2018-19 NBA Betting Guide – Eastern & Western Conference

2018-19 NBA Betting Guide – Eastern & Western Conference

The 2018-19 NBA season tips off with LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey, as he attempts to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the western conference after dominating the east for a decade. Golden State enters the season with yet another all-star on their roster, after Boogie Cousins decided to join the champs. The Warriors will be powerful favorites to win their third consecutive NBA championship in 2019.

Division by Division

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics

  • NBA Championships – 17
  • NBA Championship Odds – +500
  • Odds To Win Conference – -130
  • Odds To Win Division – -130
  • Most Valuable Players – Kyrie Irving, Al Horford

Golden State might have the best starting five in history, but the Celtics might feature greater depth. Prior to the season opener, Boston is the second-best bet on NBA Finals futures according to sites like Bodog. A healthy year from Irving and Hayward should lift Boston to an eastern championship. Beating the Warriors may be a year or two away.

Jayson Tatum - Boston Celtics

Toronto Raptors

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +1400
  • Odds To Win Conference – +400
  • Odds To Win Division – +270
  • Most Valuable Players – Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry

Firing Dwane Casey and trading DeMar DeRozan headlined an emotional offseason of upheaval, but Kawhi Leonard’s an MVP-caliber superstar. Kawhi and Danny Green should give Toronto an upgrade in defense and perimeter shooting. If they play well alongside Kyle Lowry, Toronto will be a legitimate contender when the post season arrives. 

Toronto Raptors
To Win the NBA Title Odds
+1400

Philadelphia 76ers

  • NBA Championships – 3
  • NBA Championship Odds – +1600
  • Odds To Win Conference – +375
  • Odds To Win Division – +300
  • Most Valuable Players – Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

Last year’s playoff run revealed the importance of Ben Simmons jump shot. If he doesn’t develop a consistent jimmy, defenders will learn to stifle Simmons athleticism. The health of Joel Embiid will be directly linked the 76ers success, which doesn’t inspire confidence for a run to the NBA finals.

Brooklyn Nets

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +45000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +12500
  • Odds To Win Division – +15000
  • Most Valuable Players – D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe

One of the worst trades in NBA history plunged the Nets into this extended period of losing, while the Celtics continue to reap rewards delivered by Brooklyn draft picks. All things considered, the Nets have done well to acquire talent like D’Angelo Russell, but they’re still a few years away from returning to the playoffs.

New York Knicks

  • NBA Championships – 2
  • NBA Championship Odds – +40000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +8000
  • Odds To Win Division – +20000
  • Most Valuable Players – Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina

When Kristaps Porzingis fell to a snapped ACL in the middle of last season, the New York Knicks knew that this season would be a write-off. New York will tank while Porzingis attempts to rebuild his knee over the next 12 months.

Central Division

Milwaukee Bucks

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +10000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +2000
  • Odds To Win Division – +110
  • Most Valuable Players – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a once-in-a-lifetime talent with a legitimate chance to win his first MVP award. Unfortunately, the Bucks haven’t surrounded him with players to maximize Giannis’ incredible talent. If Antetokounmpo’s three-point shot blooms this season, he could turn into an unstoppable force in the east.

If Antetokounmpo’s three-point shot blooms this season, he could turn into an unstoppable force in the east.

Indiana Pacers

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +12500
  • Odds To Win Conference – +2500
  • Odds To Win Division – +130
  • Most Valuable Players – Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner

The Pacers still haven’t received due respect for their impressive first-round playoff battle against LeBron. Victor Oladipo and the Pacers extended the Cavaliers to seven games, while the Raptors were swept. The Pacers are a great underdog pick to win the Central, even if they won’t win the east.

Detroit Pistons

  • NBA Championships – 3
  • NBA Championship Odds – +30000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +7000
  • Odds To Win Division – +650
  • Most Valuable Players – Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson

This club will be a strong candidate to outperform expectations with Coach of the Year Dwane Casey as bench boss. Blake Griffin’s still a great player, Reggie Jackson returns from injury while interior monster Andre Drummond stated that he’ll attempt to shoot threes. The Pistons could surprise the Central in 2018-19.

Chicago Bulls

  • NBA Championships – 6
  • NBA Championship Odds – +30000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +8000
  • Odds To Win Division – +3500
  • Most Valuable Players – Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine

Chicago started a rebuild on the right foot, as Lauri Markkanen established himself as one of the best young bigs in the game during his rookie campaign. The Bulls don’t have the backcourt depth needed to win this season. Chicago’s a couple of years away from contention.

