During the 2018 playoffs, the Celtics repeatedly proved bettors wrong, beating the 76ers in their Eastern Conference semifinals despite entering the series as heavy underdogs, then winning the first two games against the Cavs in the conference finals despite being underdogs in Game 1 and a pick ’em in Game 2.
During the 2018-19 season, the Celtics won’t be able to take bettors by surprise. After news broke Sunday that LeBron James was signing with the Lakers, the Celtics moved into position as solid favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
Sportsbooks already had the Celtics as the favorites to win the East. But Sunday’s news improved Boston’s odds at the expense of two Eastern Conference rivals: The Sixers, who had been in on the LeBron sweepstakes, and the Cavs, whose title odds plummeted from 50/1 to 500/1 after news broke of James’ departure.
Westgate has the Celtics at 7/2 to win the title, a modest bump from the 4/1 odds the Celtics had on June 18. The Sixers’ odds went from 15/2 to 14/1. The Lakers, whose odds were already on the rise because of the possibility of James’ arrival, moved from 8/1 on June 18 to 7/2. Despite James moving into the Western Conference, the Warriors’ odds at Westgate actually improved, going from even money to a slightly better 10/11.
Source: Heavy Sports