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Eastern Conference: Midseason Review

Midway through the NBA season, BettingSports.com has taken a few moments to check out the Eastern Conference and how it has played out so far this season. Read on to find out how teams have fared, how they’re expected to fair, and find a few tips that could make you some money along the way.

Miami Heat

LeBron James and the Miami Heat may be leading the Eastern Conference at the halfway mark, but the team's odds of winning the NBA title have taken a hit.

On some levels, things are going according to plan for Miami. On other levels, things are very wrong. The Heat continues to lead the Eastern Conference but poor road form and a lack of consistency all around has led the side to struggle against the spread this season, something that has sent alarm bells ringing. Miami may still be the favorite to win the NBA and the Eastern Conference, but those odds are not as clear-cut as they once were.

Preseason Odds: 9/4 (NBA), 4/7 (East)

Current Odds: 19/10 (NBA), 19/10 (East)

Straight up: 27-12 | ATS: 19-20-0 | O/U/P: 18-21-0


New York Knicks

New York’s turnaround has been one of the biggest stories out east this season. A hot start put the Knickerbockers on everybody’s radar, and whilst that form has slipped of late, the Knicks are very much in the thick of the Eastern Conference race, and potential conference champions. As such, bookmakers have shortened the Knicks’ odds considerably since the start of the season.

Preseason Odds: 40/1 (NBA), 18/1 (East)

Current Odds: 12/1 (NBA), 11/2 (East)

Straight up: 26-14 | ATS: 22-18-0 | O/U/P: 20-18-02


Chicago Bulls

As far as the bookmakers are concerned, not much has changed for the Bulls. Even without Derrick Rose, Chicago has found a way to win and finds itself at the top of the Central Division. That’s a bit more than keeping afloat. The team’s odds of winning the NBA have shortened while its Eastern Conference chances remain the same. A word of warning here for bettors hitting the daily action; the Bulls have struggled against the spread this season and rarely see the total go over.

Preseason Odds: 18/1 (NBA), 15/2 (East)

Current Odds: 16/1 (NBA), 15/2 (East)

Straight Up: 25-16 | ATS: 16-24-1 | O/U/P: 16-25-0


Boston Celtics

Bookmakers ranked the Celtics fifth in the league ahead of the season, something that didn’t sit well at the time. Any ill feelings have been proven right as Boston has struggled to remain consistent. A Jekyll and Hyde team this year, the Celtics put together winning streaks only to follow them up with losing streaks. Bookmakers haven’t been impressed, and odds have lengthened. Those odds might have lengthened further were it not for Boston’s status as a friend of the public bettor. Like the Bulls, the Celtics are horrible against the spread.

Preseason Odds: 14/1 (NBA), 7/1 (East)

Current Odds: 25/1 (NBA), 12/1 (East)

Straight Up: 20-22 | ATS: 15-24-3 | O/U/P: 19-22-1


Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn has seen its odds of winning a title shorten while its Eastern Conference credentials remain the same. On the face of it, things look quiet in the Borough. Of course, Brooklyn’s season has been anything but quiet. The firing of head coach Avery Johnson seems to have put the team back on the fast track to a high playoff seeding at the very least. Bettors won’t rejoice just yet; having split their games straight down the middle, it’s almost impossible to pick against the spread when the Nets are involved.

Preseason Odds: 33/1 (NBA), 12/1 (East)

Current Odds: 25/1 (NBA), 12/1 (East)

Straight Up: 26-16 | ATS: 20-20-2 | O/U/P: 18-24-0


Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers were expected to do better, but at the very least the side is still in the hunt.

In some ways, Indiana has missed a golden opportunity to take advantage of Derrick Rose’s absence in Chicago. Whilst the Pacers have a real chance of winning the division, the side should have been well ahead by this point. Of course, the Pacers have had injury problems of their own which has slowed down proceedings. The team’s odds have slightly slipped too; nothing too drastic, you understand. Well, nothing a 10-game winning streak couldn’t change. Bettors should favor the total going under when the Pacers take to the hardwood.

Preseason Odds: 30/1 (NBA), 14/1 (East)

Current Odds: 40/1 (NBA), 18/1 (East)

Straight Up: 26-17 | ATS: 22-21-0 | O/U/P: 16-27-0


Atlanta Hawks

Heading into the season, a big fat question mark hovered above the Hawks. With Joe Johnson gone and Josh Smith a regular on the trade block, few knew what to expect of the Hawks. The answer has proved to be just about as uncertain as the question in the first place. The Hawks have had their moments this season, playing well and picking up wins. They’ve also had an unhealthy dosage of down moments too. Still, bookmakers like the side more now than at the start of the season. That could just be a result of the Eastern Conference being weaker than advertised. Try to avoid taking the birds against the spread also.

Preseason Odds: 75/1 (NBA), 35/1 (East)

Current Odds: 50/1 (NBA), 28/1 (East)

Straight Up: 24-18 | ATS: 17-23-2 | O/U/P: 20-21-1


Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee provides another of the Eastern Conference’s surprise stories, to an extent anyway. Like the Hawks, the Bucks have played well at times this season, and like the Hawks, they’ve played poorly at other times. Overall, the signs are good for the Wisconsin side and that’s reflected in the shortening of odds on the NBA Futures.

Preseason Odds: 150/1 (NBA), 66/1 (East)

Current Odds: 125/1 (NBA), 50/1 (East)

Straight Up: 22-18 | ATS: 21-18-1 | O/U/P: 19-21-0


Philadelphia 76ers

Whether Philadelphia made the right move in getting involved in the Dwight Howard trade has yet to be determined thanks to Andrew Bynum’s injury status. In honesty, we may never know whether it was a good move. Without the big man, and without Andre Iguodala, the Sixers have struggled, something that is clear on the Futures list. Philadelphia’s odds have taken a huge hit, and don’t expect them to rise anytime soon. If you’re looking for a silver lining, Jrue Holliday is having a great season, and is All-Star bound, while bettors should like the over when the Sixers take to the court.

Preseason Odds: 33/1 (NBA), 15/1 (East)

Current Odds: 150/1 (NBA), 75/1 (East)

Straight Up: 17-25 | ATS: 18-24-1 | O/U/P: 24-18-0


Toronto Raptors

It’s fair to say that nobody expected much of the Raptors ahead of the season, and to that respect, the team hasn’t disappointed. Toronto’s odds on the Futures list have doubled since the start of the season, and in all likelihood they’ll continue to rise. Who would have picked the Raptors anyway? Somewhat fittingly, the Raptors don’t make it easy on bettors when it comes to the spread and total either.

Preseason Odds: 250/1 (NBA), 125/1 (East)

Current Odds: 500/1 (NBA), 300/1 (East)

Straight Up: 16-27 | ATS: 23-19-1 | O/U/P: 23-20-0


Detroit Pistons

Rodney Stuckey and the Detroit Pistons were never going to contend this season, but the side has at least become a little more respectable over recent weeks.

Detroit’s race with Washington to see who could get a win last was about the only thing that kept the Pistons on anybody’s radar this season. Since that 0-8 start, the Pistons have gone 16-18, a fairly respectable record in all fairness. But the Pistons aren’t going to do anything this year, and that’s reflected in their ever-lengthening odds.

Preseason Odds: 250/1 (NBA), 125/1 (East)

Current Odds: 750/1 (NBA), 350/1(East)

Straight Up: 16-26 | ATS: 20-22-0 | O/U/P: 19-22-1


Orlando Magic

Orlando began the season ranked No. 19 by odds makers. That number was too high, something the Magic has gone to great length to prove over the first half of the season. Orlando is now an astronomical 1000/1 to win the NBA title. That tells you all you need to know about basketball in Central Florida this season.

Preseason Odds: 150/1 (NBA), 75/1 (East)

Current Odds: 1000/1 (NBA), 500/1 (East)

Straight Up: 14-28 | ATS: 20-21-1 | O/U/P: 23-18-1


Charlotte Bobcats

For a brief moment the Bobcats had everybody wondering if this season might be a little different. A 7-5 start looked promising, but the side’s 3-27 record since – which included an 18-game losing streak – has made all right in North Carolina, well, providing you don’t look at college basketball. Charlotte’s odds have lengthened tenfold, a pretty impressive feat from this vantage point. Bettors are warned to avoid the Bobcats against the spread at all costs.

Preseason Odds: 500/1 (NBA), 200/1 (East)

Current Odds:  5000/1 (NBA), 2000/1 (East)

Straight Up: 10-32 | ATS: 15-26-1 | O/U/P: 21-20-1


Cleveland Cavaliers

If you thought the Bobcats’ odds increasing tenfold was something special, spare a thought for Cleveland. The Cavs have seen their Eastern Conference odds increase 20-fold while odds to win the NBA title are now 25 times higher than at the start of the year. Injuries have hurt the Cavs this season, and with news that Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the year, you’re better picking Cleveland to win the draft lottery.

Preseason Odds: 200/1 (NBA), 100/1 (East)

Current Odds: 5000/1 (NBA), 2000/1 (East)

Straight Up: 11-32 | ATS: 19-23-1 | O/U/P: 22-21-0


Washington Wizards

Before the season, bookmakers hated the Wizards. Now, bookmakers don’t hate the Wizards as much as the Cavs. They do still hate them though. A 0-12 start ensured that Washington’s season was effectively over before it started, but the Wizards are a real dark horse when it comes to covering the spread. The D.C. side has covered the spread in an NBA-best 64 percent of games. They might not win you money outright, but as we all know, that’s not the only way to make money on the lines.

Preseason Odds: 250/1 (NBA), 125/1 (East)

Current Odds: 5000/1 (NBA), 2000/1 (East)

Straight Up: 9-31 | ATS: 25-14-1 | O/U/P: 17-22-1

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