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Sixers, Nets getting most action to win Eastern Conference

We’ve got updated betting splits for who will win the East and it’s no surprise Brooklyn and Philly are at the top.

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on February 23, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA Eastern Conference race has been tighter than we’re used to seeing in 2020-21. We’re used to seeing the Milwaukee Bucks dominate, well at least the past few seasons. With the Bucks struggling and the Big 3 in Brooklyn, there are a few other teams competing to win the East. Not to mention the fact that behind those three, no team is more than 6.0 games off of first place, trickling all the way down to 10th place in the conference. It’s going to be a wild ride to the finish and what’s even more interesting are the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. They provided us with some updated betting splits for the public and where the money is going. Let’s check it out.

There’s a decent amount to unpack here, so let’s start at the top. The fact that the Brooklyn Nets have been winning games without Kevin Durant (hamstring) over the past few weeks. Once KD is back, the Nets could take off. With that in mind, it’s no surprise the Nets are getting a heavy amount of the betting percentage.

As of Thursday, the Nets sit 0.5 games back of the Sixers. Philly has a few tough stretches in the second half but for the most part the schedule is relatively easy. The Sixers play three games against the Bucks and just one against the Nets. If the team starts to falter, they’ll need help from outside sources to fend off the Nets and Bucks. We also could see the Sixers try and get Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons some rest knowing seeding isn’t as important, though it does seem ideal to avoid the Bucks or Nets in the second round.

Looking down at some other teams, there are two that stick out to me as darkhorse candidates: the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers. The Raptors struggled early on but are starting to piece things together. Since starting the season 2-8, the Raptors have gone 14-9 heading into Friday. Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby have missed games to injury and the lack of depth in the frontcourt is concerning. The Raps feel like a prime sleeper to bet on at +1600, banking on the team making a play before the Trade Deadline.

The Pacers may not even need to make any moves at the deadline. Indy has two starters waiting in the wings to get back in the lineup. T.J. Warren and Caris LeVert should eventually return from injury. Warren will come back sooner than LeVert. The latter was acquired in the four-team trade involving James Harden. LeVert should be back sometime in April. Warren should be back some time after the All-Star break. If the Pacers can remain within striking distance of the top of the conference, at +2500, it isn’t out of the question for them to make a run.

NBA Eastern Conference betting splits

Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
1 BKN Nets +140 52% 42%
2 PHI 76ers +550 24% 24%
3 MIL Bucks +300 7% 12%
4 BOS Celtics +1000 6% 8%
5 MIA Heat +1200 2% 3%
6 CHI Bulls +20000 2% 1%
7 NY Knicks +15000 2% 2%
8 IND Pacers +2500 2% 2%
9 ATL Hawks +6000 1% 1%
10 TOR Raptors +1600 <1% 1%

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