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NBA Atlantic Division Betting Odds: Sixers Aim For First Division Crown since 2001

NBA Atlantic Division Betting Odds October 16 2019

Arguably the best division in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the Atlantic Division has four potential playoff teams that can win it but it’s the Philadelphia 76ers who are tabbed as faves to take the division crown.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Sixers as odds-on favorites at -160 to win the Atlantic Division for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Following the Sixers are the Boston Celtics at +400, Toronto Raptors at +550, Brooklyn Nets at +650 and New York Knicks at +15000 to round out the field.

Philadelphia 76ers -160

On paper, the Sixers should roll through this division. They have the two best centers in the East with Joel Embiid and Al Horford and picked up swingman Josh Richardson in a trade with the Heat.

The two factors that could hinder the Sixers are injuries and the development of Ben Simmons’ offensive game. Embiid has not had a great track record of staying healthy and while Horford is a good safety valve, that’s a cause for concern if you’re betting a -160 fave.

Then there’s Simmons, who reportedly is shooting deep jump shots in practice and finally hit a three-pointer in an NBA game in the preseason. Simmons has all the tools to be a dominant player and if the former No. 1 pick can pick up the scoring pace and do something other than transition layups and hook shots, the Sixers will win the division and the Eastern Conference.

Boston Celtics +400

Usually, when you lose a talent like Kyrie Irving from your starting lineup, regression is typically the next step, but the Celtics may actually be better this season because of his departure. Newly signed Kemba Walker will take the point guard duties in Beantown and comes with way less baggage so team chemistry should be at an all-time high.

The Celtics lost Irving and Al Horford to free agency but this works out well for swingmen Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Those two won’t be fighting for minutes like last season and will have much larger roles in the offense now that Irving won’t be dribbling out the shot clock for 20 seconds.

How the C’s perform on the road will make or break their season as they finished 21-20 SU last year away from TD Garden. I expect them to be in the thick of it all year so +400 is decent odds for Boston.

Toronto Raptors +550

A lot can change for a franchise in four months and no team experienced that more than the Toronto Raptors. The Raps won the NBA championship and then lost Kawhi Leonard to the LA Clippers in free agency. Now, they’ll go with what they’ve got and put more of an emphasis on reigning Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby to defend the perimeter.

It can be easy to dismiss the Raptors’ chances when a talent like Kawhi walks out the door but the Raptors were 16-6 SU in the 22 games he missed last year. All-star Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are still on the team and they’ll still be competitive but the key disclaimer is all three of those players could be trade bait.

Ibaka and Gasol are on the final year of their contracts and Lowry signed a one-year extension that would actually make him more of an attractive trade piece.

The Raptors have the tools to win the division but if they get off to a slow start, Masai Ujiri may blow it up and try to collect as many future assets as he can.

Brooklyn Nets +650

The Brooklyn Nets are good but they won’t be good enough to win the division this season. The Nets knew coming into this year that the goal is to just improve enough so that when Kevin Durant makes his debut in the 2020-21 season, he’ll be joining an established contender.

The Nets were shrewd with their offseason transactions by swapping D’Angelo Russell for Kevin Durant while signing Kyrie Irving to take over at point guard. They also nabbed Taurean Prince from the Atlanta Hawks and he will provide great frontcourt depth with Jarrett Allen.

It would not shock me if the Nets came out of the gates fast to start the season but I can’t see them winning the division, given the abilities of the teams ahead of them.

New York Knicks +15000

I won’t write too much about the Knicks because they have as much chance to win the division as I do of hitting the lottery. They have some intriguing pieces like RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson but they’ll take a lot of lumps for the upcoming season.

New York hasn’t improved on defense, marginally improved on offense and is severely outgunned in comparison to the other four teams in the division. If you’re actually considering donating, I mean, betting on the Knicks to win the Atlantic Division, then perhaps you should pick up another hobby besides sports betting.

2019-20 NBA Atlantic Division Odds
Philadelphia 76ers-160
Boston Celtics+400
Toronto Raptors+550
Brooklyn Nets+650
New York Knicks+15000

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada