NBA Betting: Atlantic Division Preview

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Last season, the Boston Celtics won the Atlantic Division title while sporting the best record in the Eastern Conference, with the Toronto Raptors trailing closely behind by 2.0 games. The New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets represented the three remaining lowly teams in this division, all trailing the Celtics by more than 22.0 games, with the Nets compiling the worst record in the NBA. However, this season’s version of the Celtics is dramatically different compared to last year, with the departures of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, and Jae Crowder. However, the Celtics seemingly bolstered their roster heading into the 2017-2018 season with the additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Here is our preview of the Atlantic Division for the 2017-18 season.

One Team That Will Overachieve: Philadelphia 76ers

Regular Season Win Total: 40

Were you expecting any team other than the 76ers? There’s a general feeling that this year’s 76ers team will achieve a playoff berth for the first time in what feels like forever. Their roster is loaded with young talent – Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Daric Saric, and Ben Simmons – Fultz and Simmons were the first overall picks in the last two NBA drafts. This team will not be needing too much motivation, as they clearly have their sights set on making the playoffs in the much weaker Eastern Conference. While the 76ers likely won’t end up in either first or second place – those two spots should still belong to the Celtics and Raptors – they might finish closer to the top two seeds than expected and might even squeak into the playoffs.

One Team That Will Disappoint: Boston Celtics

Regular Season Win Total: 55.5

I’m not really sure which team in the state of New York I should be going with – the Knicks, or the Nets. While the Knicks are definitely more dysfunctional, the Nets are without question the worse team. However, we all know how these two teams will end up – at the bottom of the Atlanta Division. With that, I’m going to make a bold prediction and go with the Celtics – yes, the Celtics. Although the Celtics have a mastermind coach in Brad Stevens, four of their five starters, along with their sixth man in Olynyk, are no longer part of the roster heading into the upcoming season. While the Celtics did receive Irving and Hayward in return, I’m not too sure that the Celtics will be that much better than last year, if at all. No offense to Irving, but he’s had to play without LeBron James for a decent number of games in Cleveland – look at how those games turned out. Not well at all. Don’t get me wrong – Irving is one of the best one-on-one scorers in the league and definitely carries the clutch gene. I’m just not sure he’ll be able to generate the same impact or enjoy the luxury of getting the same offensive looks without James, the best player of his generation. Additionally, Irving’s defense is, at best, average. There’ll be a prolonged adjustment period for the Celtics and I don’t believe they’ll match their record from last season.

Best Bet To Win The Division: Celtics

This pick better not come back to bite me – I’m going with the Toronto Raptors at +500 as opposed to the Celtics at -650. The Raptors’ one-two punch of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have propelled the Raptors to their best seasons in franchise history – 51 wins in 2016, 56 wins in 2015, 49 wins in 2014, and 48 wins in 2013. I really can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the Raptors have been a remarkably consistent team, although not a remarkably great team. One aspect that favours the Raptors is the fact that their team has kept its core players intact from last season, with the exception of DeMarre Carroll – let’s be honest, he was more of a liability than anything. Expect the Raptors to hit the 50-win mark again for the third straight season, and if they can get some luck to go their way, they should finish with the top seed in the Atlantic Division by holding off a late push by the Celtics.

Odds To Win The Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics -650
Brooklyn Nets +17500
New York Knicks +10000
Philadelphia 76ers +800
Toronto Raptors +500

The 2017 NBA futures are out. It’s been a wild offseason already, but keep an eye on the betting lines as they move around at Diamond Sportsbook! Get the latest NBA betting lines right here.

Written by Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been creating odds and betting models since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his injury reports back then. Harvey contributes a wealth of quality and informational content that is a valuable resource for any handicapper.

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