NBA Futures 2022-23: Eastern Conference winner predictions, odds & betting lines – Bucks wrestle back crown

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Germantas Kneita


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Like most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. I'm based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan since that day and I've not missed a game since. I've been handicapping games for more than a decade, specializing in player props. For Germantas Kneita media enquiries, please email
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The arms race in the NBA’s Eastern Conference intensified over the summer and we look set to see the results of this in a week’s time. With all-stars Donovan Mitchell and Dejounte Murray switching conferences and joining the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, respectively, the East is more competitive than it has perhaps been in its history. Last season the top 4 in the conference were separated by just 2 games, and there are at least 8 teams realistically battling for those positions this year.

The Brooklyn Nets could be set to make waves in the conference if they are able to overcome the off-court drama that has plagued the team in recent years. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers will look to get over the hump with veteran acquisitions that could tilt the odds in their favor come the postseason. Over the last 2 years the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have established themselves as the leaders of the conference, but they will certainly be tested in the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season.

2022-23 NBA Western Conference betting odds and favorites

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Boston Celtics: +270
Milwaukee Bucks: +320
Brooklyn Nets: +350
Philadelphia 76ers: +700
Miami Heat: +900
Cleveland Cavaliers:+1800

2023 Eastern Conference winner best bet: Milwaukee Bucks (+320)

The Boston Celtics go into the season as favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and make a second successive trip to the NBA Finals. However, just like the Golden State Warriors out West, the team has been hit with controversy this offseason. Head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the season for having an improper relationship with a staff member. He will be replaced by 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla, who does not have any NBA head coaching experience to date. And while the addition of Malcolm Brogdon should strengthen the team, it is tough to imagine them making back-to-back finals trips with a rookie head coach behind the wheel.

This is where the Milwaukee Bucks come in. Were it not for an injury to Khris Middleton, the Bucks would have strongly believed that they could have knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs last season. However, without the services of their second-leading scorer, they fell to the Celtics in 7. With their core returning, the 2020-21 NBA champions might just be the team to beat — health permitting, of course.

The addition of Joe Ingles could be a major one for the team. He is a 40.8% career shooter from 3-point range and should benefit from the space that Giannis Antetokounmpo is bound to creating by pulling players into the paint. An established playmaker for his position too, Ingles should perfectly slot into head coach Mike Budenholzer’s system and provide the Bucks with a very reliable option. While he is currently injured heading into the season, this addition should pay dividends once the playoffs roll around.

New to NBA betting? Check out our NBA betting guide

2023 NBA Eastern Conference winner best long-shot bet: Chicago Bulls (+2500)

One team that has gone under the radar this offseason is the Chicago Bulls. They have added Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic to further strengthen their depth. It is easy to forget that before the injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso last season, this team was sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. With their 2 defensive stoppers back in the fold causing havoc to opposing back courts, their wings will be free to carry to offensive workload. Both Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan have the capability of challenging for the NBA scoring title — a luxury few in the league possess.

With size on the interior, defensive stoppers and explosive wing scorers, the Bulls should be in the mix for home-court advantage in the playoffs by the time the regular season comes to an end. If they can secure that, there is every chance that this group will be making a postseason run. With young assets like Patrick Williams on the roster, too, do not be surprised to see them go all in and make a mid-season trade to add more experience. They already showed the willingness to do that when they acquired Nikola Vucevic. This team can make some noise in 2022-23.

Lock in our NBA Championship winner best bets, including a +2500 longshot

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