- The Raptors have better odds than the Sixers to win the Atlantic Division after acquiring Kawhi Leonard
- Will the Raptors live up to the hype in 2018-19?
- Can we justify betting these odds and is there any value?
The Atlantic Division is a hidden gem of the National Basketball Association, full of rich history and dynamic rivalries.
This division is headlined by a Boston Celtics team that could be a championship contender for the next five seasons, yet our focus today is on two of the teams chasing them.
BetOnline recently released odds on which team will win each division in the NBA, and gave the Raptors shorter odds than the 76ers in the Atlantic.
Odds to Win the Atlantic Division in 2018-19
|Team||2017-18 Record||BetOnline Odds to Win the Atlantic Division|
|New York Knicks||29-53||+5000|
The Toronto Raptors have made some significant – and questionable – player and coaching changes from a season ago:
- Dwane Casey found himself out of a job after leading the team to a franchise-high 59 wins but failing to get past the Cleveland Cavaliers once again
- Franchise player DeMar DeRozan was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. The deal was not well received by DeRozan
When a president and general manager make such vast roster and personnel changes, the outcome usually isn’t a positive one. However, BetOnline slightly favours the Raptors over the Sixers this season.
Are these odds justifiable?
Firmly, I say yes.
After failing to pull the winning ticket in the LeBron James sweepstakes this offseason (awkward silence…), the buzz around the Philadelphia 76ers has noticeably died off.
While the team still possesses many young stars, including Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz, they have work to do after being cleaned by an injury-ridden Celtics squad in 2018. LeBron James is the answer to most problems, just not yours, Philadelphia. Joel Embiid wants so desperately to be that answer for his team.
Joel Embiid wasn't too upset the 76ers missed out on LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard or anyone else this summer. "I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I’m not already better than them." He also wants to be MVP. https://t.co/eT8lKnqYFX
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) August 2, 2018
The Toronto Raptors are as complete as a team can get, with a mix of old and young, rookies and vets, and interior and exterior skill sets. With the additions of Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and a new head coach in Nick Nurse, the Raptors are riding a serious hype train.
The Toronto Raptors are as complete as a team can get, with a mix of old and young, rookies and vets, and interior and exterior skill sets.
Undeniably, there are rumours surrounding Kawhi Leonard, and his intentions as a Raptor, that could ultimately derail the hopes and dreams of Toronto sports fans.
Danny Green warns Kawhi Leonard and Raptors doubters: once you go to the 6 there’s no going back. pic.twitter.com/dqQWbjmsnq
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 12, 2018
Regardless, you can’t deny the talent this team has on both ends of the court. They are projected, by most, to improve on their win total, which they did so as well in 2018 by 15 games.
Is there Any Value in Betting the Sixers at +300?
Absolutely not. With their current roster the 76ers have little to no chance of winning the division with a stacked, and now healthy, Boston team and an improving Raptors team.
Past Atlantic Division Winners
Oh, did I fail to mention the Raptors won this division last season? I’ve got my money on a repeat. The Raptors have won the division four of the last five years; The Sixers have not won the Atlantic since 2000-01. The Raps are a regular season winning machine, and it doesn’t stop now.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.