The NBA playoffs begin this weekend and the odds are out for the teams that have made it to the 2nd season. Below I have the Vegas odds for each team in the Eastern Conference, along with a few notes about each team as well. Odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.ag.
The Cleveland Cavaliers come in at +220 to win the NBA Title and -240 to win the Eastern Conference. The Cavs won the Central Division this year by 3 games over the Chicago Bulls. Overall the Cavs have gone 53-29, including 31-10 at home and 22-19 on the road, plus they were also 35-17 vs the East this year. The Cavs finished 8th in scoring this year (103.1 ppg) and 13th in points allowed (98.7 ppg).
The Atlanta Hawks are the top seed in the East and their odds to win the East are at +400, while their odds to win the NBA Title are at +1600. The Hawks won the Southeast division by 14 games over Washington with a 60-22 record overall, that includes a 35-6 mark at home a 25-16 mark on the road and a 38-14 record vs the East. Atlanta finished 10th in the league in scoring (102.5 ppg) and 5th in points allowed (97.1 ppg).
The Chicago Bulls come in at +600 to win the East and +1500 to win the NBA Title. The Bulls led the Central Division for much of the year, but they have battled injuries all year and finally succumbed to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which many felt would happen. The Bulls have gone 50-32 overall, which includes marks of 27-14 at home, 23-18 on the road and 33-19 vs the East. Chicago is 15th in the league in scoring (100.8 ppg) and 9th in points allowed (97.8 ppg).
The Toronto Raptors come in at +2500 to win the East and +7500 to win the Title. The Raptors played in the rather weak Atlantic Division, in which they were the only team with a wining record. Toronto finished at 49-33 overall, which included marks of 27-14 at home, 22-19 on the road and 33-19 vs the East. Toronto does come in playing well as they won 4 of their last 5 games down the stretch, despite the fact that they had nothing to pay for. Toronto is 4th in scoring (104 ppg) and 19th in points allowed (100.9 ppg).
The Washington Wizards are next at +3500 to win the East and +8500 to win it all. Washington had a very solid 46-36 year, but because they were in the Southeast Division they finned 14 games behind the Atlanta Hawks, who had the best record in the East. The Wizards also had records of 29-12 at home, 17-24 on the road and 30-22 vs the East. Many feel the Wizards have what it takes to upset the Raptors in their round 1 series. Washington finished 17th in the league in scoring (98.5 ppg) and 10th in points allowed (97.8 ppg).
The Boston Celtics are +7500 to win the East and +25000 to with the Title. The come in having won 6 games in a row to secure the 7th seed in the East. They have been rewarded with an opening round matchup vs the Cleveland Cavaliers, who many feel will represent the East in the NBA Finals. Boston is one of two teams with an under .500 record in the playoffs, as they come in at 40-42 overall, which includes marks of 21-20 at home, 19-22 on the road and 28-24 vs the Eastern Conference. Boston is 13th in the league in scoring (101.4) and 21`st in points allowed (101.2 ppg)
The Brooklyn Nets come in at +10000 to win the East and +30000 to win it all. The Nets did not play well down the stretch as they had won just 3 of their last 7 games, but they got it done when it counted on the last day of the season, by beating the Orlando Magic to grab the 8th spot in the East. The Nets are the other team in the playoffs that have a losing record as they come in having gone 38-44 overall, which includes marks of 19-22 at home, 19-22 on the road and 24-28 vs the East. The Nets finished 21st in the league in scoring (98 ppg) and 18th in points allowed (100.9 ppg).
The Milwaukee Bucks are next and they come in at +10000 to win the East and +30000 to win the whole thing. Milwaukee finished 3rd in the Central Division with a 41-41 mark overall, that includes records of 23-18 at home, 18-23 on the road and 30-22 vs the East. This is a team that has been inconsistent all year and is not really expected to be around all that long in the playoffs. The Bucks finished 22nd in the league in scoring (97.8 ppg) and 8th in points allowed.
As far as the series go I will be looking at Cleveland to take out the Celtics rather easily. The Bulls should handle the Bucks easily as well, while Atlanta may have a bit longer series vs the Nets before taking them out. I d expect one series upset and that is Washington to knock off the Raptors. I just feel that Washington is the more complete team, with the much better defense.
In the end it should be the Cavaliers taking out the Atlanta Hawks for the right to go to the NBA Title.
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NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference 1st Round Preview
Steve Fezzik & Teddy Covers from Pregame.com break down each of the 4 1st round matchups on the Eastern Conference side of the NBA playoffs.