Author: Dean Carr
Last Updated: April 4, 2022
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks look set to enter the NBA Playoffs as the favorites to retain their Eastern Conference crown.
That is according to the current odds at Everygame, which places the 2021 NBA Champions at the top of the pile from the current contenders.
At the time of writing, Milwaukee is currently sat third in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 48-30 and is enjoying another stellar season from two-time MVP Giannis Antentokounmpo. The Greek Freak is still in contention to win his third MVP in a three-way battle between himself, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
His outstanding performances in the Bucks’ recent victories over fellow contenders in the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets are likely to have swung the pendulum in his team’s favor in the overall Eastern Conference outlook. Antentokounmpo went to head-to-head with and prevailed over Embiid and Kevin Durant during those victories.
Despite being 10th in the Estern Conference at this moment in time and potentially having to win two games on the road during the play-in tournament, the Nets are still second favourites at Everygame at +300. That is surely on the basis of the firepower that Durant and Kyrie Irving possess and with the assumption that they will have a healthy Ben Simmons to carry the defensive load by the time the Playoffs come around.
The red-hot Boston Celtics are next in line at +400. Their incredible improvement in the second half of the season has significantly enhanced their odds, which may be even shorter had center Robert Williams not been ruled out of the Playoffs after suffering a meniscus injury.
Jayson Tatum has been playing at an MVP level since the All-Star break and has one of the best second options in the NBA alongside him in Jaylen Brown. That combined with the Celtics’ wiley veterans in Marcus Smart and Al Horford will make them and their defense a tough matchup for any team in the postseason.
The Philadelphia 76ers have somewhat surprisingly dropped to +475 with the oddsmakers having not ascended in the manner that many expected in the aftermath of the James Harden trade. They are still in the process of figuring things out with their team and they may well be more suited to a deep run in the Playoffs next season.
The last of the top five contenders within the odds at this moment in time is the Miami Heat. That is despite the fact that they have the best record in the Eastern Conference as of now and reached the NBA Finals as recently as 2020. A recent courtside bust-up between coach Erik Spoelstra and star player Jimmy Butler may have soured the feelings surrounding the Heat’s chances, although ‘Heat Culture’ may have something to say about that.
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Full NBA Eastern Conference 2022 Odds
- Milwaukee Bucks +275
- Brooklyn Nets +300
- Boston Celtics +400
- Philadelphia 76ers +475
- Miami Heat +500
- Chicago Bulls +2200
- Toronto Raptors +2500
- Cleveland Cavaliers +3500
- Atlanta Hawks +4500
- Charlotte Hornets +6000