The next few nights in the NBA are about as busy as it gets. Most teams play three games in four nights before the All-Star break, a real crunch of action prior to a much-needed respite. After that, we get a little closer to some NBA playoffs betting. To get you in the right frame of mind, here’s a look at what’s going on with the top teams in the East.
Here’s a look at some NBA games odds to consider!
1. Boston Celtics (+130 to Win Eastern Conference)
The current four-game winning streak is their longest of 2024 and Sunday’s win at Miami was one of those hard-fought triumphs that can really pay off in the long run. It was a chippy, emotional affair and the Heat closed hard, but Boston had enough to hang on.
“Late-game execution, you’ve got to set the table,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. “I think our guys did that.”
That bodes well for when the games matter a bit more. Boston is now a league-best 18-8 in games involving clutch situations and 22-11 against teams that are above .500. It has had some ugly stretches in recent games, but has won by single digits in each of the last three.
That’s all to say that everything is just fine in Celtics land. The team is relatively healthy and made some really nice additions at the trade deadline to add some needed depth, defense, and toughness. It’s hard to bet online against them right now.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (+900)
The Celtics have a five-game lead in the East on second-place Cleveland, but that gap was 8½ at the beginning of the calendar year. And the Cavaliers are showing no signs of let-up in their pursuit of the top spot, winning 17 of the last 18.
If that stretch seems legit enough for you, then pounce on a Cleveland long-term bet at the sportsbook, where their odds to win the East are still somewhat long. Perhaps Las Vegas odds are wary of the quality of opponents during the 17-1 surge. There were a couple of wins over Milwaukee, one against the Clippers, and triumphs over Sacramento and Orlando. Every other victory during the stretch came against teams that entered Monday under .500, including three against Washington, two against San Antonio, two against Brooklyn, and single wins over Detroit, Toronto, Memphis, Atlanta, and Chicago.
If that gives you some pause, perhaps wait a bit for the level of difficulty to go up.
3. New York Knicks (+700)
The Knicks were the winners of the trade deadline in the eyes of many, grabbing established scorers Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from Detroit. Those additions will pay off down the line, but until the team is healthy it’s hard to see the value of the moves.
Jalen Brunson missed a recent game with a sprained ankle and both Julius Randle and OG Anunoby remain sidelined. Big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson are also on the mend.
Future finals MVP Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks play basketball today. Rejoice accordingly 😎 pic.twitter.com/wdotylO9Tt
— Topher (@TophTalksKnicks) February 3, 2024
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The All-Star break will help New York perhaps more than any other team. It has all the pieces to contend but just needs some time to get everyone out of the trainer’s room. Expect another hot streak from this crew in early March.
4. Milwaukee Bucks (+245)
They continue to be a nightmare for those who back them on the gambling front, as they’re 20-33 against the betting lines for NBA action in Vegas. They did obliterate the spread in a 120-84 rout of Charlotte on Friday and haven’t played since.
An easy victory and a long layoff might be just what this team needs to get going. We’ll see if it pays off Monday night when Denver pays a visit.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (+1200)
We like the Buddy Hield addition. Like other moves mentioned here, the benefits of this one may not be immediately evident. But if and when Joel Embiid returns, you’ll see Hield finding more open spots and hitting big 3s in big games down the stretch. And the squad added another veteran piece in hometown kid Kyle Lowry, which gives them some championship experience.
Philadelphia snapped a four-game slide with a win at Washington. It now has to head to red-hot Cleveland for a Monday night matchup. That game, and many others over the next few weeks, may end up in the loss column. All eyes are on Embiid’s recovery.
Questions of the Day
What’s the best NBA matchup on Monday night?
In addition to the Nuggets at Bucks, there’s a great one in Los Angeles tonight between the Clippers and Timberwolves, who are separated by a half-game atop the Western Conference.
Is there a notable ATS trend not involving these five teams of the NBA Eastern Conference?
The Pistons have cleared the cupboard but are playing some better ball. They are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.