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DraftKings Sportsbook NBA Betting Preview: Central Division Odds and Lines

Julian Edlow previews the NBA’s Central Division with betting odds, insights, and analysis.

In the other five divisions in the NBA, you could make the argument that there wouldn’t be any shocking upsets if a team didn’t win it. Miami (-360) not winning the Southeast would be surprising, but nothing compared to the Bucks (-5000) falling in the Central. But the Pacers are still likely a playoff team, and the young Bulls could be an exciting team. Not much positive to say about the Pistons and Cavaliers, but hey, this is why we can bet on Rookie of the Year! Let’s take a look at some Central Division betting odds and angles.


EDITOR’S NOTES:
Place your bets by directly clicking on each set of DraftKings Sportsbook odds. Click on the team names to read more on DK Nation.


Milwaukee Bucks

Championship Odds: +550

Eastern Conference Odds: +230

Central Division Odds: -5000

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 68.5%

MVP Contenders: Giannis Antetokounmpo +450

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo +400, Brook Lopez +3000, Jrue Holiday +5000

The Bucks should coast through the regular season again. But after two embarrassing playoff departures as heavy favorites the last two seasons, it’s time for this team to prove it can advance to the NBA Finals. Milwaukee made massive changes in order to impress Antetokounmpo and encourage him to sign long-term, sending a stash of draft picks to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday. The trio of Antetokounmpo, Holiday and Khris Middleton makes Milwaukee a bit more top heavy, but that could be a good thing given the balanced teams that’ve lost in the past. The East is competitive as ever, with four legitimate contenders in the Atlantic, plus Miami, so I can’t buy into backing the Bucks as a favorite. Antetokounmpo to three-peat as MVP or repeat as DPOY is more attractive to me.


Indiana Pacers

Championship Odds: +10000

Eastern Conference Odds: +4000

Central Division Odds: +1200

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 54.5%

Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Turner +5000

The Pacers are in a strange spot this season. Myles Turner was mentioned in trade rumors to Boston. Victor Oladipo was rumored to want out, but now claims to be committed to Indy in a contract year. T.J. Warren, an afterthought when the league shutdown, is now a bigger name in the league after his performance in the bubble. Indiana is considered to have no shot in the division or conference, but is still -167 to make the postseason. The Pacers are clearly a drop-off from the top-six teams, and it’d be surprising to see them earn anything higher than the seventh seed. Without many futures of interest, I don’t think this is a team I’ll be looking to any futures on.


Chicago Bulls

Championship Odds: +20000

Eastern Conference Odds: +8000

Central Division Odds: +5000

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 41.5%

Rookie of the Year Contenders: Patrick Williams +2200

Most Improved Player: Coby White +1600, Wendell Carter Jr. +3300

The Bulls have a bunch of young talent that should be on the up, but it’s still tough to see them breaking through this season. Chicago is +300 to make the playoffs for a reason. Outside of the six locks to get in, odds point to Indiana, Atlanta, Washington and Orlando battling for the final two postseason spots. But hey, at least this season we have the top 10 included thanks to the play-in round, so it is a year to get weird with those final playoff spots. The East got a lot better, and Chicago has a lot of projects to develop behind Zach LaVine. I don’t mind an under on the win total here, if anything.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Championship Odds: +40000

Eastern Conference Odds: +20000

Central Division Odds: +15000

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 30.5%

Rookie of the Year Contenders: Isaac Okoro +2000

Most Improved Player: Darius Garland +5000, Collin Sexton +5000

The Cavs are in full rebuild mode, with zero hope of having a productive season. With eyes towards the lottery again, I don’t think I can back any of the young talent listed above for a ROY play or MIP play. I actually think an under on wins is the way to look. The roster is a mess and loses Tristan Thompson. Kevin Love’s health will likely make or break the wins, and he hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent seasons.


Detroit Pistons

Championship Odds: +40000

Eastern Conference Odds: +20000

Central Division Odds: +15000

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 32.5%

Rookie of the Year Contenders: Killian Hayes +800

I guess the Pistons are a better team to place wagers on than the Cavs for a couple of reasons. First, I think they should be just as bad or worse than Cleveland, so betting the under on a slightly higher percentage here is appealing. Detroit stockpiled backup bigs in free agency, and the roster looks like a mess. For that reason, I also think Killian Hayes is a decent ROY bet. The Pistons don’t have much to get in his way of playing a large role in the offense.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.