Despite the continued cold and snowstorms, we continue to inch closer and closer to the NBA postseason. The All-Star break is in the rearview mirror, and as we begin the second part of the season, let’s take a look at some odds for the Milwaukee Bucks courtesy of DraftKings.
Ever since LeBron left Cleveland to join the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bucks have held control of the Central division with ease. They haven’t really been challenged in that area. However, this year, two teams have had much stronger seasons than anticipated. The Chicago Bulls are being led by DeMar DeRozan, whose All-Star season has catapulted the Bulls to the top of the East. In addition, the Cleveland Cavaliers have built a team that can contend. Centered around their version of a developing big three in Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley, they’ve already given Milwaukee fits multiple times this season. However, DraftKings still views Milwaukee as the favorites, as they currently sit at -300 to win the division.
This one shocked me a little bit. I thought that the Bucks would be the favorite in this race. They’re the defending champs. Giannis is playing at an MVP caliber level. Despite major injuries, they’re still weathering the storm and are just three games out of the top spot (as this is being typed). Meanwhile, the Nets are currently the 8th and final seed in the East and just shipped James Harden to Philadelphia. If I were to re-construct these rankings, I’d have it be Milwaukee first, followed by Philadelphia, then Miami, and then Brooklyn. Nonetheless, it’s going to be a bloodbath in the Eastern Conference playoffs and I cannot wait.
A few takeaways here. I’m fine with Phoenix being the favorite. They’ve performed extremely well in the first portion of the season and have definitely earned that recognition. Monty Williams has obviously been able to continue the momentum and they have a hungry team following their loss in the Finals last year. However, moving ahead, it’ll be intriguing to see how the absence of Chris Paul impacts them. I do disagree with how the rankings shape up after that. Personally, I’d have Milwaukee as the second favorite, then followed by Sixers, Heat, and then Brooklyn. Once again, I think Brooklyn is just a tad overrated. It is fun to have Golden State back in the title conversation, as we all know how fun Steph Curry is to watch.
As we continue to progress through the second half of the season, these odds will surely change up and down on a consistent basis. It’s fun to have some new and old faces back in the playoff hunt, as the anticipation will continue to grow and grow as we flip the calendar to springtime and playoff basketball comes back into the picture.
What say you? What are your thoughts on the current betting odds? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!