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NBA Eastern Conference Odds: Bettors Back Brooklyn Nets Over Philadelphia 76ers

The Atlantic Division dominating the East in standings, but not betting
Kyle Newman
Tue, February 23, 10:45 AM

The Atlantic division is dominating the Eastern Conference. All five of the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Toronto Raptors currently hold playoff spots. If that were to hold it would be only the fifth time in NBA history an entire division made the playoffs.

That gives a strong idea of how tight the division is. The 76ers, who lead the Eastern Conference, are just five games up on the seventh seed New York Knicks who are pulling up the rear in the division.

Bettors don’t see the division or the Eastern Conference as a wide-open race though. Over the last 30 days. 39.47% of total bets have been placed on the Brooklyn Nets. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as their trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving is the best in the NBA. The Nets are also oddsmakers favorites to win the East at +150.

Still, the current Eastern Conference leader 76ers are only garnering 15.79% of total bets. This despite having arguably the front runner for MVP in Joel Embiid leading the way. That said, the 76ers have lost four of their last six. Oddsmakers have a similar take as the 76ers are currently the third favorite to win the conference at +600.

Oddsmakers place the Celtics are the fourth favorite to win the conference at +1000. The Celtics have been among the best in the Eastern Conference for years now. They haven’t won the Conference since 2016-2017, but they have been at least a top-4 seed in every year since. They also carry one of the best rosters, on paper, in the NBA. Jayson Tatum is a star, and Jaylon Brown isn’t far behind. Still, only 5.26% of bettors believe in the Celtics’ chances. It’s hard to blame them with the Celtics losing six of their last nine, including blowing a 16 point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans last night.

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Surprisingly, bettors are just as high on the New York Knicks, as 5.26% of total bets have been placed on them. Oddsmakers hardly think that’s realistic, as they give the Knicks +25000 odd to win the Eastern Conference. Still, it’s hard to ignore that the Knicks are currently only half a game behind the Celtics in the standing, and the Knicks have won four of their last five games. With an easier stretch of games in front of them maybe the Knicks shock the world and put themselves in contention to end the first half.

Even more surprising is the fact that the Toronto Raptors haven’t had a single bet placed on them to win the Eastern Conference in the last 30 days. The Raptors finished second in the East in 2020 and return most of that roster for 2021. They’re also on a four-game winning streak that includes two wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and one over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors are a real threat to win the East, even if bettors and Oddsmakers, +3000, disagree.

2021 EASTERN CONFERENCE WINNER ODDS

TEAM NAME

ODDS

Brooklyn Nets

+150

Milwaukee Bucks

+334

Philadelphia 76ers

+600

Boston Celtics

+1000

Miami Heat

+1600

Toronto Raptors

+3000

Indiana Pacers

+4000

Atlanta Hawks

+6000

Charlotte Hornets

+15000

New York Knicks

+25000

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