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Breaking down the odds to win the NBA Eastern Conference

The Bucks are running away with the East, but is that the way bettors are leaning? We take a look at the splits, provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference was once a tight race that has now devolved into a “Who will finish in second behind the Milwaukee Bucks?” debate. Although the Bucks are 40-6 and have an 8.0 game lead on the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors for first place, that’s not exactly how the betting splits shook out. In fact, both the Heat and Raptors had a fewer percentage of the bets than two other Eastern Conference foes to start the season: the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers.

Clearly during the preseason bettors believed that things would be much closer in the East. However, looking at things now, we can see that doubting the Bucks was a foolish decision. The Sixers still have decent odds to win the East, but it will take a lot to get past Giannis. Many bettors were heavy on the Celtics surprising people this season. While Boston could make a run, the way the Celtics look recently makes that seem unlikely. Those who banked on the Raptors or Heat could be rewarded handsomely by the end of the season.

Below is a table provided by DraftKings Sportsbook outlining the odds and splits to win the Eastern Conference:

NBA Eastern Conference Winner

Team Odds % Handle % Bets
Team Odds % Handle % Bets
MIL Bucks 110 33% 34%
PHI 76ers 275 25% 23%
IND Pacers 2000 13% 18%
TOR Raptors 1200 12% 2%
BOS Celtics 600 8% 13%
BKN Nets 4000 4% 3%
MIA Heat 1000 3% 5%

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