How to Bet NBA East After Major 2019 Trade Deadline Deals
- Bet Toronto to win the NBA Eastern Conference at +175 with Karamba.
- Bet Milwaukee to win NBA East at +250 with 888Sport.
One of the busiest days in recent NBA trade deadline memory included significant deals by three Eastern Conference contenders that is sure to shift championship odds in the coming days and weeks, so NBA betting fans should act quick.
The dealing began on Wednesday when the Philadelphia 76ers traded for near All-Star Tobias Harris. The deal left their bench rather thin but gave them arguably the best starting lineup in the Eastern Conference and a whopping five players averaging 17 or more points per game.
But that was only a prelude for Thursday’s theatrics, which began with the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks trading for power forward Nikola Mirotic. About an hour later the Toronto Raptors made their own major move, dealing for three-time All-Star center Marc Gasol.
The Boston Celtics were quiet but did open up a roster space that could be filled by a buyout candidate, while the Indiana Pacers are the favorites to land shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who will be bought out by the Knicks.
Let’s break it down and see how the East might shake out over the next four months after these two monster deadline deals.
Bucks Strengthen East Hold With Mirotic
The rich get richer. The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t enter the trade deadline with very many needs, but they addressed their biggest by getting a stretch forward in Nikola Mirotic, who will solidify the second unit.
Mirotic was a force last season after being acquired by the New Orleans Pelicans, who advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals, and the hope is he’ll do the same for the Bucks.
Shooting is critical in the postseason and the Bucks just added one of the best at his position. In 27 games with the Pelicans this season, Mirotic has averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc.
His playoff experience will be helpful for a young Bucks team that bowed out to the Celtics in seven games last season. Even though they didn’t make the biggest deadline move their team remains the one to beat in the East: The first team to 40 wins is excellent value at +250 with 888Sport.
Marc Gasol the Anchor Raptors Need
There were rumors that the Toronto Raptors might have been interested in dealing for Mike Conley, but instead they acquired his longtime teammate.
Marc Gasol hasn’t been the same player the last two seasons that he was as an All-Star in 2016 but he is still plenty valuable and gives Toronto exactly what they were missing: a passing center who they can play through and allow the rest of the lineup to space the floor.
This season Gasol has averaged 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. He’s also averaging 1.1 steal and 1.2 blocks, one of nine players in the league to do so this season.
His unique skill set – only he, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook are averaging at least 15.5-8.5-4.5 this season – will do wonders for a Raptors team that’s been pretty bland at center.
They also get a massive upgrade defensively, as the combination of Gasol and Serge Ibaka is the best rim-protecting duo in the conference. Add in Kyle Lowry and a former Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard and you’ve got veterans all over the map for a team that looks poised to compete late into May.
Now that their nemesis LeBron James is gone they can focus on winning the East for the first time in franchise history. There’s a reason they’ve jumped to the front of the Eastern Conference odds at +175.
They’re great value there, especially if they can catch the Bucks and earn homecourt in a potential seven-game Conference Finals series. Bet on them with Karamba.
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