We knew before the season that this year would be all about the Cavaliers and the Warriors and the latest Eastern Conference championship odds show that the Cavaliers are a huge favorite to win it and everyone else is basically a shot in the dark. The story here isn’t so much the Cavaliers -250, but everyone else.
The best team in the Eastern Conference outside of the Cavaliers right now is the Atlanta Hawks who currently sit at just +1600. They made a bold move in the offseason by basically swapping out Al Horford for Dwight Howard and that moves has paid off thus far. They have greatly improved their rebounding without sacrificing their quick defense. Coach Budenholzer is doing a great job down there, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to compete with the Cavaliers in the postseason as they have been completely dominated by them in the past two offseasons. The rebounding should help, but they still have to score which they have not been able to do.
Ahead of them is the Boston Celtics +1000 who is everyone’s pick du jour this year. Many expect them to finish as one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference and make a run deep in the playoffs. It’s hard to see though as they added the aforementioned Al Horford and have seen their rebounding drop towards the bottom of the league in the process. When shooting percentages go down in the playoffs, rebounding becomes more and more important and it’s hard to see them being this juggernaut that people expect when their rebounding numbers are so low.
How about the Toronto Raptors +1100? They are basically the same team as they were last year, but thus far it looks like DeMar Derozan is a much improved player as he is scoring at career high rates. They are a very nice team and if something happens to one of Cleveland’s big three I would see them as a top pick in the East, but unless they make a big trade or something I just don’t see this team being anymore than they have been over the past couple of seasons: Cleveland’s punching bag.
This is the Cavaliers conference to lose. They are the best team in the Eastern Conference by a pretty large margin and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they aren’t back in the Finals. Lebron James carried them there two years ago without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. He could do that again if it came down to it. Unless Lebron James gets injured (which is something that has never happened before) they are going back to the Finals. Bet the Cavs.
Complete odds are below and you can bet all your NBA action at http://www.5Dimes.com
|NBA Eastern Conference
Thu 11/17 7:05PM
|New York Knicks||+3300|