The NBA preseason is now in full swing, which means the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign is just weeks away. That means it's a perfect time to gain some knowledge on how to bet on NBA futures. The Eastern Conference is jam-packed with quality teams and there are three, in particular, in the Central Division. The Milwaukee Bucks (-275), Cleveland Cavaliers (+325), and Chicago Bulls (+700). Keep reading for the NBA Central Division picks.
Before we get into the odds, preview, and early pick, make sure to check out our tips for betting on NBA games.
NBA Central Division Odds
Milwaukee Bucks (-275)
It's really no surprise the Bucks are the frontrunner here. After all, they've won this division in four straight seasons. Although Milwaukee did bow out of the postseason in the second round earlier this year, that was much in part to some brutal injury luck as Khris Middleton went down in the opening round against the Bulls. After that, Giannis Antetokounmpo was left to carry the load and although he did just that, the supporting cast struggled to step up. On a more positive note, Middleton should be back very soon from a knee and wrist injury and should serve as the Greek Freak's right-hand man once again. The Bucks absolutely have a chip on their shoulder as well after failing to reach the Finals in 2022. With little turnover in the summer and Giannis improving each and every year, the sky is the limit for Milwaukee. I think they have a legitimate shot at winning another title, therefore they should have no issues living up to the hype in the NBA Central Division picks.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+325)
The Cavs were oh so close to making the playoffs in 2021-22, eventually losing in the play-in to the Atlanta Hawks. Cleveland was a top-six team for most of the campaign until some unfortunate injury woes. Nevertheless, this team made a huge move this offseason, pulling off a blockbuster trade for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. Now, you're looking at four potential All-Stars in their starting lineup with Spida, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. You'll be flat out to find any first unit in the Association with this many potential All-Stars. It's an exciting time to be a Cavaliers fan with such a promising young core at the forefront. Plus, they also have a couple of seasoned veterans like Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. I truly believe the Cavs can be a top-four team in the East this season and maybe even give the Bucks a run for their money in the division. They're truly that talented on both ends of the floor.
Chicago Bulls (+700)
The Bulls finally returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2017 thanks to the arrival of DeMar DeRozan, who was the clear star of Chicago. Unfortunately, the Bucks took care of them in the first round. Just like the aforementioned teams, injuries also took their toll on Billy Donovan's squad. Lonzo Ball suffered a meniscus tear that limited him to just 35 games, which proved to be a big absence for the Bulls backcourt. To make matters worse, he's still dealing with soreness in that knee and just had another procedure done to hopefully fix it for good. Lonzo probably won't play for most of the year either as he continues to recover, which means Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Coby White must step up at PG. There is no doubt Zach LaVine and DeRozan will show out, it simply comes down to actually playing well against contenders. Most of Chicago's victories in 2021-22 were against teams with losing records, struggling to perform versus the best of the best. Nikola Vucevic also needs to be a lot more reliable on both ends of the floor. Chicago should make the playoffs, but it's going to be tough for them to be the top dog in the NBA Central Division picks.
Final NBA Central Division picks
This will come down to the Bucks and Cavs. Personally, I think Cleveland can win this division. They're young and hungry, and getting Mitchell is absolutely huge to make them a serious contender. Will the Cavs make a title run? Might be difficult in the East. But, J.B. Bickerstaff's group may very well edge out Milwaukee in the Central Division and solidify themselves a spot in the playoffs.
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