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Odds to Win the NBA Eastern Conference: Can Anyone Get Past the Celtics?

NBA Eastern Conference Betting Odds September 14

After LeBron decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, he left a 260-pound hole in the NBA’s Eastern Conference that the now-favored Boston Celtics will be happy to fill.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released their odds for which team will win the East with the Celtics as the odds-on favorite at -130, the Philadelphia 76ers at +375, the Toronto Raptors at +400, and the Milwaukee Bucks at +2000 to round out the top five.

Celtics in the Driver’s Seat To Dominate

The hype train for the Boston Celtics is just leaving the station so it’s not too late to jump on. All jokes aside, the hype is well-deserved as the Celtics have enough depth to put two starting fives on the court.

Prior to Kyrie Irving going down with an injury last season, the Celtics were first in the standings in the Eastern Conference and were suffocating teams on defense by only allowing 100.4 points per game (ranked third in the NBA). Now, they get to welcome the criminally underrated Gordon Hayward back to the lineup and while his leg injury could inhibit some of his explosiveness, even an 80 percent Hayward is better than most small forwards in the league. I don’t love the value at -130 but considering they were one game away from clinching the East last season without Irving and Hayward, this could be the best value you get them at.

Are the Raptors or Sixers Legit Contenders?

To win the NBA championship? That may be a tall order, but to win the East is possible.

The Raptors had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season and the boogeyman known as LeBron will no longer be in their path to the NBA Finals. Adding Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green for DeMar DeRozan and Jakub Poetl is a huge roster upgrade if Kawhi is engaged and ready to take back his place as a top-three player in the NBA. Toronto finished 40-12 SU in 52 games vs the East and the conference regressed from a talent standpoint. But then again, the regular season has never been the issue for the Raps but rather their shortcomings in the postseason.

The Sixers, on the other hand, could be on the downswing if their best players can’t stay on the court. Joel Embiid hasn’t topped 65 games in a season in his career and their shooting percentages are expected to dip after Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova left in free agency. I still think they’re a top-three team in the East but last year’s playoffs showed some weaknesses that may be too hard to overcome when it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the postseason.

Why the Pacers are a Dark horse

I really thought the Pacers were going to upset the Cavs and go on a run to the Eastern Conference final last season. After falling short in Game 7, the Pacers may be considered an afterthought in the race to the Eastern crown but this team may be a sleeper to at least get to the Eastern Conference final because of the development of Victor Oladipo. Deepo was the most improved player in the NBA in 2017-18 and provided timely crunch-time scoring while upping his points per game average from 15.9 to 23.1. The addition of Tyreke Evans to pair with Oladipo also cannot be overlooked.

But where this roster will need to see growth and development is in the frontcourt. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis will need to step their game up to provide secondary scoring when teams converge on Oladipo and Evans. Turner has the tools to be a special big in the NBA with his ability to protect the rim (1.8 blocks per game) and shoot the three (35%). I expect this to be a top-four team in the East with the potential to be in second if things go wrong in the Six or the City of Brotherly Love so it’s worth a punt at +2600.

Odds to Win NBA Eastern Conference in 2018-19 season
  • Boston Celtics -130
  • Toronto Raptors +400
  • Philadelphia 76ers +375
  • Milwaukee Bucks +2000
  • Washington Wizards +2200
  • Indiana Pacers +2600
  • Detroit Pistons +7000
  • Miami Heat +7000
  • Charlotte Hornets +8000
  • Chicago Bulls +8000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +8000
  • New York Knicks +8000
  • Orlando Magic +10000
  • Atlanta Hawks +17500
  • Brooklyn Nets +17500

Odds as of September 14 at Bovada