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NBA Central Division Odds: Can Anyone Challenge the Bucks?

NBA 2019-20 Central Division Odds

When it comes to the Central Division, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks and everyone else in the eyes of sportsbooks. With the 2019-20 NBA season set to kick off, the odds of any team beating out Giannis Antetokounmpo and company are slim.

The Bucks are massive -1000 favorites at Bovada, with the Indiana Pacers (+600), Detroit Pistons (+3300), Chicago Bulls (+6000) and Cleveland Cavaliers (+10000) all available in plus money.

Here’s a breakdown of how each team is looking prior to the campaign:

Milwaukee Bucks -1000

The Bucks were the toast of the league in the regular season a year ago, but a playoff exit to the Toronto Raptors in a series that saw them drop four straight games left a sour taste in the mouths of Bucks fans and bettors alike. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2018-19 MVP, is a generational talent but the big question in Wisconsin is whether he has enough help around him to push the Bucks over the hump in the postseason.

Khris Middleton is the 1B to Antetokounmpo on the Bucks, and Milwaukee is going to need both of its top players to fire on all cylinders to get to the NBA Finals. Middleton, an all-star last season, is as unselfish a player as it gets in the league and fits perfectly next to the Greek Freak. The Bucks are a young, talented team that’s going to dominate the Central Division for years to come, so it would be a shock to see any other team overtake them this season.

Indiana Pacers +600

After breakout star Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending knee injury, the Pacers battled gamely to 48 wins but were dispatched in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Indiana spent its summer upgrading the offense by bringing in Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, T.J. Warren and Goga Bitadze to provide a boost to a unit that struggled mightily without Oladipo around.

Myles Turner remains a question mark for the Pacers. Turner, who’s entering his fifth season, is one of the top defensive players in the league but has yet to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball. With a healthy Oladipo, the Pacers will be better in 2019-20 but will be in tough to challenge the mighty Bucks in the Central.

Detroit Pistons +3300

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond did their best to carry the load for the Pistons last year, but the roster simply wasn’t up to snuff and Detroit finished the season with a 41-41 SU record and a first-round sweep at the hands of the Bucks. As they’re currently constructed, the Pistons seem to be treading water, and their +3300 shot to win the Central is proof that this team is very far from being a serious contender.

With three years and $110 million left on his deal, Griffin could be a valuable trade asset, but it remains to be seen if the Pistons are willing to give up on him already. Luke Kennard is a nice piece, but outside of Griffin and Drummond, there’s not much else to get wowed about on the Pistons this season.

Chicago Bulls +6000

With a combined 49 wins over the past two seasons, it’s been tough sledding for the Bulls lately. Chicago looks to be heading in the right direction, however, as a core consisting of Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Otto Porter gives the team some nice pieces to build around.

Wendell Carter Jr., Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young, Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn are also in the fold for the young Bulls. Bovada has their OVER/UNDER projected season win total at 33.5. Considering Chicago went 9-32 SU at home in 2018-19, they’ll have to fare much better at United Center if they’re going to stand a chance of going OVER that number.

Cleveland Cavaliers +10000

Let’s put it this way: if you’re considering a bet on the Cavs to win the Central, it might be time for you to consider quitting sports betting altogether. Cleveland now has two top-10 selections in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton on a roster that’s starving for talent, so the development of the two youngsters is going to be interesting to watch.

Kevin Love is still around as the last holdover from the 2016 championship team, but the Cavs are building from the ground up. If they continue to draft well and develop their youth, the Cavs could be an exciting group to follow, but that’s likely a few years away at this point. They’re an afterthought in Central odds right now, though.

2019-20 NBA Central Division Odds
Milwaukee Bucks-1000
Indiana Pacers+600
Detroit Pistons+3300
Chicago Bulls+6000
Cleveland Cavaliers+10000

Odds as of October 17 at Bovada

Reading NBA Central Division Odds

When you visit a basketball betting site, you’ll notice futures odds laid out like this:

Milwaukee Bucks -500

Cleveland Cavaliers +1200

In this case, the Bucks have an 83.33% chance of winning the Central and the Cavs have a 7.69% shot. It’s important to remember that the sportsbook takes a cut of each bet. This is referred to as the vig or the juice. That doesn’t mean you can’t get value on your bets – more on that in a bit.

Let’s say you’re all in on Milwaukee and drop $100 on them. You’d get a payout of $120 – your original $100 is returned along with your winnings of $20. Or, you’re thinking the Cavs can turn it around and that same $100 would get you $1300 – your original money comes back coupled with your loot of $1200.

To find out what you’d win based on the odds and amount bet, check out our Odds Calculator.

What is a Futures Bet on the Central Division?

Any bet made on events that will happen in time is a futures bet. Here, the bet is on an NBA team taking their division. You can make this kind of bet weeks or even months in advance.

The odds will shift as the season plays out to reflect surging or failing teams. As we mentioned before, you can get great value on your bets if you grab odds you like as soon as they’re available. A winning bet on a squad at plus money (+) gives you a better payout than taking them at minus money (-).