BOSTON (CBS) — Fans in Boston aren’t feeling all that great about the Celtics at the moment.
But the oddsmakers are still expecting some big things out of the C’s in 2019. According to OddsShark, the Celtics have the second-best odds to win the Eastern Conference at plus-240, second only to the Toronto Raptors.
That may seem a little too generous for a Celtics team that currently sits at 21-15 on the season and in fifth-place in the Eastern Conference. While Kyrie Irving is having himself an MVP-caliber season, the Celtics as a whole have struggled to find any sort of consistency. Over the first two-and-a-half months of the season, the Celtics have certainly not looked like the second-best team in the East.
Maybe the oddsmakers see something in the way the team has played lately (at least the Celtics have been consistent in their inconsistencies). Brad Stevens’ teams have a knack for turning things around in the second half of the season, and this Boston team certainly has the talent to be a much better team than they’ve displayed since the season tipped off. They just need to put it all together, which they still have time to do with no clear-cut favorite emerging from the conference just yet (though the Raptors are pretty darn close).
Or maybe the oddsmakers just want to try and take advantage of Celtics fans who are still confident their team will make it to the NBA Finals. In the process, they’ve thrown some disrespect elsewhere in the East.
The Milwaukee Bucks currently own the best record in the NBA at 26-10, good for a five-and-a-half game lead over the Celtics, but they’re receiving no love from the oddsmakers. Milwaukee currently owns the same odds as the 24-14 Philadelphia 76ers to win the East. But the Indiana Pacers have an even bigger gripe, sitting at at plus-1600 (or 16-to-1 odds) to win the Eastern Conference. Indiana is 25-12, having won five straight and 12 of their last 14, a stretch that included wins over the Bucks and 76ers.
The Celtics will try to make up some ground in the standings Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Garden.