The Eastern Conference hasn’t had the best time of things in the NBA in recent seasons but this year the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and possibly the Atlanta Hawks will be looking to put things right and become outright winners in the NBA Finals. Of course, before they can compete for the Championship itself, they’ll need to win the Eastern Conference first and that’s our focus here as we take a look at the outright betting for the Eastern and offer up the best live odds and our top betting tips.
The Miami Heat have dominated in recent seasons, being crowned outright winner of the Eastern Conference four years in a row between 2011 and 2014 and taking the Championship in 2012 and 2013. Last year they were usurped by Cleveland, however, and once again it is the Cavs who are well fancied by the oddsmakers.
The Cavaliers went down 4-2 in last year’s Finals, with Golden State Warriors being crowned NBA champions, but David Blatt’s side are red-hot favourites to make it through to the Finals once more and can be backed at odds of just 1/2 with William Hill to take out the Eastern Conference once again.
They are undoubtedly worthy favourites having re-signed some key players, most crucially, of course, four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. On paper it’s hard to argue against them winning the Eastern Conference again but odds of 1/2 are not going to make you rich and, more importantly, we feel there is far better value to be had elsewhere in the outright winner betting.
In our main NBA preview we argued that the Bulls are the value pick in the overall outright betting and so it should come as little surprise that we also tip them here in the Eastern. They are big outsiders in both betting markets, sixth favourites in the NBA Championship outright and distant second favourites here in the Eastern Conference, but our spies inside the Bulls camp feel there is real optimism and the chance of a major upset.
Chicago Bulls – the dominant force in the NBA in the 1990s, when they won the Eastern Conference six times in eight years, going on to win the Finals each time too – are priced at odds of 13/2 with Sky Bet in this year’s Eastern outright betting. Compared to the odds of 1/2 offered for their main rivals that looks like cracking value and those odds will drop, we believe, when the Bulls record a big win over Cleveland in Chicago in the opening game of the 2015-16 NBA season.
The Bulls have a hungry, young head coach in the shape of Fred Hoiberg, who replaced Tom Thibodeau, and we believe the former Iowa State man can have an instant impact, helped by stars such as fit-again Derrick Rose.
It would be wrong to think of the Eastern Conference as a two-horse race, however, and third in the outright winner betting come Atlanta and Washington, both priced at odds of 14/1 with Ladbrokes. Those odds look realistic to us though and if a Bulls victory would be a surprise, it would be an even greater shock if the Hawks, Wizards or even Miami Heat (16/1 with Bet365) manage to upset the Eastern Conference apple cart.
We don’t deny it’s a bold prediction but for us the Bulls are the outright call in the Eastern Conference so get on now at nice betting odds.Google+