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Breaking down odds to win the Atlantic Division

Can the Celtics or Sixers close the gap on the Raptors? Ameer Tyree takes a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam slaps hands with guard Kyle Lowry after making a basket against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the back half of the 2019-20 season, and the field for who is in contention for division titles is narrowing. The Atlantic Division is shaping up to be a three-horse race between the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Philadelphia 76ers. We broke down what option has the best chance to bring home the title on DraftKings Sportsbook here:

Atlantic Division odds

Raptors: -143
Celtics: +120
Sixers: +1000
Nets: +30000
Knicks: +50000

The Raptors are the reigning champs and sit atop the division with a 42-15 record. Despite losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency over the offseason, they look like a top three team in the Eastern Conference. Kyle Lowry has continued to play at an All-Star level and Pascal Siakam has continued to climb the ranks after his Most Improved Player campaign from last season. Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, and Norman Powell have been excellent complimentary pieces to fill out Toronto’s well constructed roster.

The Celtics are right behind the Raptors at 39-17 and have thrived after losing a premier star of their own in Kyrie Irving, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Boston plugged in Kemba Walker as the new star point guard and saw Jayson Tatum blossom into an All-Star. Gordon Hayward has rebounded in a big way after a serious leg injury from 2017 set him back in 2018. Jaylen Brown has also turned the light on offensively to create a team with ridiculous depth on the wing. The Celtics want more from the center position, but have a plethora of talent everywhere else.

The 76ers ( 35-22) are the only team in this group that hasn’t exceeded expectations in 2019. It lost Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat over the offseason, but built a team with tremendous defensive potential by adding Al Horford and Josh Richardson. Ben Simmons has yet to add the consistent jump shot the masses are clamoring for, but remains an elite finisher, defender, and playmaker. The oft-injured Joel Embiid is playing well when he’s on the court but has already missed 16 games. Philadelphia added guard depth by dealing for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III ahead of the trade deadline, but has a lot to figure out — especially now that Simmons is dealing with an apparent back injury.

Best bet to win: Toronto Taptors (-143)

It seems like Toronto is in a good position to stay out in front and win the division. They won 15 straight games leading up to the All-Star break and haven’t had defensive anchor Marc Gasol on the court in a while. Once he eases back into things, the Raptors will be even more formidable. They’ve been consistently playing the best basketball all year long. The Celtics are a close second at +120.

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