Raptors Odds Shortening to Win NBA’s Atlantic Division

  • BetOnline’s updated odds still have the 76ers (-150) as the favorites in the Atlantic
  • The Raptors’ odds to win the division (+300) are surging after a 15-5 start to the season
  • Sitting only a half-game out of the division lead, the Celtics remain a strong bet at +350

After winning the NBA championship, the Raptors were expected to go back under the rock they came from after Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard bolted for Los Angeles.

Pascal Siakam didn’t like that plan. Buoyed by the improved play of their fourth-year forward, Toronto has the third-best record in the league (15-5) and lead their division entering Wednesday’s action.

At the season’s quarter-mark, let’s look at the updated odds at BetOnline and pick a winner in the Atlantic.

NBA ATLANTIC DIVISION ODDS

Team Current Odds Trending Before Season
Philadelphia 76ers -150 -130
Toronto Raptors +300 +550
Boston Celtics +350 +350
Brooklyn Nets +3300 +500
New York Knicks +100000 +10000

TORONTO RAPTORS

The league’s reigning Most Improved Player is, well, still improving. In his age-25 season, Siakam is averaging new career highs in points (25.1), rebounds (8.6) and assists (3.9).

Reportedly putting up 1,000 shots per day in an effort to raise his game, the man affectionately known as Spicy P has made the leap to NBA stardom, becoming a bonafide MVP candidate.

Fourth-year guard Fred VanVleet has also maintained the magic he displayed in last year’s playoff run, averaging an incredible 18.7 points, 7.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Considering the extended injury absences of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, there’s no reason that Nick Nurse’s team can’t maintain their torrid pace and defend their division title.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Back in August, we warned against picking the heavily-favored 76ers to win the Atlantic. And while we can’t exactly take a victory lap with Philly (15-6) sitting just a half-game back of Toronto, there is reason for concern if you ponied up at -130 before the season.

Working in the 76ers favor is the play of Ben Simmons, who has blossomed into an elite, all-NBA level defender in his third year, leading the league in steals (46) while constantly guarding the other team’s best player.

The 23-year-old Australian even hit his first career three-pointer a few weeks back, but with Al Horford and Joel Embiid still meshing in Brett Brown’s old-school post-up attack, the Sixers haven’t been efficient on offense to this point.

Philadelphia very well may win the division, but betting them at -150 is lunacy.

BOSTON CELTICS

Playing with improved chemistry following the departure of Kyrie Irving, our preseason choice to win the division is also only a half-game back in the Atlantic despite losing forward Gordon Hayward to a broken hand.

Kemba Walker is averaging 21.6 points, 5.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds in his debut season in Boston while forward Jayson Tatum continues to improve in his third year, putting up 21.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

The Celtics’ odds to win the division somehow haven’t budged from +350, making them a strong bet with three quarters of the season still to go.

Best Bet: Boston (+350)

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.