For the first time since last June, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving will take the floor together when the Nets visit the Pacers on Wednesday, looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said Wednesday morning that although he does not expect to play Irving 38 minutes, the guard will get some “extended run.”
Props are being posted around the betting market on Irving’s return to action, and oddsmakers are not shy on their expectations, perhaps expecting the Nets’ other two stars to do whatever they can to get their teammate back in rhythm as quickly as possible.
As of this writing, Brooklyn is an 8-point favorite across the board on the road against a Pacers team that lost in New York 104-94 on Tuesday. The total is 225 on most oddsboards.
Kyrie Irving Props At DraftKings
DraftKings set expectations on Irving of 19.5 points (over -120, under -105), 3.5 rebounds (over -135, under +100), 3.5 assists (over -110, under -120), 0.5 steals (over -240, under +170), 0.5 blocks (over +155, under -215), 1.5 turnovers (over -120, under -110), and 2.5 3-pointers made (over +125, under -160).
The points total jumps out since this is Irving’s season debut. He averaged 26.9 points last season over 54 starts, but that came at a clip of 34.9 minutes per game. It would be a surprise if he plays more than 25 minutes in this one, especially since he hasn’t practiced with the Nets since the preseason due to New York’s vaccination mandates and the team’s decision to keep him away from the team until he could join full-time.
The Nets reversed course because they felt Durant and Harden were being forced to play too many minutes, but they aren’t going to shove Irving right back into the fray. If Irving scores, say, 18 points in 22 minutes on 6-for-10 shooting with a couple of 3-pointers and goes 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, that’s a brilliant return in which you would still lose your ‘over’ bet on this prop.
If you feel he’s going to take 15 shots, he’d still have to make roughly half to get you there. The 19.5 is too high for me right out of the gate.
The 3.5 assist number also feels large because Harden is the team’s point guard. The most effective partnership among the “Big Three”, the Nets decided, is for Irving to look to score in a shooting guard role, so I’d ride the ‘under’ on this assists prop.
Irving averaged a career-best 0.7 blocks per game in 2020-21 and faces a small point guard with Keifer Sykes likely to remain in Indiana’s lineup, unless Malcolm Brogdon returns from COVID protocols. Still, Irving probably is not going to be swatting any shots out there.
If you want to take the ‘over’ on one of these Kyrie props, steals and turnovers are the best bets as he gets out there for the first time.
Nets Futures Odds
Brooklyn’s All-Star core played just 202 minutes together last regular season. They collaborated for six playoff games, too, and enter Wednesday’s date with the Pacers 11-3 in contests where they’re all in the lineup.
The Nets are currently 23-12 despite their skid, ranking second in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls.
They remain the favorite to win the East and NBA Championship at all sportsbooks, with DraftKings pricing those outcome at +120 and +245, respectively.