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Before the 2020-21 National Basketball Association season began, the Brooklyn Nets became the betting favorite for many people looking to wager on futures.

But that didn't turn out the way they planned: the Nets lost in a close Eastern Conference Semifinal series in Game 7 to the Milwaukee Bucks, who then went on to win the title.

So coming into the 21-22 NBA campaign, the Nets once again took their place as the betting favorites with sportsbooks and bettors alike, in large part to their “Big Three” of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Brooklyn Nets
Getty Images

That has not really gone to plan, either: the “Big Three” is a “Big One and a Third”, as Durant has been injured, and Irving continues to miss games due to the various COVID-19 vaccine rules around the country.

With the Nets currently faltering, it has opened up the door for some other teams in the East, and that could be good news for bettors, especially those willing to back some of the better teams in the conference right now like the Philadelphia 76ers or the Chicago Bulls.

Here is a look at the odds to win the Eastern Conference as of early February:

Top 10 Odds to win 2022 NBA Eastern Conference

  1. Brooklyn Nets +135
  2. Milwaukee Bucks +300
  3. Miami Heat +550
  4. Philadelphia 76ers +900
  5. Chicago Bulls +1100
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers +2500
  7. Boston Celtics +3000
  8. Atlanta Hawks +4000
  9. Charlotte Hornets +6600
  10. New York Knicks +8000

Which team(s) should I be backing right now to win the NBA Eastern Conference?

Do you believe in the Nets, or do you think they are frauds?

If you do, you can get them still above even money: but many people are not sold on Brooklyn, which could be missing any manner of stars once the playoffs start, but also can be a very good team. “If you look at the Nets on their recent road trip, they were awful,” a spokesperson for said. “They did not compete and had lost seven games in a row to fall further down the standings. You never know if James Harden can be bothered playing right now, and I would not blame him: the Kyrie Irving situation is a disaster. Then, will Kevin Durant be healthy?

“I think if you take a chance and throw out the Nets, you can get some very good value to win the Eastern Conference. The defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks are getting healthy, and you can still get them at +300: expect that number to start dropping again because it is already down from where it was. I think the 76ers and Heat are both intriguing as well. There is value to be had if you have the courage to throw out Brooklyn.”

Best bets:

Who am I to argue with an expert? I also think Brooklyn will implode here, much like the Lakers did last year, and will go in other directions with my futures plays.

With a $500 bankroll, I would take the Bucks for $300 at +300 odds, take the Sixers for $100 at +900 odds, and maybe the Bulls and Heat for $50 each at good odds as well.

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