NBA Betting: Cavs Clear Favorite In The East As Dark Horses Loom

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, January 28, 2016 12:05 AM GMT

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoffs? As we approach the All-Star Break our NBA handicapper analyzes the current futures NBA odds available.

It’s almost the All-Star Break so a perfect time to check in on the Eastern Conference futures currently being offered over at Bovada. You would think with how the NBA odds are listed that the Cleveland Cavaliers are leading the conference going away, but that isn’t the case just yet. Let’s take a look at the teams trailing the Cavaliers to assess if they are worth placing a wager on to come out of the East.

 

Eastern Conference Winner Future Odds 

Cleveland Cavaliers  -300

Toronto Raptors  +800

Chicago Bulls  +1000

Indiana Pacers  +1600

Atlanta Hawks  +1600

Miami Heat  +1800

Boston Celtics  +2800

Detroit Pistons  +3300

Washington Wizards  +5000

New York Knicks  +6600

Charlotte Hornets  +10000

Orlando Magic  +25000

Milwaukee Bucks  +30000

 

Toronto Raptors (+800)
Winners of 9 straight games as of January 26th, the Raptors are finally climbing power polls of mainstream sports pundits and sports bettors alike. The Raptors will be able to challenge Cleveland in a playoff series as long as they stay healthy. They can’t match the depth of Cleveland, mainly at the very important Lebron James position, but they can definitely lock them down defensively. Kyle Lowry has been playing out of his mind lately, and we all should be hoping that his x-rays after the Wizards game on Tuesday night come back negative. The Raptors own the 2nd best record against the East at 21-8, which should be good enough to get them past the first round of the playoffs once and for all. Their odds at +800 are the best value on the board right now for Eastern Conference futures.  

 

Chicago Bulls (+1000)
Speaking of staying healthy, the Bulls could use some of Russell Wilson’s nano bubbles right now. Derrick Rose seems to be perpetually injured, but he’s got some company in the locker room this year. Backup guards Kirk Hinrich and E’Twaun Moore are out with leg injuries. Additionally, Mike Dunleavy has been out most of the year with back surgery. Furthermore, Joakim Noah just underwent surgery for a separated left shoulder. You get the picture. The only thing keeping the Bulls afloat this year has been the incredibly good play of Jimmy Butler. The Bulls boast a recent win over the Cavs, but then went on to get beat in Miami in an ugly game. It’s that kind of inconsistency and playing down to opponents that could get the Bulls bounced from the playoffs before they even get a matchup with the Cavs there.

 

Indiana Pacers (+1600)
It’s kind of funny that the Pacers currently hold the 8th seed by one game yet hold the 4th position for odds to win the conference. There are four teams within 2.5 games of the Pacers for that final spot in the playoffs and a date with either Cleveland or Toronto in the first round. Take the Pacers at +1600 if you don’t like money and want it as far away from you as possible.

 

Atlanta Hawks (+1600)
A much better value at +1600 in the Eastern Conference are the Atlanta Hawks. Currently holding the #3 seed and a 16-11 conference record, Atlanta would match up with the Miami Heat if the playoffs started today. The Heat are the only team currently in playoff position with a losing record against the conference, so good for the Hawks. If Jeff Teague can pull his head out of his ass this team has a decent rotation, as they’ve survived some minor injuries to give their bench quality minutes. Atlanta is a good candidate to be active at the trade deadline as well.

 

Boston Celtics (+2800)
As a dark horse, you could do a lot worse than the Celtics (Read: Pacers). This is another team that could be active at the trade deadline, as the Celtics are in need of a scoring threat to go along with their second ranked defense. If they make a good trade to pick up some offense, the odds for the Celtics won’t be at +2800 for long. I’d take the Celtics over the Bulls, Pacers, and Hawks as well.