The Heat lost just three games during the first three rounds against their playoff opponents in the East en route to an NBA Finals appearance this year, eliminating three of the top four seeds in the conference in the process. However, Miami’s impressive postseason run hasn’t made the team the favorite to come out of the East in 2021, according to oddsmakers.
At BetOnline.ag, the Heat are listed at +450 to win the Eastern Conference in ’21, meaning you’d win $450 on a $100 wager should Miami repeat as conference champs. The Bucks (+375), Celtics (+425), and Nets (+425) are currently considered more likely to represent the East in next year’s NBA Finals.
The rest of the odds to win the East next year are as follows, per BetOnline.ag:
- Raptors: +750
- Sixers: +1200
- Bulls: +3300
- Hawks: +3300
- Pacers: +3300
- Wizards: +3300
- Magic: +10000
- Cavaliers: +12500
- Knicks: +12500
- Pistons: +12500
- Hornets: +17500
It’s obviously way too early to forecast the outcome of the 2020/21 season with any confidence. The draft and free agency are still to come, and we don’t know yet which teams will make major splashes on the trade market. If Victor Oladipo is dealt from Indiana to another Eastern team, for example, it could significantly change the conference’s outlook for next season.
Still, anticipated roster moves are at least somewhat baked into BetOnline’s current odds — if the Pacers had a ton of cap room to use this offseason and Oladipo and Myles Turner weren’t viewed as potential trade candidates, it’s a safe bet that they wouldn’t be listed alongside lottery teams Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington on the list above.
So, with the caveat that plenty could change in the coming months to alter the outlook of the East for the 2020/21 season, we want to get your thoughts on the early projections from oddsmakers.
Should the Bucks be considered the favorites to win the East? Should the Heat be listed higher than fourth among Eastern teams? Are the Nets or other teams being overvalued? Are the Pacers or other teams being undervalued? Which team do you like to come out of the East next season? And which club do you view as the best value pick based on the odds listed above?
Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your early forecast for the Eastern Conference in 2020/21!