NBA Futures Betting Odds

Championship 2024

Friday, May 24 Fri May 24

Opening Odds
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O 208
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U 208
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Saturday, May 25 Sat May 25

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O 222.5
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U 222.5
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Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks
Minnesota Timberwolves
Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics
Indiana Pacers

NBA Eastern Conference Best Bet

The Boston Celtics have been on cruise control throughout the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, handling the Jimmy Butler-less Miami Heat in the opening round before squaring off with a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that's missed the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen for multiple games.

The New York Knicks are missing several key players, as well, and the Indiana Pacers haven't been able to expose that in the second round.

Simply put, the only real threat to the Celtics advancing to the Finals is the Celtics themselves.

What Teams and Divisions Are in The Eastern Conference?

With 30 teams in the entire NBA, the Eastern Conference holds an even 15, ranging from Wisconsin to Massachusetts. These are divided into three divisions: the Atlantic, Central and Southeast, each comprising five teams in close proximity.

See below for a complete list of the teams in each division and a rundown on the history of the Eastern Conference Championship, along with some betting trends to help you plan futures.

Atlantic Division

The easternmost division in the Conference, the Atlantic Division is home to the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors.

Central Division

The only division in the Eastern Conference to partially operate outside the EST timezone, the Central includes Midwest teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Southeast Division

From a championship standpoint, the Southeast Division holds the fewest trophies of any league, with only seven cumulative wins. Those teams include the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and the Washington Wizards (formerly the Baltimore Bullets).

Past Eastern Conference Champions 

Previous 10 Eastern Conference Champions
2023Miami Heat
2022Boston Celtics
2021Milwaukee Bucks
2020Miami Heat
2019Toronto Raptors
2018Cleveland Cavaliers
2017Cleveland Cavaliers
2016Cleveland Cavaliers
2015Cleveland Cavaliers
2014Miami Heat

Pop Quiz: can you spot a theme in the bottom five teams on this list? If you guessed LeBron James, well… of course you did. James’ run in Cleveland coincides with the four straight NBA finals between the Cavs and the Golden State Warriors, a dominant time for both teams.

With his departure to the Lakers in 2018, the other Eastern squads earned some breathing room. We saw the Toronto Raptors take home their first Finals win, and the Bucks earn their second, with the Heat returning to form. The current state of the conference boasts several finals-ready teams that threaten to tip the scales on their Western foe's track record.

Eastern Conference Championship Betting Trends

  • In the past five years, the only preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference was the 2020 Milwaukee Bucks – fade the chalk.
  • Building off the previous, the Bucks have been the favorites in the Central Division for four years straight, winning each time.
  • The Boston Celtics have won the Atlantic Division 24 times since 1970, with the Toronto Raptors trailing at 7 – a truly dependable pick, no matter the year.
  • The Orlando Magic continue to have the worst or second-worst odds to win the Southeast Division and Eastern Conference Championship, year over year.
  • Out of the previous ten winners, only four were favored to win the NBA finals before the start of the season – the 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers was the only team to do so successfully.
  • With only eight NBA Finals trophies in the past 23 years, whoever wins the East is statistically unlikely (34.78%) to win the Championship.

History of the Eastern Conference

The NBA underwent significant expansions and realignments in 1970, founding the Eastern Conference as we know it in the same year. It began with only eight teams, two of which (the Buffalo Braves and Cincinnati Royals) are now defunct.

Over the years, more and more teams would be added as the NBA continued to expand and readjust conferences. Notably, 1995 brought the Toronto Raptors into the conference, the only Canadian team still playing in the NBA.

Before 2004, the Eastern Conference was separated into the Atlantic and Central divisions. When the Charlotte Hornets (previously the Bobcats) joined the NBA as the 30th team, the league saw a chance to realign divisions into equal splits of five teams each – this brought us the Southeast division and the Eastern Conference as we know it today.

In terms of NBA Championships, the Eastern holds 40 titles compared to the West’s 37. Admittedly, the 1957 - 1969 Boston Celtics gave the East a significant lead, winning 11 finals in 13 years. From 2000 onward, Eastern teams have only taken home the trophy eight times.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks

NBA Western Conference Best Bets

The odds of which team will emerge as Western Conference champions in 2023-24 are a lot more clouded and convoluted than that of the East.

The reigning and defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets overcoming an 0-2 deficit after dropping two games at home are back with a commanding lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Dallas Mavericks. 

What Teams and Divisions Are in The Western Conference?

Because the NBA's 30 teams are divided evenly between two conferences, 15 belong to the Western Conference. They’re split between three divisions: the Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest, who each hold five teams each.

See below for a complete list of the teams in each division and a rundown on the history of the Western Conference Championship, along with some betting trends to help you plan your futures.

