The NBA season is underway, and the picks for the Conference and playoff winners are already happening. We’re only a few games in, and there have already been some shocking defeats, as well as some surprise wins.
If you want a piece of the NBA online betting action, you’ll want to know who the favorites are on betting sites like Borgata Online. This post will go through the ten teams in the Eastern Conference that should, or at least could, dominate this season.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are the clear favorites at the moment, and for a good reason. The defending champions are looking to build on the success they had last season, and with the “Greek Freak” Giannis and the rest of the Bucks in the form they’re in, it’s possible.
This is judging by the run they had last season when they came from two games down to beat the Suns to win the championship and reach the finals for the first time in 47 years. Giannis also had what is widely regarded as the best final a player has had in years. Beware of the Bucks.
2. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have seemingly created a dark-horse dream team. DeMar DeRozen, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, and Alex Caruso are five of the best players in the league right now, and they’re all on the same team.
At 3-0, they have yet to be challenged, even with young guns like Patrick Williams stepping up to the plate. The Bulls may not be favorites, but they will certainly put up a serious challenge.
3. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are currently sitting at 4-1, with their only loss against the Celtics. They have beaten the Nets comfortably and show the strength and depth needed to make a playoff run.
While Chicago has Lonzo, Charlotte has LaMelo Ball; Melo is averaging over 20 points a game and sinking threes as though his life depends on it. The young Ball has stepped up to the plate in a big way, and Charlotte benefits from it massively.
4. Brooklyn Nets
In many people’s minds, the Nets are the standout favorites in the East to win the championship. However, currently sitting at 2-3, this supposed team of superstars is struggling to find its feet.
When you have a team with Kevin Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin, LeMarcus Aldridge, and a handful of others who can win games, you would expect a better start. The Nets need time to fire up, and when they do, they’ll be dangerous.
5. Miami Heat
The Heat had a very disappointing season last time around. For a team as successful and respected as they are, finishing sixth in the conference was a body blow that many thought would take time to heal.
However, they have acquired the services of Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker; combining them with Jimmy Butler has created a solid Heat team that is sitting at 3-1 and coming off a win against the Nets.
6. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers aren’t having the best start to the season, but they can recover. Ben Simmons has caused drama in the organization, and players want it sorted sooner rather than later to get back to business.
With a record of 2-1, Joel Embiid and his team can win, but since Ben Simmons has shown himself to be a missing part of the puzzle, if Phillie wants a championship, they need the whole team to show up.
7. Boston Celtics
The Celtics are certainly not favorites, but they have put themselves in a position to be playoff hopefuls at the very least. They have had a rough start, sitting with a 2-3 record, losing games to the Raptors, Knicks, and the Wizards.
They have beat the Hornets, though, a team that is arguably better than them. Getting Al Horford back on the team could prove to be a master move, but they will need to play out of their shoes and get a bit of luck if they are going to challenge other teams for the conference.
8. Atlanta Hawks
Any team that has Trae Young on their books is a team that can challenge for a playoff spot. He’s a generational talent that puts the Hawks in a position to transform the taste of success last season into a full-on run.
The Hawks need a solid mental game; they can perform on the court, but it’s the mental strength that gets you to finals. Ask Michael Jordan or Lebron; talent doesn’t matter if you aren’t mentally resilient.
9. New York Knicks
The Knicks are in the same boat as the Bulls and the Celtics; they aren’t guaranteed playoff contenders, but they are more than good enough to avoid the play-in tournament. After a disastrous end to last season, the Knicks have something to prove too.
They have acquired Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, two players that can and have strengthened the team dramatically. The Knicks have to improve in defense; it was their Achilles Heel last season. So, they will need to be a fortress in defense if they are going to challenge the much bigger sides in the conference.
10. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are on this list because they are a bit of an enigma at the moment. Many are under the impression that they aren’t good enough to win a title, while others say they are too good to need a play-in tournament.
Some speculate that this could be a rebuilding season, and they could suddenly trade their best players and start again before the next season starts. Who knows, really, but the Raptors can undoubtedly spice things up in this highly contested conference.
The East is already heating up and is looking like the place where serious battles will be fought. There is no guarantee that the Bucks will retain their title, the Nets still need to get going, and the rest of the conference is there to ensure neither can relax. This will surely be another unforgettable season.