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NBA Eastern Conference Futures: Despite Struggles, Cavs are Big Faves to Win the East

LeBron James has absolutely owned the Eastern Conference over the years, and according to oddsmakers, it’s going to be more of the same when all is said and done in 2017-18.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are -175 faves to represent the East in the NBA Finals at Bovada, with the Boston Celtics (+300), Washington Wizards (+1000), Milwaukee Bucks (+1400), Toronto Raptors (+1600), Philadelphia 76ers (+3300), Miami Heat (+5000), Charlotte Hornets (+6600), Detroit Pistons (+6600), Orlando Magic (+10000), Indiana Pacers (+10000), New York Knicks (+25000), Atlanta Hawks (+30000), Brooklyn Nets (+30000) and Chicago Bulls (+50000) available to wager on.

As of November 8, the Celtics were leading the way in the conference at 9-2 SU while riding a nine-game winning streak. Brad Stevens has continued to show that he’s one of the best coaches in the league, and the C’s have easily looked like the best team in the East so far thanks to a high-flying offense and a stifling defense.

Seeing the Cavs as faves isn’t much of a surprise, but their play so far this season has been. Cleveland has played some poor basketball out of the gate and sits at 5-6 SU as a result, as the new-look Cavs have struggled to jell in a big way. Hoops fans have seen this movie before and it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see the Cavs bounce back sooner rather than later, but they have a lot of work to do to get back on track.

Thanks to early MVP front-runner Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have been a team on the rise for quite some time but could easily take the leap into becoming a serious contender this season. Milwaukee took advantage of a poor situation in Phoenix, trading for disgruntled but talented point guard Eric Bledsoe to solidify the one spot for the foreseeable future.

Going back to the desert is Greg Monroe and protected first- and second-round picks, so the Bucks did well to hang on to some of the young talent already on the roster. The Bucks were riding a four-game losing streak as of this writing, but with Bledsoe in the fold they could easily make a surge up the standings.

2017-18 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Cleveland Cavaliers-175
Boston Celtics+300
Washington Wizards+1000
Milwaukee Bucks+1400
Toronto Raptors+1600
Philadelphia 76ers+3300
Miami Heat+5000
Charlotte Hornets+6600
Detroit Pistons+6600
Orlando Magic+10000
Indiana Pacers+10000
New York Knicks+25000
Atlanta Hawks+30000
Brooklyn Nets+30000
Chicago Bulls+50000

Odds as of November 8 at Bovada

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LeBron James absolutely owns the Eastern Conference, and King James is once again showing to the rest of the league why he’s a one-man wrecking crew. With a seventh straight appearance in the NBA Finals in his sights, James and the Cavs are the runaway faves to win the East at one sportsbook.

The Cavs easily got through the Indiana Pacers in the first round and will face the Toronto Raptors in the conference semifinals, while the other two Eastern Conference series had yet to be decided as of this writing.

Within the last week, the Celtics’ odds have lowered from +1200 to +500. That makes sense considering the Celtics were in a 2-0 hole, but a three-game surge has seen them once again resemble a contender in the East. On the flip side, the Bulls’ odds have shifted from +1200 all the way to +10000. Yikes.

The Raptors will be in tough to get by the Cavs, and they don’t exactly have the best postseason resume as it is. If Toronto is somehow able to get through the Goliath Cavaliers, it will be much safer to back them then compared to their +800 price ahead of the conference finals.

For Western Conference futures, click here. If you’re looking for championship odds, we've got you covered.

2016-17 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Cleveland Cavaliers-300
Boston Celtics+500
Washington Wizards+800
Toronto Raptors+800
Chicago Bulls+10000
Atlanta Hawks+10000

Odds as of April 28 at Bovada

Archived Articles

LeBron James absolutely owns the Eastern Conference, and King James is once again showing to the rest of the league why he’s a one-man wrecking crew. With a seventh straight appearance in the NBA Finals in his sights, James and the Cavs are the runaway faves to win the East at one sportsbook.

Cleveland is a hefty -275 front-runner in the East with the Washington Wizards (+600), Boston Celtics (+1200), Chicago Bulls (+1200), Milwaukee Bucks (+1200), Toronto Raptors (+1800), Atlanta Hawks (+7500) and Indiana Pacers (+10000) also available to wager on.

In the last week, the Wizards’ odds to garner the bragging rights have dropped from +900 to +600, the Bulls’ chances have gone from +6600 to +1200 and the Bucks’ odds have been shifted from +5000 to +1200.

In terms of teams whose chances have worsened, the Raptors have gone from +900 to +1800 and the Celtics have fallen from +425 to +1200. As of April 21, the Celtics were in a 2-0 hole to the Bulls while the Raptors were down 2-1 to the Bucks after getting hammered in Game 3.

Boston was perceived as the only team in the East that could dethrone the mighty Cavs, but the Celtics have looked like anything but a contender through two games. There’s still plenty of time for the Celts to make a comeback, but their struggles equate to good news for Cleveland backers.

Who are you picking to win the Eastern Conference? Does anyone stand a chance against the Cavs? Have your say in the comments.

2016-17 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Cleveland Cavaliers-275
Washington Wizards+600
Boston Celtics+1200
Chicago Bulls+1200
Milwaukee Bucks+1200
Toronto Raptors+1800
Atlanta Hawks+7500
Indiana Pacers+10000

Odds as of April 21 at Bovada

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to win the Eastern Conference in the postseason.

Considering LeBron James absolutely owns the East and has represented the conference in each of the last six seasons, that’s not much of a shock. What is a bit surprising is the -275 price considering their recent poor play, but the sports betting industry is clearly expecting the Cavs to turn it on come playoff time.

The Boston Celtics (+425), Washington Wizards (+900), Toronto Raptors (+900), Atlanta Hawks (+5000), Milwaukee Bucks (+5000), Indiana Pacers (+6600) and Chicago Bulls (+6600) are also available to wager on.

The Cavs’ losing record since the all-star break should rightfully create cause for concern, as no team has ever won the NBA Finals with a sub-.500 record since the break. Cleveland draws Indiana in the first round and, with a win, will face the winner of Toronto and Milwaukee in the conference semifinals.

I’m not sure if the Celtics have enough to win the whole thing, but their +425 price to advance to the NBA Finals is tremendous value. Brad Stevens is already one of the best coaches in the NBA at the age of 40, Isaiah Thomas is a flat-out superstar who can steal a game on any given night and the Celts are one of the deepest teams in the Association in every aspect of the game.

Who are you backing? Have your say in the comment section.

2016-17 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Cleveland Cavaliers-275
Boston Celtics+425
Washington Wizards+900
Toronto Raptors+900
Atlanta Hawks+5000
Milwaukee Bucks+5000
Indiana Pacers+6600
Chicago Bulls+6600

Odds as of April 13 at Bovada

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