NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs Preview: Celtics Favoured

NBA Eastern Conference playoffs preview, Celtics favoured

The Boston Celtics rose to favourites to win the Eastern Conference following the Milwaukee Bucks’ 117-130 game 1 loss to the Miami Heat, which Giannis Antetokounmpo left because of a lower back contusion.

NBA betting sites are giving the Bucks the second best odds to come out of the east. Here’s how the east is playing out after the first few playoff games. 

Quick Take

  • Milwaukee Bucks fall to second best odds to win east
  • The Boston Celtics slightly favoured
  • Knicks, Cavaliers, and Heat heavy underdogs worth considering

The Betting Favourite

Heading into the playoffs, the Celtics were the team with the second best odds. The Boston Celtics at +138 on Bet99 sportsbook are now slightly favoured over the Milwaukee Bucks to win the Eastern Conference. The Bucks at +150 have the second best odds. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 29 points and played 37 minutes in the Celtics first playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks despite a right-hand laceration. After the game, Brown said “it split open during the game, but it’s fine now.”

Jayson Tatum and Brown lost in last year’s NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. This year the duo has a new head coach, Joe Mazzulla, and sixth man of the year candidate Malcolm Brogdon helping them off the bench. The Celtics have a combination of youth and playoff experience that a lot of teams in the east don’t have, but it’s tough to imagine them winning the east if Brown is forced to miss a series or two.

The Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks fell to the second best odds in the east, but things could get worse quickly for them. Giannis Antetokounmpo injured his back after colliding with Kevin Love who was trying to take a charge on the layup attempt. Antetokounmpo left game 1 against the Heat in the second quarter because of the back injury. The Bucks are optimistic about his status heading into game 2, according to

However, if Antetokounmpo doesn’t play in game 2 or is limited, the Heat have a chance to take a 2-0 lead before the series moves to Miami. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs, so game 2 should be close to a must win game for the Bucks.

Heavy underdogs with a shot

The Cleveland Cavaliers at +2500, New York Knicks at +1900, and Miami Heat at +3400 are huge underdogs to win the east. Whether or not these teams can reach the NBA Finals might be a legitimate question considering the tumultuous east. Jaylen Brown is dealing with an injury, the Bucks’ best player was injured in game 1 of their series, and the 76ers have a lot of guys who have had bad luck or underperformed in previous playoff series.

The Cavaliers and Knicks are two teams with a serious shot to make a run at the NBA Finals if the top three teams have to navigate injuries or underperform. The Cavaliers had a 6-5 record in the regular season against the top three seeded teams and the Knicks were 5-6, but only one of them can win their first-round series.

Despite losing Tyler Herro because of injury in game 1, the Heat have a lot going for them. Herro has a broken hand that will need multiple weeks to heal, but the Heat won’t have to play against Boston or Philadelphia in the second round if they win their series against the Bucks. With all things considered, the Heat shouldn’t be counted out yet.