• Lakers and Nets are among bettors' favorites in Vegas
  • Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could return for Brooklyn when the NBA resumes the season
  • The NBA is reportedly planning to return late in July or early August

The Los Angeles Lakers remain as the top pick among bettors to win the NBA title amidst the league hiatus due to COVID-19. But besides the LeBron James-led squad being a conventional betting favorite, Vegas bookmakers are reportedly being sent with another red alert – the sudden surge in wagers backing the Brooklyn Nets.

According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, bettors believe the Nets may have dramatically benefitted from the suspension of the NBA games, citing how they have inadvertently bought recovery time for star duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who could be available in time for the team’s playoff push.

“The belief that Durant and Irving could return this season has made its way to Las Vegas as sports betting organizations have seen a spike in wagers for Brooklyn to win the NBA Finals if the league resumes this summer,” Schiffer wrote. “Since the season was suspended, only the Lakers have had more bets placed on them to take home a title.”

The tremendous pile up in sports bets is already expected as some of the world’s top leagues are already starting to resume.

The NBA reportedly is planning to finish the 2020 season starting late July or August with The Walt Disney Company being in talks with the league for a possible hosting at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

An update published on ESPN read: “The NBA is discussing a step-by-step plan for a resumption of the 2019-20 season that includes an initial two-week recall of players into team marketplaces for a period of quarantine, one to two weeks of individual workouts at team facilities and a two-to-three-week formal training camp.

“Barring an unforeseen turn of events, many NBA owners, executives, and National Basketball Players Association elders believe Silver will greenlight the return to play in June -- with games expected to resume sometime before the end of July.”

The Lakers topped the Western Conference with a 49-14 record before the hiatus. The Nets, meanwhile, managed to stay inside the playoff picture with a 30-34 tally.

Brooklyn signed Durant and Irving during last year’s offseason frenzy. The 2014 MVP, however, has not played since suffering an Achilles injury in Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals while playing for Golden State. Irving, on the other, was bugged with his own injury issues, playing in just 20 games this season, although he notched a career-best 27.4 points per outing.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant
Kyrie Irving (L) and USA's guard Kevin Durant look on from the substitutes' bench during a Men's round Group A basketball match between China and USA at the Carioca Arena 1 during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 6, 2016. ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images