What Are The Current NBA Eastern Conference Standings


The importance of looking at the Eastern Conference's current standings cannot be overstated. They should help you see which teams are easily better or worse than certain opponents. [+]

And they also allow you to keep track of the potential playoff picture. This is huge for one primary reason. If you're looking to make mid and late season championship bets, you'll want to first know how good each prospective team is, and you'll also want to map out their potential path to the NBA Finals. If one team is projected to face, say, the Cavaliers in the first round, you'll want to steer clear of them when betting championship and conference futures.

It's asking too much of them to upset Cleveland in one of the early rounds, then go on to win at least two other series. But if you find a team that's slated to avoid Cleveland through the first round, then you have more wiggle room on your futures bet.



LeBron's World

NBA Eastern Conference Online Betting Tips

Stepping on the toes of what we just said, buy futures stock in the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. The Cavaliers are a good conference and championship bet as always, mostly thanks to LeBron James. But the East is begging for another legitimate contender. The Atlanta Hawks were supposed to be it, as were the Miami Heat. Neither squad is there yet, and as such, they are not worth any sizable bet on your part. But the Celtics and Raptors might be there.

Both the Celtics and Raptors remain long-shot plays, make no mistake. Especially in terms of championship odds. They must not only go through Cleveland to win a title, but also likely one of the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs. That's a tall order as far as title paths go.

But Boston and Toronto are, relative to the rest of the East, built to give Cleveland a run for its money, making both truly interesting conference bets. The Celtics and Raptors have efficient offenses and top-10 defenses. That balance will rival the Cavaliers' balance in the near future. For the Celtics' part, they may be the better overall investment, because they play fast, making it more likely that they disarm the Cavaliers in a potential best-of-seven dance.

Keep all of this in mind during the regular season and as the playoffs get underway, and you'll have a strong guide to making dark-horse bets that figure to have handsome payouts if and when you're right.