Nobody saw the Miami Heat being Eastern Conference Champions when last season began, but we also were thrown quite the curveball in 2020. While Miami is an appropriately priced favorite to claim the division crown once again, there are some up and coming teams to consider. Russell Westbrook should improve the Wizards right away, while the Hawks added bodies to make themselves arguably one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Orlando was a playoff team last season, and even Charlotte got a big add in Gordon Hayward. Let’s take a look at some Southeast Division betting odds and angles.
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Championship Odds: +1500
Eastern Conference Odds: +650
Central Division Odds: -360
MVP Contenders: Jimmy Butler +2500
Most Improved Player: Tyler Herro +2000
6th Man of the Year: Goran Dragic +1000, Tyler Herro +1300
Defensive Player of the Year: Bam Adebayo +1000
The defending Eastern Conference Champs bring back the same roster as last season, keeping them as one of the elite teams in the East. But getting back to the finals should be a tall task, considering how open the conference is this season. Miami should certainly win its division, and beating up on the competition will help the win percentage, but the four strong teams in the Atlantic along with Milwaukee all stand with just as good a shot to reach the NBA Finals. Remember, last season’s awards were given out for only pre-bubble achievements. So if we’re not factoring in play in the bubble, and just going off last regular season, Herro makes a lot of sense for a MIP bet.
Championship Odds: +10000
Eastern Conference Odds: +4000
Central Division Odds: +700
MVP Contenders: Trae Young +6000
Rookie of the Year Contenders: Onyeka Okongwu +2500
Most Improved Player: Cam Reddish +3300
6th Man of the Year: Danilo Gallinari +800
I’m seeing way too much love come in on the Hawks this season. They definitely improved by adding depth, but are Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari going to take this team from a top-six pick to the playoffs? That’s kind of what the win percentage indicates. This team can still take a massive step forward and win 40% of its games, so I like an under on the win total here as a bet.
Championship Odds: +12000
Eastern Conference Odds: +5000
Central Division Odds: +700
MVP Contenders: Russell Westbrook +5000
Rookie of the Year Contenders: Deni Avdija +1500
Most Improved Player: Rui Hachimura +5000
6th Man of the Year: Davis Bertans +1600
Washington has to improve with the addition of Westbrook and Bradley Beal playing in a contract year. But will flirting with the postseason be good enough to lock Beal up long-term? This is a team I want to wait and see on. I could see them getting a seven or eight seed with the talent in the backcourt. But I could also see Russ and Beal not gelling, and this experiment falling apart very quickly.
Championship Odds: +15000
Eastern Conference Odds: +6000
Central Division Odds: +1200
Rookie of the Year Contenders: Cole Anthony +3000
Most Improved Player: Markell Fultz +5000
6th Man of the Year: Terrence Ross +5000
After landing the eighth seed last season, Orlando is now projected to finish fourth in a bad division without any major roster changes. It’s more about the expected emergence of Atlanta and Washington, both of which I’m suspect on. Betting the over on Orlando’s win prop could make sense if you agree. But at the same time, I’m much more confident in fading Atlanta than I am backing Orlando. Cole Anthony, who once sat at +5000 to win ROY does jump out as a long-shot worth a small play. Anthony was once considered the potential No. 1 overall pick in this draft, but injuries and a down year for UNC caused him to slide down the board.
Championship Odds: +20000
Eastern Conference Odds: +8000
Central Division Odds: +3300
Rookie of the Year Contenders: LaMelo Ball +400
LaMelo looks exciting in preseason, so there’s that. I hate betting the favorite for ROY, but Ball’s going to be given every opportunity to shine, and could be worth a play. The Hornets aren’t going anywhere this season, even with the addition of Gordon Hayward. If anything, maybe a play on the under win percentage is a possibility.
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