NBA Eastern Conference Futures Update: The Nets are the New Favorites
We’ve made it through approximately the first quarter of the NBA season, so it feels like a good time to look at the Futures market on FanDuel Sportsbook. The odds to win the Eastern Conference have shifted a bit since the start of the year:
Top 10 Odds to Win:
- Brooklyn Nets: +155
- Milwaukee Bucks: +270
- Philadelphia 76ers: +600
- Boston Celtics: +750
- Miami Heat: +1000
- Toronto Raptors: +2000
- Indiana Pacers: +2200
- Atlanta Hawks: +6500
- Orlando Magic: +10000
- Charlotte Hornets: +13000
The Bucks entered the year as the favorites to win the East, and their odds haven’t changed much. They’ve dropped from +240 to +270, and they’re off to another strong start. They haven’t been as dominant as they’ve been the past two seasons, but their +6.88 Net Rating is easily the top mark in the Eastern Conference. They’ve won just 11 of their first 19 games – which has them in third place in the East – but this is still one of the best teams in basketball. They look like a positive regression candidate moving forward.
The Nets have jumped to the top of the Eastern Conference futures market at +155 on FanDuel Sportsbook. They currently sit in second in the standings, but the big difference is obviously the addition of James Harden. The Nets have been a juggernaut offensively since acquiring Harden, averaging 121.6 points per 100 possessions over their past eight games. That said, their defense remains a major concern. They’ve allowed 118.2 points per 100 possessions over that time frame, which is an abysmal mark. They need to shore up the defensive side of the ball to be true contenders, so expect them to be active in the buy-out market.
The 76ers have also made a move up the leaderboard. They entered the year at +850, but they’ve moved to +600 after starting the season 15-6. There’s still plenty of games still to be played, but their record gives them a 2.5-game cushion over the Nets for the best record in the conference. That said, their Net Rating of +3.87 ranks merely seventh in the NBA. Still, Joel Embiid has played like a legit MVP-candidate this season, while Seth Curry gives the 76ers some much-needed perimeter shooting. That’s something they were missing desperately over the past few years.
The odds for the Celtics and Heat have both dropped slightly, but the Raptors have seen the biggest move down the leaderboard. They entered the year at +850 to win the East, but they’re all the way down to +2000. They have had some injury issues, but frankly, they haven’t looked good even with the team at full strength. Still, their +0.79 Net Rating does suggest they’re better than their 7-12 record indicates.
Finally, don’t sleep on the Pacers at +2200. Their odds have flown up the board – they started the year at +5500 – but they rank 10th in Net Rating this season. Domantas Sabonis has blossomed into one of the game’s best players, while Malcolm Brogdon is averaging career-highs in virtually every category across the board. If Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren can join them before the playoffs – which is a big if – they have some legit sleeper appeal.