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +45000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +8000
  • Odds To Win Division – +3500
  • Most Valuable Players – Kevin Love, Collin Sexton 

Tristan Thompson still believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers can beat the eastern conference without LeBron James. This confidence is admirable, even if misplaced. Cleveland still has Kevin Love as an all-star stretch four, along with a decent supporting cast. A championship’s out of the question, but a surprise playoff berth isn’t.

Southeast Division

Washington Wizards

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +10000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +2200
  • Odds To Win Division – -140
  • Most Valuable Players – Bradley Beal, John Wall

Last season revealed on-court chemistry issues between John Wall and his teammates. When Wall was injured, the Wizards offense improved with Bradley Beal as the focal point. The southeast is the weakest division in the NBA, so Washington will probably finish on top. Adding Dwight Howard in the offseason reduced their odds of winning.

Miami Heat

  • NBA Championships – 3
  • NBA Championship Odds – +30000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +7000
  • Odds To Win Division – +170
  • Most Valuable Players – Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters

Miami employs several crafty vets along with genius coach Erik Spoelstra, which will help the Heat overcome their lack of a superstar – a must for any serious NBA contender. If this franchise lands an extra star, Miami will win the division. However, this team’s relatively old and slow, which doesn’t bode well against elite competition.

Charlotte Hornets

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +30000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +8000
  • Odds To Win Division – +1200
  • Most Valuable Players – Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum

The Hornets exist in basketball purgatory with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum as aging leaders. Signing Tony Parker won’t help make this club quicker or younger, and big money’s still tied up in Bismack Biyombo’s expensive contract. Charlotte will probably undergo a teardown after another disappointing season.

Orlando Magic

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +45000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +10000
  • Odds To Win Division – +1600
  • Most Valuable Players – Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier

Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are solid contributors, but neither appear to be the type of superstar that the Magic need. Drafting Mo Bamba was a step in the right direction for this franchise, but the Magic need a big free agent signing, trade or miraculous draft pick to complete in the association.

Atlanta Hawks

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +40000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +12500
  • Odds To Win Division – +7500
  • Most Valuable Players – Trae Young, Kent Bazemore

Atlanta drafted Trae Young as their reward for tanking last season. The Hawks will tank once again to obtain strong positioning in a deep 2019 draft class. This team will challenge Sacramento for the bottom of the NBA standings.

Northwest Division

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +3000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +1500
  • Odds To Win Division – +210
  • Most Valuable Players – Russell Westbrook, Paul George

Oklahoma could turn into the best defensive club when Andre Roberson and Russell Westbrook regain full health. The Thunder should be better without Anthony slowing things down, while Schroder, Luwawu and Noel could turn into solid acquisitions, reducing the stress on Westbrook and Paul. OKC’s the best sleeper pick in the west.

Utah Jazz

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +7500
  • Odds To Win Conference – +1500
  • Odds To Win Division – +2200
  • Most Valuable Players – Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell

The Stifle Tower and Donovan Mitchell shocked the association by upsetting the Thunder in the first round of the 2018 playoffs. Mitchell evolved into a clutch scorer in his rookie campaign, while Gobert finally earned recognition as defensive player of the year. Utah’s a solid team, but they need another star to compete with the Rockets and Warriors.

Denver Nuggets

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +12500
  • Odds To Win Conference – +7500
  • Odds To Win Division – +450
  • Most Valuable Players – Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap

Perhaps the most underrated team in the west, Denver added Isaiah Thomas and top prospect Michael Porter Jr. to a competent lineup. Jokic is an elite playmaker, Millsap’s an all-star stretch four, while Murray and Harris remain deadly from the perimeter. Coach Mike Malone’s a solid bench boss, capable of guiding this lineup back into the playoffs.

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +15000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +8000
  • Odds To Win Division – +550
  • Most Valuable Players – Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler

Perhaps the least stable franchise entering the regular season, Jimmy Butler wants out and GM/Coach Tom Thibodeau seems to beef with Timberwolves ownership. Andrew Wiggins and his brother Twitter-argue with Butler while Jimmy has issues with Karl-Anthony Towns. Don’t expect a great year from Minnesota.

Portland Trail Blazers

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +15000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +7500
  • Odds To Win Division – +650
  • Most Valuable Players – Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum

Portland nabbed the third seed in the western playoffs in 2018, but they ran into Anthony Davis and playoff Rondo, who swept Damian Lillard and the Blazers out of the first round. This club didn’t improve much in the offseason and reside in the deepest division in the association. Without a third star, the Blazers upside will be limited to another playoff appearance.

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors

  • NBA Championships – 6
  • NBA Championship Odds – -195
  • Odds To Win Conference – -245
  • Odds To Win Division – -2000
  • Most Valuable Players – Steph Curry, Kevin Durant

The best team in basketball added another all-star during the offseason, when Boogie Cousins called the front office after no one offered a contract for the skilled big man. This team’s the best in the NBA by a wide margin, even if Boston and Houston have a shot at upsetting the champs. Expect a three-peat.

