NBA Picks: Teams in the East Contending for Conference Title

Jordan Sharp

Monday, November 23, 2015 4:17 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 4:17 PM GMT

The Eastern Conference is playing true to form for the most part to start the season. The Cavs are dominating while the rest of the conference is playing either as expected, or worse.

Cleveland Cavaliers (-200)
Through 13 games the Cavs are 10-3 SU and haven’t even looked like they have hit their stride. Plus, on top of that, Kyrie Irving has yet to play a game this season, and with him in the lineup within the next month, the Cavs might be unstoppable. They are still -200 to win the East, which is the same price they started the season as, and by the time we get another two or three weeks into the season, the Cavs might have a price of -250 or -300 by then. While there are teams capable of giving the Cavs a series in the East, within the first month of the season, the Cavs look like they are going back to the NBA Finals.

 

Chicago Bulls (+650) at 5Dimes
The Bulls have started this season with some much-improved offensive play,. However, while their defense is still good, it hasn’t been great, and of course Derrick Rose has already missed some games in the young season. All the pieces are there for Chicago to challenge the Cavs, and with a ton of season left to play, the door is still open for them to do so. However, while they pose the greatest threat to Cleveland’s dominance of the East, right now at +650 doesn’t seem like a great value wager for your NBA picks.

 

Atlanta Hawks (+1100)
When I started writing this piece, the Hawks were +900 to win the East, and after some sloppy play to start the season, the Hawks have moved all the way back to +1100. Whle their season isn’t trashed yet, the Hawks are not as good of a team as they were a year ago, and the rest of the East has improved enough to where the Hawks might not even be a top three team in the East. They are tied with the Heat in the most recent future odds from bet365, and I would take Miami over the Hawks ten times out of ten. It seems as if their one-season run to the top spot in the East was a one-hit wonder.

 

Miami Heat (+1100) at Bookmaker
We highlighted Miami as a great future odds wager for the Eastern Conference before the season started, and they have not disappointed. With their two veteran stars healthy and playing well, along with an upgraded and deeper supporting cast, the Heat are definitely a force in the East, and in my opinion they are easily the third best team in the conference behind the Bulls and Heat. Whether that translates into future NBA odds value remains to be seen, however, the Heat have the talent and the defense to knock off a team like the Cavs., and if they can make their way through the season healthy, their current price to win the East is still valuable despite dropping from +1400 earlier this season.

 

Toronto Raptors (+1400)
The Raptors round out the top five in the East, and in my eyes they are probably a better team than Atlanta despite not being priced that way according to Bet365. While their depth is a concern, along with their inconsistent post play, the Raptors are a team still putting things together, They could easily rally off eight or ten wins to make their way into the top tier of the East discussion, but right not they are squarely in the East’s second tier with Miami and Atlanta.

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