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Celtics' Future is Bright But They Aren't Quite Ready For a Title Run

Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics have made a meteoric rise in the Eastern Conference. They are now considered one of the best teams in the league after finishing fifth in the East last year and will be serious horses in the race for conference dominance in 2016-17.

Although they aren’t a complete team yet – devoid of any superstars – Boston has made its move from the basement to the ceiling in the blink of an eye. Danny Ainge and Co. have done an incredible job assembling a team that works as a unit with players that have bought into their coach’s plan. Signing Al Horford in the offseason may have actually been the second-biggest free-agent get of the lot and for the Celtics, he was a pretty good consolation after they whiffed on Kevin Durant.

While Boston was a much-improved team last season, the Celtics were not very profitable for spread bettors. They had a 44-42-2 record against the spread – including playoffs – and with all the hype surrounding the Celtics this year, they could give backers an even worse shake in the early goings of the 2016-17 campaign.

While they still have a long way to go to seriously compete with teams like Cleveland and Golden State, the Celtics have the draft picks and prospects going forward to be one of the top five teams in the league for years to come.

Here’s a look at some of their betting odds for the upcoming season:

NBA Championship +1800

I know I really talked up the Celts in my prelude but, unfortunately, most of their futures have very little value and that goes doubly for their odds to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Bovada has Boston as the fourth favorite to earn their 18th franchise NBA championship this year but realistically, they do not possess the talent to outlast teams like the Cavs and Warriors in a seven-game series.

Betting on NBA championship futures this year seems like a fruitless venture with GS all but crowned champs with their all-star lineup. I’d avoid this line if at all possible and focus my attention on some bets that have a better chance at cashing – read on, my friends.

Eastern Conference +500

The problem with this bet is that the Cavaliers aren’t going anywhere and they still have to leapfrog other teams such as the Raptors and the Hawks. I’m not sure they’re up for the task quite yet.

If you ask me, the +900 separation between Boston and Toronto is pretty ridiculous. The Raptors rode the We the North campaign all the way to the Eastern Conference finals last year and came up just a couple of wins – but a lot of points – short of taking down the Cavs. Boston is pretty much on par with Toronto when it comes to talent and has a significant edge in coaching but offers little to no value in conference futures.

Atlantic Division -105

Now this is one I can get behind. Toronto has held the Atlantic Division crown for three years now but finally has some competition in what – by all accounts – has been the worst division in basketball for a long time.

Boston last won the Atlantic in 2012 when they lost to the Miami Heat in the conference finals in what was LeBron James’ second year with the South Beach club. That would wind up being the final year of the Big Three as Ray Allen jumped ship and joined the team he couldn’t beat the following season.

The Celts went on to have three consecutive mediocre seasons and it wasn’t until last year that they climbed back up the ladder and challenged for the Atlantic title. This one is really a toss-up between Titletown and the Big Smoke and I think I’m leaning toward the Raptors’ plus-money value.

Season Win Totals OVER/UNDER 52.5

Vegas either really likes the Celtics this year or it expects the good people of the City of Champions to back their basketball team hard this year. 52.5 is a lofty total that’s just four under what’s been posted for the Cavs. The last time Boston finished with the best record in the East in the regular season, they posted just 50 wins and only two teams per year since after the shortened 2011-12 season have gotten over the 52.5-win mark in the Eastern Conference.

With it looking like there will be a ton of parity among the second-tier teams in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17, the wins could be spread pretty thin and the Cavs may be the only team to eclipse the number 53.

2016 Boston Celtics Futures Odds
MarketOdds
NBA Championship+1800
Eastern Conference+500
Atlantic Division-105
Win Totals 52.5

Odds as of October 20 at Bovada

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