2024 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Preview - NBA Betting

2024 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Preview

The Boston Celtics were the preseason favorite to win the NBA championship and they looked the part during the year posting a 64-17 record. It’s their most wins since 2007-08 when they tallied 66 victories and won their 17th NBA title. Winning that record 18th title has proven elusive, though, and this team will be remembered for how it fares in the playoffs. The Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Final in five of the previous seven years and advanced to the championship series just once. The No. 2 seed last year, the Celtics were upset by the Miami Heat in the ECF. Boston has a more balanced roster and is a negative odds favorite to win the East.

While the Celtics were running away from their East opponents, the fun took place below them in the standings. The second-seeded New York Knicks had only three more wins than the play-in tournament bound Philadelphia 76ers. They missed out on avoiding the play-in, but the Sixers could surprise some folks now that Joel Embiid has returned. Miami emerged from the play-in tournament to win the East last year upsetting top-seed Milwaukee in the first round. The precedent has been set with the Heat boasting shorter odds than top six teams Orlando and Indiana.

The 2024 NBA Playoffs begin on Saturday, April 20. Betting options for every game and series as well as futures and props are available at BookMaker.eu.

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NBA Odds To Win 2024 Eastern Conference

Boston Celtics -192

Milwaukee Bucks +610

Philadelphia 76ers +779

New York Knicks +1120

Cleveland Cavaliers +1450

Miami Heat +1460

Indiana Pacers +4000

Orlando Magic +7098

Chicago Bulls +50589

Atlanta Hawks +60720

In a move designed to help Jaylen Brown and Jaysom Tatum, the Celtics acquired Kristaps Porzingis during the offseason. Porzingis is a unique talent with size to plug the middle and three-point range. His skill set allowed more freedom on the floor and as a result the Celtics had a potent offense averaging the second-most points with 120.6 while owning the best rating. Three players averaged more than 20 points led by Tatum at 26.9. Brown chipped in 23.0 and Porzingis had 20.1. Depth was considered an issue but the Celtics got major contributions from Al Horford, Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser off the bench.

With the second shortest odds to win the East, the Milwaukee Bucks enter the postseason with plenty of questions. First, is Giannis Antetokounmpo healthy enough to be a factor? The Freak missed the final week of the season with a calf injury and the time off before the first round will help. And while the Bucks improved defensively under Doc Rivers, they went just 17-19 since his debut. Milwaukee does have the most star power of any challenger to Boston with Giannis, Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton among others.

The Philadelphia 76ers boast potential as a threat now that Joel Embiid has returned. Last season’s MVP missed two months with a knee injury costing them a higher seed. An eight-game winning streak to close the regular season coincided with Embiid’s return. He played in five of those games averaging 30.4 points and makes his teammates better. For the season Embiid averaged 34.7 points, which would’ve led the NBA had he qualified, 11.0 boards and nearly two blocks. The Sixers were 31-8 in games he played.

If defense wins championships I guess you have to at least consider the New York Knicks. They held opponents to an average of 108.2 points while boasting the fifth-best net rating. The Knickerbockers won 50 games for the first time since 2012-13 and only the second time this century. They are without Julius Randle, though, leaving a huge void in an already thin rotation.

Depending on the health of Donavan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be a sleeper. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allan give them strong interior defense while also chipping in on the other end. Darius Garland returned from injury and averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 assists. But Mitchell hasn’t quite recovered from a knee issue that forced him to miss a number of games at the end of the season. And when he did play his numbers were well off his season averages. Without his firepower the Cavs won’t last long.

Miami won more games this season than it did last season when the Heat emerged from the play-in tournament to win the East. They upset the top two seeds betting past No. 1 Milwaukee in the first round and No. 2 Boston in the conference finals. They’re feared because of their success the last few years and Jimmy Butler always seems to pick up his game in the postseason. The core group from the 53-win team two years ago remains intact.

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