The battle for Eastern Conference superiority has been a hotly contested one with several teams posing strong threats and having solid NBA odds.
It’s worth pointing out the top three teams in the standings — Heat, Bucks, and 76ers — have all won seven of their last 10 games and have been great plays when it comes to basketball betting of late.
What does the futures market have to say? Here is what the Eastern Conference title odds look like as of March 15.
Milwaukee Bucks Eastern Conference Odds: +280
Record: 43-26 (2nd in the Eastern Conference)
The defending champs are the favorite to represent the East in the NBA Finals for a second straight season.
Milwaukee has won seven of their last eight games, including impressive victories over championship contenders in the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks rank second in the conference in both points per game and offensive efficiency, while reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to look unstoppable on a nightly basis.
If there’s one area of concern for Antetokounmpo and Co., however, it’s on the defensive end of the floor, where they’ve allowed opponents to score 110 or more points in 14 of their last 15 contests.
Giannis Antetokounmpo REJEITANDO o Jimmy Butler 🚫pic.twitter.com/dATGFyEsy5
— NBA do Povo 🏀🇧🇷 (@NBAdoPovo) March 3, 2022
Brooklyn Nets Eastern Conference Odds: +280
Record: 35-33 (8th in the Eastern Conference)
Bettors now have the Brooklyn Nets tied with the Bucks as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference despite the fact that if the regular season ended today the Nets would find themselves in the play-in tournament.
A 29-point blowout over the 76ers in Philadelphia probably has something to do with that.
On paper, a healthy Nets squad boasts one of the league’s most talented rosters and that appears to be the line of thinking for many bettors. With 14 games remaining, the time is now for Steve Nash’s group to put it all together and develop some much-needed chemistry.
Philadelphia 76ers Eastern Conference Odds: +320
Record: 41-26 (3rd in the Eastern Conference)
The 76ers have seen their odds skyrocket following the club’s acquisition of James Harden.
Philadelphia won their first four games with Harden in the lineup, averaging a robust 126.5 points per game in those contests.
While they’ve slipped off since the hot start, Harden is a great fit alongside MVP candidate Joel Embiid, as Philly’s superstar pairing could very well be the NBA’s best tandem. Whether or not that will translate into postseason success is an open question.
Miami Heat Eastern Conference Odds: +500
Record: 45-24 (1st in the Eastern Conference)
One could easily make the argument that Miami holds the most value at its current odds of +500. After all, they sit atop the East with the conference’s best record.
The Heat have flown under the radar all season long, but make no mistake, this is a very good and well-balanced team. They may not be flashy, but Erik Spoelstra’s gang (2020 Eastern Conference champs) is going to be a tough out for any opponent come playoff time.
Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Odds: +800
Record: 41-28 (5th in the Eastern Conference)
A dark horse to make it out of the East, the Boston Celtics have been one of the best teams in basketball over the second half of the season.
With the league’s No. 1 ranked defense and the continued ascent of star forward Jayson Tatum, the Celtics have managed to win 16 of their last 19 games.
While some bettors may point to the team’s uninspired first half, Boston has clearly hit its stride. This may be the highest odds we see on the C’s the rest of the way.