The hardwood in arenas and coliseums across North America are being waxed to a perfect shine in preparation of the upcoming NBA regular season. We are less than a month-and-a-half away from free throws and screaming fans. October 16th is the big day, just a month or so away.
It’s time to start digging into the teams, divisions, and conferences to try and put a preemptive finger on the how the season will shake out. A great place to start is by studying what the ladies and gentlemen in Las Vegas think. Regular season NBA betting in moderation can be a lot of fun (especially now that it is legal in various states). If you are new to the concept, you can check out this complimentary and comprehensive learn to bet on sports guide to learn the ropes.
Early Odds To Win Each Division
It almost makes sense to get rid of divisions since they don’t count for anything anymore. It’s unfortunate for the league because it removes in-division rivalries. But, it does help us keep things organized in our heads and on paper as we look at the implied probabilities for each team.
• Boston Celtics -120
• Toronto Raptors +300
• Philadelphia 76ers +300
• Brooklyn Nets +25000
• New York Knicks +3000
The Boston Celtics are clear favorites to win the Atlantic in 2018-2019. But the Raptors just got one of the League’s best players in Kawhi Leonard and reliable swing player in Danny Green to add depth off the bench. And the 76ers are a young team that has gained something they didn’t have the previous two seasons: experience. They even received two rounds of playoff experience. So we can expect the competition to be far from one-sided.
With the Greek Freak, Eric Bledsoe, and Joel Bolomboy leading the way for the Bucks, they are considered to have the highest probability of winning the Central Division as we head into the season. But the Pacers are just a step behind. Myles Turner, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Thaddius Young make a strong corps for the Pacers, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see them make the playoffs again.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Cavaliers are just +3500 to win their Division. This seems a bit excessive. They are still loaded with Kevin Love. Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and a pretty deep bench. It appears that the world thinks they will fall apart without Lebron to carry them. They are still talented enough and deep enough to compete with the Bucks, Pacers, and Pistons so don’t expect the Cavs to just lie down and die in 2018-2019.
• Washington Wizards -135
• Miami Heat +180
• Charlotte Hornets +1500
• Orlando Magic +1550
• Atlanta Hawks+8000
The Wizards lead the way in the Southeast with John Wall, Bradley Beal. Washington picked up some depth at guard in the offseason adding Austin Rivers and Ty Lawson. But their most notable offseason grab was Dwight Howard from the Hornets. Howard had a resurging year last season with 16.6 points per game. Adding depth at guard and a big scoring man could make the Wizards a force to be reckoned with out East.
The Heat could be better in 2019. The Heat keeps the experience of veterans, Dion Waiters, and Goran Dragic and a young Hassan Whiteside are coming into his prime. Last season he averaged a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds per game. Kelly Olynyk and Josh Richardson should continue to grow as well.
The Eastern Conference has been somewhat boring over the few years, with the Western Conference taking the spotlight because of the disparity of competition out East. But things are tightening up in the Eastern Conference and this season should offer plenty of fun and a dramatic playoff race for the top eight in the East.