Early NBA Eastern Conference Finals Odds Preview

Posted by Henry Watkins on May 9, 2016 in

Heading into the start of the season, it was believed that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. After all, they won the East last year despite having lost Kevin Love to injury in the opening round, as well as Kyrie Irving in the latter stages. All of that made them heavy favorites, and may have resulted in expectations being placed a little higher than they actually should have been. No team with a winning record received more negative press than the Cavaliers, but in fairness, it has to be said that they brought a lot of it on themselves. How many teams choose to make a coaching change at a time when they have a comfortable conference lead? There were rumors of locker room tension and egos out of control, yet this team continually found a way to win, landing atop the Eastern Conference in the process. They are back in the conference final again, and will now have to wait a while to see who they face. Let’s take a quick look at the potential pro hoops betting lines match-ups, and how it might all play out moving forward.

Early NBA Eastern Conference Finals Odds Preview

Why bet on the Cavaliers to Win the Eastern Conference

After watching what the Cavaliers did through the opening two rounds of the playoffs, you get the definite sense that this was a team that spent the regular season just biding their time until the really meaningful games began. The Cavaliers opened the playoff with a sweep of the Detroit Pistons, which they did without really breaking too much of a sweat. While the scores of a few of those games appear close, the reality was that the Cavs were basically just doing enough to win without exerting themselves too much. They stepped things up a notch in their second round sweep of the Hawks, which they have now down 2 years in a row, by draining 3-pointers from just about every spot on the court. This looks like a team that is getting better as the playoffs progress, and that means problems for either the Toronto Raptors or Miami Heat.

Who Advances: The Heat or the Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are perhaps the most fragile looking number 2 seed in quite some time. They struggled to get past the Indiana Pacers in 7 games in the opening round, and while they have a 201 series lead over the Miami Heat in this one, they are still waiting to get the best from Kyle Lowry in the postseason. Lowry did have a better performance in a Game 3 win for the Raptors, but he needs to string a few of those together if Toronto are to advance. The Heat would love nothing more than to face Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Final, if only to prove that they are doing just fine without LeBron. I think it will be the Raptors who come out of this series, though, assuming their top guys pick up the pace.

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My Eastern Conference Final Prediction

At this stage of the game, I don’t really think it matters who comes out of the Heat/Raptors series. The Cavaliers look as though they will be too much to handle for either of those teams, and I expect another short series in the next round.