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NBA East Top 5 Betting Report: Cavaliers Continue Charge, Bucks Tumble

As you get ready for your NBA pick of the day on a limited but exciting Monday night, here’s a look at what’s going on with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.


NBA East Top 5 Betting Report: Cavaliers Continue Charge, Bucks Tumble
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics | Paul Rutherford/Getty Images/AFP

1. Boston Celtics (+125 to Win Eastern Conference)

The Celtics have split their last six games at home after opening 20-0 at TD Garden, and they looked completely listless in the most recent of those setbacks against the LeBron- and AD-less Los Angeles Lakers.

Perhaps that was a wake-up call, as Boston followed that up with a 40-point shellacking of the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. The C’s clicked on all cylinders against an injury-marred Memphis roster.

That win came at the start of a pretty soft portion of the Boston schedule. It finishes its current homestand against Atlanta and Washington before a game against a Miami squad the Celtics just shredded, and then two vs Brooklyn. Boston is just 1-4 against the NBA spreads over its last five, but it should be able to pile up some wins (actual wins) in this stretch.

Getting Jaylen Brown right is key for the Celtics’ long-term outlook, as well as for anyone who’s placed a bet online at our sportsbook for them to win the conference or the title. He sat out the stretch run against the Lakers due to a back issue and was out against Memphis.


2. New York Knicks (+900)

Their nine-game winning streak came to an end Saturday against the Lakers, but it was due to happen soon. The Knicks are operating without Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, and Jalen Brunson can only do so much.

We’re not too overly concerned. Randle will probably be out through the All-Star break but should come back around then he’ll be well-rested. Anunoby, whose presence on the roster has been transformative, should be back sooner as he recovers from an elbow issue.

The Knicks get those same Grizzlies that the Celtics just beat up on next, part of a portion of the schedule littered with home games. They’ll be able to tread water until the reinforcements arrive and then should finish strong.


3. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1200)

The hottest team in the East and perhaps a better option for the second spot, this Cavaliers squad is a great NBA betting option, with Vegas still giving them some relatively longshot odds. They’ve won five straight and 13 of 14, and they’ve recently welcomed back both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley from long-term injuries.

When right, this is perhaps the best defensive unit in the East. It has held 10 opponents to 102 points or fewer during the current 13-1 surge. We have some mild concerns over the fact that they’ve mostly beaten up some lesser teams lately, with a difficult stretch run looming.

As long as they remain healthy, however, this is a dangerous unit come April.


4. Milwaukee Bucks (+225)

They’ve lost four of their last six, three of four on their current five-game road trip, and are about to tumble to third or four in the East standings. Since the start of 2024, Milwaukee is just 9-9, a completely mediocre squad that can look like a champion one night and completely out of sorts the next.

The hiring of Doc Rivers should pay dividends at some point. He’s been around the block enough times to figure a few things out. In the meantime, he has to put his tail between his legs and coach some superstars in a somewhat embarrassing scenario.

This just has the feel of a second-round exit to a team that is more consistent and disciplined on the defensive end, areas where Milwaukee tends to struggle. They’re now a woeful 19-31 against the spread, so tread lightly if you’re backing the Bucks.


5. Philadelphia 76ers (+900)

We’ve said multiple times in this space that this team is so dependent on the state of Joel Embiid’s knees, and right now it’s in a rough state. Embiid is expected to miss an extended period of time following a procedure on the left knee, with a return late in the season a possibility.

The timing of this is brutal, as it’s hard for the front office in Philadelphia to gauge exactly what it needs at the trade deadline when what it really needs is a healthy MVP. They’ll probably try to get some support pieces but do they go all in for a big name that may or may not even share the court with Embiid?

While the brass works on that end of things, the Sixers have lost five of their last six. They’re closer to eighth-place Miami than first-place Boston.



Questions Of The Day

What’s the best NBA matchup on Monday night?

We love the Sacramento at Cleveland game with two hot teams climbing the ladder in their respective conferences. Some of the best NBA prop bets tonight are in this matchup.

Is there a notable ATS trend not involving these five teams of the NBA Eastern Conference?

Yes, take note of Orlando in road games. The Magic are an NBA-best 18-10 against the spread on the road.

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