THERE has been plenty of talk about the high-powered NBA western conference, but bettors are sleeping on the east, which could hurt their pocket.
The Golden State Warriors have stolen the limelight this season, and rightfully so, but there are some eastern teams that are compiling good records, but have still been ignored in the betting markets.
The reality is that one eastern team will make the NBA finals and with the Cleveland Cavaliers not looking invincible this season, the door has opened for bettors to make some serious money come playoffs time.
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NBA eastern conference futures betting
The Cleveland Cavaliers are shorter favourites to win the eastern conference title than the Warriors are to win the western conference. We find that hard to believe as there is some stiff competition in the east and they deserve respect from bettors.
Bookmakers are conceding that the Cavs will make it through to the NBA finals, but on the second line of betting is the Toronto Raptors which have a 40-22 record. The Canadian franchise have the players in DeMar DeRozan, Louis Scola and Kyle Lowry to compete for the title and bettors are getting great value.
The Raptors are +600 to win the eastern conference title and we think they can trouble the Cavs over a seven-game series. They should get a good run through the playoffs after finishing second looks eminent, and that will make them a good bet come playoffs time.
Another team on the radar is the Boston Celtics which have produced an enterprising brand of basketball this season. Coached by former Butler head coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics have turned around a poor previous season to record a 39-27 record so far.
It’s hardly Warriors-like, but the eastern conference as a whole is tough and impressive records have never played importantly come the playoffs. The Celtics (+1300) face another eastern conference foe in the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and bookmakers have the Celtics as away underdogs.
The Pacers’ record isn’t as impressive with 35 wins from 66 games, but they are tough to beat in pressure situations and they could provide some value at +2500. It’s unlikely they will finish high enough in the regular season to make it through to the conference finals, but we’ve seen worse teams go further.
The Hawks and Heat have been well backed in the betting. Atlanta are +1400 which is a good price for a team with recent playoff experience.
The Heat may have lost LeBron to Cleveland, but that hasn’t put them off the radar. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are still holding down the fort and they could be a contender if everyone is healthy, especially Bosh who has had problems with blood clotting in his legs.
Eastern conference outright market
Cleveland Cavaliers -277
Toronto Raptors +600
Boston Celtics +1300
Atlanta Hawks +1400
Miami Heat +1600
Charlotte Hornets +2500
Indiana Pacers +2500
Washington Wizards +4500
Chicago Bulls +4500
Detroit Pistons +1000
Milwaukee Bucks +1400
Orlando Magic +1670
New York Knicks +4000
The Bulls are in a fight to make the playoffs, but if they can get all their team healthy, they aren’t the worst chance at +4500. That’s great value for a team which could include Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol – we would suggest backing them at the big price.
NBA Tuesday parlay
There are three games which take our fancy this Tuesday and we start with an all-eastern conference game between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.
We have been impressed with how the Boston Celtics have played this season without any noted star players in their squad. They bring passion and they are rarely blown out of a game which makes bettors happy for the most part.
The Pacers are ticking along nicely this season, but we think the edge is with the Celtics at the better price.
Our second parlay inclusion are the Toronto Raptors (-128) against the Milwaukee Bucks (+109). The Raptors are sitting comfortably in second place on the eastern conference ladder and they should stay there. The Bucks have been inconsistent all season and bettors are getting good value for the away team in this one.
The Raptors have more talent across the floor and should prove tough to beat.
The third and final game of our parlay is the Spurs vs. Clippers. The San Antonio Spurs are carrying a lengthy home winning record into this and we don’t think the Clippers will give them anything to worry about.
There is no value in the head-to-head line so the Spurs -9 (-109) looks the way to go.
NBA Tuesday parlay:
Spurs (-9) -109