Top 5 NBA Eastern Conference Future Bets

Top Five NBA Eastern Conference Future Bets
Top 5 NBA Eastern Conference Future Bets

We are roughly two weeks from the end of the regular season. Several things are still up in the air, from seeding to division races. Seeds 8 through 12 are separated by only three games, while the top three seeds are all within two games of each other. I have highlighted five of the best future bets to make as we bring this season to a close. Always shop around for the best number to ensure you get the best. That is a major key when building your futures portfolio.

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Top 5 NBA Eastern Conference Future Bets

1.) Philadelphia 76ers to win Atlantic Division (+270)

Currently, the 76ers are just a half-game back of the Celtics. I understand the Celtics have a 3-0 series lead this year, but in my estimation, this price is a bit large. The 76ers have won nine of their 11 games this month and have been clicking on both sides of the ball. They are top eight in both offensive and defensive ratings on the season and have the depth to withstand the tough schedule they have ahead.

The Celtics and 76ers both have some tough stretches within their respective schedules. The 76ers, I would say, have a slightly more challenging schedule, with seven of their remaining 11 on the road. While it is a concern, Philly has what it takes to get it done behind a highly motivated Joel Embiid, who’s now the odds-on favorite to win the MVP.

The Celtics are reeling a bit, and the matchup between the two teams on April 4th could be pretty big. The backend of Boston’s schedule is a bit tough, which could present some problems for them matchup-wise. At almost 3/1 odds, I think this is too much value to pass up.

 

2.) Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference (+170)

I’m aware that they have struggled as of late and are nowhere near the level they were before the All-Star break. However, that is why I think they have some value in winning the Eastern Conference. When healthy, they still have the second most effective starting five from a points-per-possession standpoint. In a playoff setting, the only team I think has an advantage over them are the Bucks.

Right now, they would likely dodge the Bucks until the Eastern Conference Finals. A lot of positional movement is still to be determined, but the top of the conference is pretty solidified. Despite their struggles, in a high-leverage playoff setting, I feel they have an advantage over 95% of the conference. Joe Mazzula MUST be better and get his lineups situated for the postseason, but I think once the matchups are set, he can construct a more effective game plan.

In summation, the Celtics’ struggles are a bit overblown, in my opinion. They’re still an elite team and one of only two that rank top five in both offensive and defensive ratings. They will go into any matchup with the best duo in the series and can win playing any style. Winning on the road is something that must be done in the playoffs, and Celtics have won 62% of their road games. The recent slump gives us some value on a top-three team in the NBA.

3.) Eastern Conference to win NBA Title (-120)

The western conference reign is over. Over the last nine seasons, the West has won six of the NBA Finals. That is primarily due to the dominance of the Warriors, who won four in that span. The Warriors are on the back end of their run, and no other team scares me this year or moving forward. Just going by the betting odds, the two favorites are from the East and have relatively shorter odds than Phoenix, who are without Kevin Durant and have not looked good down the stretch.

Boston and Milwaukee would be favored in a series over any team out of the West. They’ll likely be a heftier favorite if that team is not Phoenix. The Suns healthy is the only team that can contend here with the big boys of the East. Injury concerns with KD and CP3 will always be lingering, and not sure they’ll have enough for seven games (or less) to contend with either team.

 

4.) Brooklyn Nets to participate in Play-In Tournament (+240)

Brooklyn is currently the 6th seed in the East and trails Miami by one game. At plus money, I think this is worth a look due to how poorly Brooklyn is playing. They have lost three straight games and are struggling offensively, ranking 27th in offensive rating. Atlanta and Toronto are not far behind in the standings and play a similar strength of schedule to the Nets. The pieces for the Nets are solid, but continuity is not fully there, which I think will cause them to derail down the stretch.

The Nets remaining schedule is not overly difficult, but they do have to go to Miami and get the Hawks at home within five days. They have 11 games remaining and only two “tanking” teams on the schedule. Each remaining team on their schedule will fight for something from seeding to making the playoffs. The way Toronto is playing (which we will get to next), I can see them making a push that will eliminate Brooklyn, who has a slightly more challenging schedule down the stretch despite playing most of them at home.

 

5.) Toronto Raptors to make the Playoffs (+100)

The schedule is highly manageable here. They have a four-game home stretch where they are 23-13. As you read earlier, I think the Brooklyn Nets will be on the outside looking in. Toronto trails them by 4.5 games with 11 to play. So what we are looking for here is a Raptors and Nets matchup for the 8th seed. This would ensure us an opportunity to hedge on both sides. The Wizards are the only threat to jump into the play-in scenario at 10th, but Toronto would handle them quite easily.

The Hawks and Bulls are likely opponents for the Raptors, no matter which seed line they land on. They are 2-1 against the Bulls, and while they struggled a bit with the Hawks (1-3), I think at this juncture, the Raptors are well-equipped to win a big game to go to the playoffs against either team. This home stretch to end the season is enormous for seeding purposes. They could go 3-1 and gain ground on the Hawks, who they trail by only a half-game.

Since the All-Star break, I think the Raptors have been the best team in the play-in group. At plus money, I like our chances to cash this ticket or at least get to a winner take all game where we can hedge. Nick Nurse is an elite coach, and the players have championship pedigree. Their roster is deep and clicking at the right time. Do not count them out of this playoff race, and at plus money; I think it’s a great bet to add to your futures portfolio.

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