2017 NBA Playoff East Odds & PicksNoah Williams
The Boston Celtics may have gotten the top seed in the 2017 Eastern Conference playoffs, but the ‘real’ question remains the same. Can anyone take out LeBron James and the Cavs and stop the future Hall of Famer from making his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance? Click here for full NBA Titles odds.
EAST #NBAPlayoffs Matchups
Celtics (1) x Bulls (8)
Cavs (2) x Pacers (7)
Raptors (3) x Bucks (6)
Wizards (4) x Hawks (5)
— NBA (@NBA) April 13, 2017
2017 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Odds & Picks
- Cleveland -265
- Boston +550
- Toronto +1075
- Washington +1200
- Atlanta +6000
- Indiana +6000
- Milwaukee +6000
- Chicago +6750
The Favorite To Win The NBA East: Cleveland Cavaliers -265
I know the Cavaliers (51-31 SU, 36-43-3 ATS) struggled mightily down the stretch by dropping their final four regular season games, seven of their last 11 and a shocking 13 of their last 21 games overall, but the Cavs still have LeBron James (26.4 ppg, 8.7 apg, 8.6 rpg), Kyrie Irving (25.2 ppg) and Kevin Love (19.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg) and a handful of experienced veterans in Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Not only that, but the Cavs also have the edge in postseason experience and an offense that ranked fourth in scoring during the regular season (110.3 ppg). Will Boston, Washington or Toronto be able to step up and take out the Cavs or will Cleveland turn it on now that the real season has begun? My guess right now is definitely the former.
The Smart Pick To Win The East: Boston Celtics +550
The Celtics (53-29 SU, 40-40-2 ATS) have had a phenomenal campaign in nearly recording 60 wins and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but still, there’s a reason the C’s aren’t favored to represent the conference in the NBA Finals. Yes, Boston ranked a solid seventh n scoring (108.0 ppg) and has an MVP caliber superstar in the diminutive Isaiah Thomas (28.9 ppg, 5.9 apg), not to mention, four other double-digit scorers in Avery Bradley, Al Horford, Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart.
However, I believe the C’s are lacking in the heart department, particularly when it comes to facing James and the Cavs. Case in point…while Boston won three straight and seven of their last 10 games, they also laid down in their biggest game of the season by falling to Cleveland 114-91 at home no less, on April 5. That rout in particular tells me that Boston is still another player or two away from beating the Cavs.
The Value Bet To Win The East: Washington Wizards +1200
Call me crazy, but I believe it is the Washington Wizards (49-33 SU, 42-39-1 ATS) that present the biggest challenge to Cleveland’s conference dominance this postseason. The Wizards have a pair of gifted guards in John Wall (23.1 ppg) and Bradley Beal (23.1 ppg) and a quartet of other veteran players that all average double figures in Markieff Morris, Otto Porter Jr., Bojan Bogdanovic and Marcin Gortat. While Washington’s bench isn’t very deep, the Wizards do have some capable players in Kelly Oubre, Jason Smith, Ian Mahinmi, Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings. The Wizards can score the ball as they finished ninth in scoring (109.2 ppg), but they’ll need to improve on the defensive end of the floor of they want to beat the Cavs after ranking an uninspiring 21st in points allowed (107.4 ppg).
The Longshot Pick To Win The East Chicago Bulls +6750
I know the Bulls (41-41 SU, 42-40 ATS) have been a dysfunctional mess this season, but they also have some nice talent starting first and foremost with scoring leader Jimmy Butler (23.9 ppg) and future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade (18.3 ppg). While Chicago ranked just 23rd in scoring (102.9 ppg) they also have a very good defense that finished the regular season ranked sixth in points allowed (102.4 ppg).
Chicago also has some quality depth with eight players all averaging between 5.1 and 10.6 points per game and every player on their roster averaging at least 4.4 points per contest. If you didn’t know the longshot Bulls beat the Cavs in all four regular season meetings and that alone tells me they’re a great longshot pick to upset the entire Eastern Conference apple cart.