NBA Betting: Eastern Conference Odds & Future NBA Picks

Kevin Stott

Monday, March 14, 2016 7:11 PM GMT

Let’s take an updated look at the odds in the Eastern Conference with the highest current NBA odds for each team and come up with smaller odds and longshot picks.

Eastern Conference Futures Market Intriguing But is it All in Just a Strange Mind Trick?
The Futures Book numbers in the Eastern Conference reveal slight downward movement on the Cavaliers, heavy downward movement for the Injury-plagued Chicago Bulls and some decent movement up (money on the) in the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets, all of whom some bettors believe may be able to knock off LeBron James and defending conference champion Cleveland (+350 to win NBA Championship, Stan James).

Now whether this is just wishful thinking by backers of other teams or a byproduct of the perceived unhappiness with the Cavaliers franchise remains to be seen but even if Kyrie Irving is unhappy and wants out and even if James may not be playing at 100%, this Cavaliers Roster is still loaded and Cleveland will still (likely) have the Homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference Playoffs unless something drastic happens in this last month of the Regular Season.

One thing’s for sure: The team’s who all look like they may end up in the 8th spot in the East right now—and would face the #1 seed, likely Cleveland—would have little chance of beating the Cavaliers in a series. In a normal year, the 9th-place Bulls (32-32) might be able to give the Cavaliers a fight, but Chicago is so beat up that it might not even make the Postseason. The Bulls record has plummeted to the .500 mark and Chicago has fallen to 9th in the standings because of these Injuries and the Odds in the betting markets reflect this (from 8/1 to 45/1 to win Eastern Conference from last assignment).

The Bulls have become a patchwork quilt of basketball players this season with starting G’s Derrick Rose (Knees, Thigh) and Jimmy Butler (Knee) on and off the Injury List and basically not playing together consistently all season. Starting Center Joakim Noah (Shoulder) has been Out for the majority of the year and impressive reserve PF Nikola Mirotic, who (Appendix) is Out Indefinitely as first-year Head Coach Fred Hoiberg just tries to get through the season. And All-Star Pau Gasol (Knee) and Mike Dunleavy (Illness) were listed as Doubtful for the Bulls game on Monday at Toronto (TOR -9, 215½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), so if there’s a Walking Dead of the NBA, Chicago is surely it. Here are the updated odds for the Eastern Conference with the highest current (Monday morning) odds from the Oddschecker screen:

 

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Raptors, Celtics Still Seem Like Only Two in Eastern Conference Who Could Possibly Upset the Cavaliers
The big question here is can a Celtics or a Raptors or maybe someone else surprise and upset Cleveland in the Eastern Conference and is it worth placing a small- to moderate-sized bet at this point in Time with just a month to go? And the thought is that if they were to meet the Cavaliers, both 2nd-place Toronto (44-20) and 3rd-place Boston (39-27) could possibly go into Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and steal a Game 1 or a Game 2 and give a gallant effort to win the season.

But the problem comes with the Rosters, Depth,Experience and Culture of NBA Basketball in these cities. The city of Boston could expect it, but the Roster is still so young, although going in the right direction and the Celtics are definitely the team to watch in the Eastern Conference for the Future. And Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and the upstart Raptors (7/1 to win Eastern Conference, William Hill) could win a game in Cleveland, but being able to defend their homecourt (26-7 SU Home) back in Toronto against a Cavaliers squad angry and with higher expectations and win is still a big, fat question mark.

So, Boston (16/1 to win Eastern Conference, Ladbrokes) may be the only team to back (outside of the chalky Cavaliers) in this market and just for a smallish amount. And expect some continue gradual shrinkage of odds on the Raptors, Celtics and maybe the longshot Hornets (100/1 to win Eastern Conference, Betfair) as the Regular Season schedule comes to a close, and if you like any one of those, now would be the time to act. And despite the shorter odds, it just seems the Atlanta Hawks (25/1 to win Eastern Conference, Ladbrokes) and Dwyane Wade and the the Miami Heat (20/1 to win Eastern Conference, BetVictor) have dipped a bit and have problems in Confidence and Health in Miami’s case.

Both could possibly knock off Cleveland, but it seemed both were better last year, as were the disappearing 10th-place Washington Wizards (30-35). For those wanting a longshot who will still have to qualify for the Playoffs but probably could and would give LeBron and the Cavs hell, the 8th-place Detroit Pistons (34-32) are your team as with beast Andre Drummond (16.7 ppg, 15.0 rpg) and electric PG Reggie Jackson (19.2 ppg), Detroit (100/1 to win Eastern Conference, Ladbrokes) may be able to pull off the miracle upset.

NBA Future Pick: Boston Celtics 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
Best Line Offered: Detroit Pistons 100/1 (Paddy Power)