Odds to Win the 2022/23 Eastern Conference: Too Much Celtic Pride

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Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics warms his hands against the Phoenix Suns on February 03, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP.

NBA Pick: Raptors Eastern Conference Winner (+7000) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Raptors Eastern Conference Winner (+7000)
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The Boston Celtics are favorites to win the Eastern Conference, but are they the best pick on the NBA odds board?

It’s a good time to be a Boston Celtics fan. This is arguably the most storied franchise in the NBA (fans of the Los Angeles Lakers would argue otherwise) and the Celtics are on the verge of their first title in 15 years, having reached the NBA Finals in 2021-22.

Will they make it back this year? As we go to press, the C’s are No. 1 in the Eastern Conference standings at 42-17 (32-26-1 ATS) heading out of the All-Star break, and No. 1 at Bovada as +110 favorites to represent the East in the 2022-23 Finals.

Very nice. Boston “deserves” to be at the top of the Eastern Conference futures market; FiveThirtyEight projects them to make the Finals 37% of the time, better than any other team in the league. However, that also means the Celtics aren’t worth putting in your NBA picks at +110.

We’ll do the math for you right here at the ranch – using the indomitable BMR Odds Converter. Plug in 37% as your implied probability, and you get +170 as your American odds equivalent. As is often the case, you’ll have to pay a premium if you want to place a futures bet on the favorites.

Who Should I Bet On?

One of these Eastern contenders has to be a better choice, but which ones actually have enough betting value versus the NBA odds to overcome the baked-in hold percentage? Well, as you can see above, we’ve already selected the Toronto Raptors, who always seem to be undervalued in the betting market.

But they’re not the only ones worth betting on. Here are the remaining teams on the board at Bovada, with their actual odds compared to their projected odds as per FiveThirtyEight:

  • Milwaukee Bucks (+200; +257)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (+425; +614)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (+900; +1011)
  • Miami Heat (+1800; +2400)
  • Brooklyn Nets (+4000; +9900)
  • Atlanta Hawks (+4500; +9900)
  • New York Knicks (+6000; +4900)
  • Toronto Raptors (+7000; +4900)
  • Washington Wizards (+20000; +20.000)
  • Chicago Bulls (+25000; +100.000)
  • Indiana Pacers (+50000; +100.000)
  • Orlando Magic (+50000; +100.000)
  • Charlotte Hornets (+80000; +100.000)
  • Detroit Pistons (+100.000; +100.000)

For those last four teams, FiveThirtyEight projects them to have less than a 0.1% chance of winning, so we don’t know exactly how that translates to American odds – but we can already tell none of those four is worth taking a flier on. The longest of the long shots usually aren’t.

Betting Value

The betting value, as is often the case with NBA futures, is in the soft middle. Joining the Raptors on the right side of Value Town are the Knicks, who’ve been assigned the same 2% chance of winning the East as Toronto. The Wizards project is a break-even commodity; everyone else is overvalued at these odds.

Of course, both the No. 10 Raps (28-31 SU, 29-30 ATS) and the No. 6 Knicks (33-27 SU, 31-26-3 ATS) have a big mountain to climb if they’re going to win the conference. Nevertheless, thanks to the play-in tournament, Toronto can still sneak into the postseason even if they don’t move up the standings, and the Knicks can make it even if they fall out of the Top 6.

The Raptors have the higher payout at +7000, so they’re our top pick in this case – and they do look a lot more competitive after reuniting with center Jakob Poeltl at the trade deadline. But we’re also going to recommend the Knicks, who made an upgrade of their own by adding Josh Hart on the wing. Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.

For the Empire State residents looking to bet on the Knicks, you can do it at our top New York betting sites.

NBA Pick: Raptors Eastern Conference Winner (+7000) at Bovada

NBA Pick: Knicks Eastern Conference Winner (+6000) at Bovada

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Knicks Eastern Conference Winner (+6000)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.