade to Brooklyn, but with former Rockets GM Daryl Morey taking over the Sixers, a trade to Philadelphia always made sense as well.

In the end, it’s the Nets that got the job done despite rumors on Wednesday that Philadelphia had the advantage.

The full trade, as reported by multiple outlets, sent Harden to the Nets, Caris LeVert to the Pacers, Jarrett Allen and Tauren Prince to the Cavs and Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four first-round picks and four pick swaps to Houston.

The Nets will still play the Knicks on Wednesday night, but they’ll suit up just nine players. Brooklyn was a 6-point favorite prior to the trade; the line is down to 4 at most books at time of publish (track real-time odds here). Our PRO Projections make the Nets a 2.7-point favorite, which gives New York a C- grade.

Harden’s production is down across the board as his disinterest and lack of fitness is apparent. He’s averaging 24.8 points per game (ppg), down from last year’s 34.3 ppg . He’s shooting less from the field and the free throw line than a year ago.

The Rockets are 3-6 on the season entering Wednesday night. Harden has played in eight games.

The Rockets have been longshots to win the title all year. They opened the year at +6600 at DraftKings and +5000 prior to the trade.

Philaldelphia was +2000 at DK when the season started amid rumors of a Harden trade. The Sixers were +1400 before the Harden deal was announced.

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