This team’s the best in the NBA by a wide margin, even if Boston and Houston have a shot at upsetting the champs. Expect a three-peat.

Los Angeles Lakers

  • NBA Championships – 16
  • NBA Championship Odds – +1000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +650
  • Odds To Win Division – +700
  • Most Valuable Players – LeBron James, Brandon Ingram

LeBron may never be as popular as Magic or Kobe, but he instantly turned the Lakers into a contender when he signed with Los Angeles. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball will team up with vets like Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley, forming the most fascinating lineup in the association. If the youngsters evolve and the rotation gels, the Lakers might be better than LeBron’s Cavs last year.

Los Angeles Clippers

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +25000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +10000
  • Odds To Win Division – +5000
  • Most Valuable Players – Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari

The Clippers don’t feature a superstar, but they do have a group of superb vets who will be expected to compete for the post season in the western conference. Earning a bottom four playoff spot will likely lead to a first-round exit at the hands of the Warriors, Lakers or Rockets, extending the Clippers trend of playoff disappointments.

Phoenix Suns

  • NBA Championships – 0 
  • NBA Championship Odds – +40000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +17500
  • Odds To Win Division – +15000
  • Most Valuable Players – Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton

There’s virtually zero chance that the Phoenix Suns will challenge established western powers this season. Improvement from young talent and draft picks like Ayton and Jackson will be welcome, but another lottery pick would be more useful.

Sacramento Kings

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +50000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +30000
  • Odds To Win Division – +50000
  • Most Valuable Players – De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley

Sacramento owns a 12-season playoff drought, the longest streak of futility in the NBA. This drought will extend to 13 years at the end of the season. Another lottery pick should help Fox and Bagley break the curse.

Southwest Division

Houston Rockets

  • NBA Championships – 2
  • NBA Championship Odds – +850
  • Odds To Win Conference – +550
  • Odds To Win Division – -450
  • Most Valuable Players – James Harden, Chris Paul

Houston may not be done adding to their lineup as reports of Jimmy Butler’s disgruntlement race around NBA Twitter. Trevor Ariza going to the Suns was a tough blow for Houston, and Melo isn’t really guaranteed to move the needle against Golden State. Chris Paul’s health is never a guarantee, but if he plays the Rockets can beat anyone. Houston’s a worthy challenger to Golden State’s throne.

Chris Paul - NBA Odds

San Antonio Spurs

  • NBA Championships – 5
  • NBA Championship Odds – +8000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +4000
  • Odds To Win Division – +600
  • Most Valuable Players – LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan

The San Antonio Spurs enter a new era now that Leonard, Ginobili and Parker no longer lace up their high-tops for Pops. DeMar DeRozan will play with a chip on his shoulder all season and thrive under Popovich, but DeMar and LaMarcus don’t have the supporting cast needed to topple the Warriors, Lakers and Rockets. 

New Orleans Pelicans

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +12500
  • Odds To Win Conference – +6000
  • Odds To Win Division – +800
  • Most Valuable Players – Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday

New Orleans will rely on Davis and Jrue Holiday to repeat superhuman feats to lift a Pelicans lineup which didn’t improve during the offseason. Mirotic and Randle will need to have outstanding seasons for the Pelicans to keep up with the rest of the conference. If Davis misses significant time, New Orleans misses the playoffs.

Dallas Mavericks

  • NBA Championships – 1
  • NBA Championship Odds – +25000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +9000
  • Odds To Win Division – +6000
  • Most Valuable Players – Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic

Dallas took an excellent risk to move up in the draft and pick Luka Doncic, who looks like the most NBA-ready player from the 2018 entry draft. Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka will lead an exciting, athletic backcourt as the future of the Mavericks. Dallas will continue the rebuild with another lottery pick in 2019.

Memphis Grizzlies

  • NBA Championships – 0
  • NBA Championship Odds – +50000
  • Odds To Win Conference – +17500
  • Odds To Win Division – +6500
  • Most Valuable Players – Mike Conley, Marc Gasol

Conley and Gasol may not be with the Grizzlies after the trade deadline. Mike and Marc are excellent ballers, but the rest of the Grizzlies lineup’s completely unproven. Memphis will likely aim to accelerate a rebuild through the lottery and any extra picks they can get for their aging stars.

2018-19 NBA Season Predictions

NBA Eastern Conference Winners

Boston Celtics -130

NBA Western Conference Winners

Golden State Warriors -245

NBA Finals Champion

Golden State Warriors -195

NBA 2018-19 MVP

Kawhi Leonard +350

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: