Cavaliers losing ground to Celtics in NBA Eastern Conference Odds
Past the midpoint of the NBA season LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves holding just the third best record in the NBA Eastern Conference standings, and they’ve lost seven of their past 10 games. Still, the Cavaliers are listed atop the East futures.
Cleveland is the EVEN favorite on the odds to win the Eastern Conference this year despite their recent struggles. The Cavaliers have represented the East in each of the last three NBA Finals since James returned to the team, and LeBron himself has appeared in the NBA Finals in each of the past seven years dating back to his seasons as a member of the Miami Heat.
But Cleveland is losing ground to both the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs thanks to their swoon. The Cavaliers have won just once in their last six games, and are coming off an ugly 148-124 defeat at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. The Cavaliers were 2.5-point odds favorites.
The Cavaliers are also 1-13 against the spread in their last 14 games, and 0-8 ATS in their last eight outings. Overall Cleveland has earned just 12 ATS victories in 45 games this year, and they head into the week with a 27-18 SU record. The Cavaliers went 51-31 last season.
Celtics look to shake off Raptors
The Celtics, with former Cavalier Kyrie Irving in their lineup, are second at +200 on the odds to win the Eastern Conference this season. Boston sits atop the Eastern Conference standings, but they haven’t been able to shake the Raptors who are right on their heels. Toronto, though, is farther back on the conference futures, sitting at +500 on the East odds.
Boston last won the Eastern Conference in 2010, and they won both the Eastern title and the NBA championship back in 2008. Toronto has never claimed the East in franchise history. Boston is at +800 on the NBA championship odds, while Toronto trails on that list at +2000.
After the top three contenders in the East there’s a drop on the futures with the Washington Wizards fourth on those odds at +1400. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks are both at +2800 on the Eastern Conference odds, with the Detroit Pistons at +5000. The Miami Heat sit at +5000 as well on the Eastern Conference odds, with a hot stretch over the past two weeks putting them into position to battle the Wizards atop the Southeast Division.
The Indiana Pacers, fighting for a playoff berth in the East, are at +10000 on the conference odds, with the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks both listed back at +20000 odds. The longshot Hornets and Knicks are both sitting below the .500 mark so far on the season.
*Odds as of January 22, 2018