Northwest Division

Curiously, the Northwest is the most geographically diverse division in the league. The Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz are closer to their Pacific opponents, while the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder border the Central and Southeast Divisions, respectively.

Pacific Division

Honestly, the Pacific could be renamed the California Division, and almost nothing would change. Four teams hail from the Sunshine State: the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings – the only out-of-state team is the Phoenix Suns.

Southwest Division

Fittingly named, this southernmost division of the NBA consists of the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs and the most recent addition to the NBA, the New Orleans Pelicans, who joined in 2004.

Past Western Conference Champions 

Previous 10 Western Conference Champions
2023Denver Nuggets
2022Golden State Warriors
2021Phoenix Suns
2020Los Angeles Lakers
2019Golden State Warriors
2018Golden State Warriors
2017Golden State Warriors
2016Golden State Warriors
2015Golden State Warriors
2014Golden State Warriors

Thank goodness for the CTRL C + V shortcut – it’s not hard to see that the Golden State Warriors have lived up to their dynasty reputation. With six Western Conference championships in the past ten years, they’ve won the NBA Finals in four seasons.

The Western Conference has dominated the competition against their Eastern foes in recent years, taking the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy home seven out of ten times. We may see seven more in a decade with no sign of these teams slowing down.

Western Conference Championship Betting Trends

  • Western Conference Champions continue to be the overwhelming favorites to go on and win the Finals – 65.21% of Western teams have taken home the trophy since 2000.
  • For the foreseeable future, the Golden State Warriors are a safe pick, winning 60% of the previous ten conference finals.
  • Over the past five years, the only preseason favorite to successfully win the Western Conference was the 2018 Golden State Warriors - let’s call that an outlier and suggest that the chalked team doesn’t always live up to the hype.
  • 8/10 of the previous winners came from the Pacific division – the reigning Denver Nuggets and the 2013 San Antonio Spurs are the only exceptions.
  • Steph Curry is the only player in the previous ten years to play on a Western Conference Championship team and win the NBA MVP award in the same year.
  • The recent development of four separate teams winning the Western Conference is the largest stretch of different champions since the 2010 - 2013 seasons.

History of the Western Conference

Founded in the same year as the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference began in 1970 with nine teams, bringing the Midwest and Pacific divisions with it.

As the NBA grew, teams from the East and West shuffled divisions and relocated numerous, with five new teams joining the mix over the next thirty-plus years.

When the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) joined the Eastern Conference in 2004, the league saw an opportunity to realign divisions into an equal split of five teams each. The Western Conference adopted the Southwest division, and the league’s structure has been the same since.

Regarding NBA Championships, the West lags behind the Eastern Conference with 37 titles to their 40. In recent years (especially the last 10), the Western has begun to dominate the race for the title, winning 14 championships since 2000.

This table shows the timeline of Western Conference expansions and relocations over the past five decades.

How To Bet On The NBA

There are several ways one can put money down on the sport, and even for the most seasoned bettors, reestablishing the basics can pay dividends in the long run. This guide will run through the specific types of bets you can make, while also presenting NBA betting tips you can use regularly. Find your favorite NBA sportsbook and dive in.


Betting the moneyline is also referred to as a "straight-up bet," meaning you're simply picking the winner of a specific game. If the team you bet on emerges victorious, then so do you.

Toronto Raptors+150
Philadelphia 76ers-120

In this example, the Philadelphia 76ers are considered the favorites in their game against the Toronto Raptors, evident by the minus sign (-) displayed in front of their numerical odds. The Raptors are the underdogs, which is made apparent by the plus sign (+) next to their respective numerical odds.

If you were to bet on the Sixers to defeat the Raptors on the moneyline by betting $100 and Philadelphia won, you'd receive your original bet back along with $80 in profit. If Toronto won, the profit would be larger - in this case, your original bet and $150 in profit - because it was the underdog in this matchup. 


For a totals bet, the winner and loser of a game plays no part in the result of your wager. All that matters is if the total combined score of the two competing teams is OVER or UNDER a preset number set by oddsmakers. 

Toronto RaptorsO 240.5 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ersU 240.5 (-110)

In this example, oddsmakers have set the total for a game between the Raptors and 76ers at 240.5 points. 

To make a totals bet, you can either pick the final score exceeding 240.5 total points (241 or more) as an OVER or pick it falling below 240.5 total points (fewer than 240) as an UNDER.

If the final score was the Sixers defeating Toronto 126-122, that would mean the total went OVER, since 248 total points is higher than what the oddsmakers had at 240.5 total points. With -110 odds, which is fairly common in the OVER/UNDER market, a winning bet made with $100 would give the original bet back and $90 in profit.

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