NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Betting Preview

NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Betting

Six teams in the NBA finished the regular season with more than 50 wins and four of them reside in the Eastern Conference. After losing the Finals last season to Golden State, the Boston Celtics made sure they’d have another crack at winning the O’Brien Trophy by holding down the best record in the league for most of the season. A late surge by the Bucks, however, moved them ahead of everyone and into the position of NBA champion favorite. With the top four clubs each having at least 51 wins, oddsmakers aren’t giving the rest of the field much of a chance.

While some coaches may not give much credence to the regular season, history has shown that higher seeds have an edge. The top four get home court advantage in the first round because of their superior record during the season, and since the league expanded its playoff format to 16 teams in 1984, no team lower than a three-seed has advanced to the Finals in a regulation season. The Bucks are the favorite but any one of the top four clubs has the talent.

The 2023 NBA Playoffs begin on Saturday, April 15. Betting options for every game and series as well as futures and props are available at

NBA Odds To Win 2023 Eastern Conference

Milwaukee Bucks +123

Boston Celtics +156

Philadelphia 76ers +441

Cleveland Cavaliers +1473

New York Knicks +4000

Miami Heat +5000

Toronto Raptors +9000

Brooklyn Nets +10222

Atlanta Hawks +12500

Chicago Bulls +24000

The team that survives the East should be favored to win the championship. And considering the Bucks have balance and depth there’s a good chance they’re back in the Finals in search of their second title in three seasons. With Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping 31.1 points per night and five other players averaging more than 10 points, it’s easy to think of the Bucks as being an offensive juggernaut. They had their moments finishing eighth with an average of 117 points while placing among the top-10 in three-point shooting.

When the playoffs roll around defense is always an important factor since every team has capable scorers. And the Bucks were among the best with a rating of 111.9 to rank fourth. A deep bench is also plus in case of injuries. They ranked in the middle of the pack in offensive efficiency during the season and their inability to consistently score last postseason was partially responsible for a second-round exit. Khris Middleton was hobbled last postseason and for much of the regular campaign causing a drop in the offensive numbers. With him back the Bucks are a more complete team.

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It’s still Boston’s Eastern Conference title to lose and they’re hoping they don’t cough it up like they did the regular season lead. The Cs didn’t hit a major slump of do anything in particular to lose their grip on the top seed rather it was the red hot play of the Bucks. Boston might be more consistent but relying on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for a big chunk of offense has to change. Boston needs other more involved to repeat as champions of the East.

Through all the commotion of the season the Sixers ended up winning 54 games, their most in over two decades. The duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden can give opponents nightmares. Embiid finished as the league’s scoring leader averaging 33.1 points and many feel he’s the league’s MVP. Harden topped the circuit with 10.7 assists while averaging 21.0 points. Tyrese Maxey is another offensive weapon averaging 20 points, but the backcourt defense has been suspect all year.

It’s hard to really consider any team beyond the top four advancing to the Finals. Miami had the best record in the conference last season and many of the same players could get them past the first round, but it’s unlikely they go any further. The Nets certainly aren’t the team that did most of the work to get them a top six seed. The mid-season roster purge that saw them part with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will have an effect in the first round.

If you’re looking for a longshot it would have to be Cleveland. The group has an abundance of talent with Donovan Mitchell leading the way. However, young stars Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are making their playoff debuts for a team that has little experience in this setting. As much as it would be cool to see them advance, they need to get their feet wet. And I don’t see any team matching Milwaukee’s depth.

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