- BetOnline’s updated odds have the Milwaukee Bucks as the heavy favorite (+125) to win the Eastern Conference
- The Philadelphia 76ers (+400) are in the midst of a four-game losing streak
- Both the Celtics (+500) and Heat (+800) have a path to the NBA Finals
The preseason consensus had the Bucks regressing from last year’s league-best 60-22 record. The consensus was wrong.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo looking like a lock to win his second-straight NBA MVP award, Milwaukee has a legitimate chance of reaching 70 wins.
Is it worth taking Mike Budenholzer’s team at +125 or do contenders such as the 76ers, Celtics, Heat and Raptors offer more value? Let’s examine the latest odds at BetOnline and pick a winner in the Eastern Conference.
ODDS TO WIN NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Before Season|
|New York Knicks||+25000||↓||+8000|
The Bucks are outscoring opponents by an average of almost 13 points a game – the most since the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. Still, even with a league-best 32-5 record, there’s reason to doubt whether the deer should be feared in the postseason.
While Khris Middleton has been impressive since returning from injury on November 27 — averaging over 27 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per 36 minutes — it’s hard to trust a supporting cast with Donte DiVincenzo, George Hill and the Lopez brothers.
Luka and Giannis have the early lead in All-Star voting … pic.twitter.com/dPUxgZ7aQO
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 2, 2020
Before going on their current five-game win streak, the Bucks were taken apart by the Sixers on Christmas Day. And we all remember what happened in last year’s Eastern Conference Final when the Raptors defeated Milwaukee in four-straight games.
Taking Milwaukee at +125 is not just betting on Giannis’ greatness, it’s a bet that his supporting cast will be better this time around.
EASTERN CONFERENCE CONTENDERS
Before the season, we warned that the 76ers’ big-man heavy roster was outdated and ill-conceived. Now they’re on a four-game losing streak and sit fifth in the East. Continue to avoid Philadelphia at +400.
With Kemba Walker, a healthy Gordon Hayward and improving young wing players in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, our preseason pick to win the Atlantic Division, the Boston Celtics, are a strong bet to make the NBA Finals at +500.
Embiid says 76ers' 4th straight loss is "taking a toll" on him
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 4, 2020
Rising from +1400 before the season, the Heat still may be the best value to win the Eastern Conference at +800 with star guard Jimmy Butler a roster full of rising stars such as Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro.
Having already locked up the Southeast Division before Christmas, Miami has fared well against top competition this season with Ws over Philly (twice), Toronto, Milwaukee, Houston and Dallas.
The Raptors’ odds (+900) have somehow lengthened (+800 before the year) despite their fantastic 24-12 start to the year.
Once Pascal Siakam returns from injury, Toronto will continue to be a tough out for every team in the conference, but they’re lacking the talent it takes to return to the NBA Finals.
Pick: Miami Heat (+800)