2018 NBA Eastern Conference Championship Odds

The playoffs start Saturday so let’s take one last look at the Eastern Conference Championship odds.

Despite being the fourth seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers are once again the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Having the best player in the world in LeBron James will do that for you. There is still a ton of questions about this team heading into the postseason. They finished with the 29th best Defensive Rating in the NBA and don’t really show any interest on that end. That might not be a problem against a team like the Pacers, but the Raptors or Sixers could give them a run for their money.

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The 76ers have probably the most intriguing odds of any team on the board. By virtue of being the third seed, they will avoid the Raptors or Cavaliers until the Eastern Conference finals. Assuming things go exactly as they are seeded, they’ll fave a Celtics team that is beat up in the second round. Or a Bucks team that maybe figured something out and Giannis Antetokounmpo doing Giannis thing. The Joel Embiid injury is the big question mark. If we know he’ll be back by a certain time, I can see that +500 bet being very profitable.

I guess I need to mention the Bucks then too. They have been infuriating all season, but they just got healthy and could see the Celtics without Kyrie Irving in and then the Sixers without Joel Embiid. Giannis is going to play huge minutes and stranger things have happened.

Yeah, its the Cavs. It’s always the Cavs.

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Cleveland Cavaliers+140+125
Toronto Raptors+180+155
Philadelphia 76ers+425+500
Boston Celtics+2500+2000
Washington Wizards +4400+3000
Milwaukee Bucks+5500+2200
Indiana Pacers+6000+2200
Miami Heat+6000+3500

What a difference 50 games makes. While before the season we had the Cavs as the favorite by a lot, their odds have dropped quite a bit and I am honestly surprised they haven’t dropped further. This team is bad.

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As of this writing, the Cavs have the 28th ranked defense by Defensive Rating and no team that low has ever really sniffed the NBA Finals. While this is a team with an “on/off switch”, that’s a bit too much of a switch for even a LeBron James led team. The injury to Kevin Love will hurt, Isaiah Thomas has had trouble coming back from injury, J.R. Smith is having the worst year of his career and Tristan Thompson seems to be suffering from the Kardashian curse. This team could be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and that is scary. LeBron is still the best player, but he can only do so much. This could be the year he misses the Finals.

So who do we take? The Celtics +260 look good, but there are questions. They have the league’s best defense, but just the 17th ranked offense. They currently hold the top seed in the Eastern Conference and will have a strong home court advantage. This could Kyrie Irving‘s big breakout year if he defeats the Cavs in the playoffs and heads to the Finals. A lot of this depends on how Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to develop. Weaknesses are exposed in the playoffs and that could be their undoing. Of course, they could always get Gordon Hayward back by that point and that would be really interesting. Even if he is just a super Kyle Korver, that would be huge for them. Easy to see why they are the non-Cavs favorite.

I’ve been burned before, but the Raptors +600 are very intriguing to me. I know that Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have had rough gos in the playoffs in the past, but this is a different team. They move the ball better, they shoot the three better and they are one of the best defensive teams in the league. They are third in the NBA in Net Rating behind the Warriors and Rockets and just might be the best team in the East. They currently have the two seed which has them getting the Cavs in the second round (if the season ended today).

The Bucks at +1660 are interesting just because of how they’ve transformed in the short time since Jason Kidd‘s firing. While Giannis Antetokounmpo is an MVP candidate, they’ve gotten great play out of Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe as well. While we probably need to wait and see how Jabari Parker fares when he returns, this is a team on the rise. I can see them moving into the #3 seed and pushing Cleveland to the #4.

Complete updated odds are below:

2018 NBA Eastern Conference Championship Odds
Cleveland Cavaliers  +105
Boston Celtics  +260
Toronto Raptors  +600
Milwaukee Bucks  +1660
Washington Wizards  +1660
Philadelphia 76ers  +2750
Miami Heat  +3000
Detroit Pistons  +5850
Indiana Pacers  +6950
Charlotte Hornets  +12500
Chicago Bulls  +15000
New York Knicks  +15000
Atlanta Hawks  +100000
Brooklyn Nets  +100000
Orlando Magic  +100000

Updated: 2/1/2018

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The 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Championship Odds are in and once again the Cavs look like the favorite. They open at a nearly 1-2 favorite and there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can possibly touch them in the conference. Let’s go through the contenders.

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Boston +260 is an interesting play as they just added Kyrie Irving this offseason, but they gave up quite a bit. Jae Crowder would’ve been great defending LeBron in this postseason series and the loss of Avery Bradley will hurt. That said, Kyrie is awesome and Gordon Hayward is also awesome. Throw in the best coach in the Eastern Conference in Brad Stevens and we might have something here. This might be the best bet.

The Raptors are a somewhat surprising +2000. This will be a great regular season and could finish with a top seed in the East. Of course, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are bad in the playoffs and this team hasn’t been able to touch the Cavs in the playoffs over the past few years. Hard to argue with this.

A real interesting team is the Wizards +1200. They didn’t lose a home game in the playoffs last season and their starting five is one of the best in the NBA. John Wall and Bradley Beal are a super talented backcourt that can easily win games by themselves. They don’t have much of a bench, but that matters less in the playoffs. This will be an interesting team to watch this year to see if they make the leap.

The Bucks at +2000 are only interesting if Giannis Antetokounmpo makes a giant leap and becomes the new LeBron James. Even then, I’m not sure it’s enough.

These odds are nice and all, but this is the Cavs Conference to lose. Isaiah Thomas is a nice addition, Kevin Love is still great and there are enough pieces around them to make this thing work one more time. Beating the Warriors on the other hand…

2018 NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
Cleveland Cavaliers-182
Boston Celtics+260
Toronto Raptors+2000
Washington Wizards+1200
Philadelphia 76ers+2500
Milwaukee Bucks+2000
Detroit Pistons+4000
Miami Heat+3000
Indiana Pacers+8000
Charlotte Hornets+7000
New York Knicks+10000

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