Who are those five teams we speak of with legit conference title hopes out East? Welp, let’s take a gander at the current betting odds set by the top online sportsbooks. Here’s who they’re pegging with the best odds at winning the Eastern Conference championship:
Betting Picks To Win 2022 Eastern Conference Championship
We’ll be honest, narrowing down the betting field in the East wasn’t easy — because of its aforementioned competitiveness. But all our betting research kept pointing us in the direction of the next two teams as our picks to win the 2022 Eastern Conference crown:
We’ve said it all year and we’ll say it again: the Bucks at 100 percent health (or as close to that as possible at this stage of the season) is THE best and most complete team in the East. Unfortunately for most of the season, that didn’t apply. Each of its “big three” — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday — missed a double-digit amount of games this season. It was the main reason the Bucks floundered (by their standard) to a mere 36-24 mark at the All-Star break.
But that was then and this is now: Milwaukee is 15-7 since then and has the second seed in the Eastern Conference locked up. The only conference foe they WON’T have home-court advantage over is Miami. Not only is the “big three” healthy, but so is the sneakily underrated Brook Lopez. The big man missed almost the entire season until returning in March. Without Lopez guarding the paint, the Bucks' defense — the same one that was the backbone of the 2021 title team — was missing something. In most statistical categories around field-goal percentage allowed, Lopez consistently ranks in the top-10 in protection near the rim.
Lopez's defensive presence also takes off the pressure of Antetokounmpo, an MVP candidate at top NBA betting sites. With Lopez around, the “Greek Freak” no longer has to man the paint, conserving energy he can instead use on the offensive end where he’s the Bucks’ premier playmaker. Don’t underestimate Lopez's impact on Milwaukee, and with that, don’t underestimate the team’s chances of returning to the NBA Finals.
Of course, the Bucks are on a collisions course to play the Nets in the opening round, so long as Brooklyn wins its first play-in game. The juicy matchup would pit the top two betting favorites against one another. It’s no layup beating that team — especially given the star power of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — but that series is Milwaukee’s to lose. They’ll have home court. They won the head-to-head series matchup (two games to one). And they’re far more consistent than the hot-and-cold Nets, who are the seventh seed for a reason.
So yes, we’re betting the Bucks to successfully defend its Eastern Conference crown. As the immortal Ric Flair once said, "to be the man, you have to beat the man" — and the man right now is the Antetokounmpo-led Bucks!
While we’re all aboard the Bucks bandwagon, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a Plan B. The East is stacked, after all, and for all we know, Milwaukee might suffer a critical injury that’ll derail their NBA title hopes. As a bettor, you have to play that worst-case scenario with an alternate bet and there’s no better backup choice than the top-seeded Heat.
Its home-court advantage is no small thing. This season, the Heat were 29-12 while playing in their arena — one of the best marks in the entire league. They’re also red-hot going into the postseason. The franchise has strung together seven straight wins, which includes victories over Chicago and Boston, two teams that’ll be in the playoff picture.
What we like about Miami’s chances is they have elite talent, but over the course of the season, have built depth to make a deep playoff run. Many thought the Heat would be too “top-heavy” with an overreliance on its premier players — Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Kyle Lowry. Yet, all three missed significant time during the season, but Miami chugged along. Not only have Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson filled the void, but so have “lesser names” like Caleb Martin, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent.
But here’s our last reason for picking the Heat over teams like the Sixers or Nets: Miami is practically in win-now mode. That’s why they acquired Lowry and PJ Tucker, both 36 years old, during the offseason. The Heat play with a now-or-never mentality that the rest of the conference seemingly lacks. Give Miami a serious look here cause they’re even capable of topping our favorite pick, Milwaukee. If the two make it to the Eastern Conference Finals — which is our prediction — then you’re guaranteed a betting win no matter what happens.
How To Bet On 2022 NBA Playoffs?
Let’s be real: there’s NBA regular season basketball and then there’s NBA playoff basketball. The two are nothing alike and for bettors, you’re better off gambling on the postseason when there’s no resting of big-name players, back-to-back schedules, and generally speaking, no “off switch” for teams. Every game matters now and that makes betting on the 2022 NBA playoffs must-do. Welp, there’s no better sportsbook to do just that than the ones listed below.
What makes the sportsbooks so special are the big-money sign-up bonuses available to first-time players. These bonuses are worth hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play — money you can spend freely on the litany of NBA playoff games available over the next two months. In the underneath table, we’ve detailed what bonuses are available at what sites. Pick one and hit the corresponding “play now” button to redeem before the NBA playoffs start!