The short answer is ‘very’ and it is not solely us that is struggling to make sense as you will see when we take a look at the odds on offer from DraftKings Sportsbook a little later!
Not so long ago, it looks like being a race between the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets for the top spot in the conference, but since then, both teams have been hit by injuries and a loss of form.
That has coincided with a return to form for a number of teams in the east that have their own playoff aspirations, with the net result of things closing up so tightly in the conference that there are just 2.5 games between the top placed team and the team in sixth.
Indeed, there are just 8.5 games between the top team and the Atlanta Hawks, who sit outside the Wildcard places in 12th place in the East.
All of this hints towards a very exciting second half of the season as many of the top teams position themselves for at least a playoff spot, if not much more.
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Eastern Conference Standings – Top 6
- Miami Heat (.638) 30-17
- Chicago Bulls (.630) 29-17
- Brooklyn Nets (.630) 29-17
- Milwaukee Bucks (.612) 30-19
- Cleveland Cavaliers (.604) 29-19
- Philadelphia 76ers (.587) 27-19
Eastern Conference Winner – Betting Odds With DraftKings Sportsbook
Odds shown were correct as of Tuesday 25th January 2022.
- Brooklyn Nets – +130
- Milwaukee Bucks – +320
- Miami Heat – +550
- Philadelphia 76ers – +850
- Chicago Bulls – +1100
- Boston Celtics – +3000
- Cleveland Cavaliers – +3500
Who Is In Form?
A quick look at the form for the teams over the last ten games is revealing. Chicago have been hit hard by injuries and they have won just three of their last ten, while the Nets and Bucks have both gone 5-5 over that period.
However, the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers have gone 7-3 (as have the Charlotte Hornets who lie 7th in the Conference) while the most in form team have been the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have won 8 of the last ten, but who have lost two of the last three games.
One team that has fallen down the rankings of late is the Washington Wizards who had started the season well to sit inside the top six comfortably, but who have now dropped to 10th in the rankings with a 23-24 record, losing their last three games and winning just four of their last ten.
Home And Away Form?
In terms of stats, the best home team in the Eastern Conference this season have been the Miami Heat, who have won 16 of their 21 home games. They have also gone 8-2 against their divisional rivals and 19-9 against conference rivals.
Tellingly, perhaps given the Kyrie Irving situation, the Brooklyn Nets boast the best away record in the East with a 17-6 record on the road. They have also got the bet conference record, winning 20 and losing 9 games against their conference rivals.
The Charlotte Hornets, who lie 7th in the standings, average the most points per game in the East at 114.1, and defensively it is the Cleveland Cavaliers that have the best record conceding an average of 102.3 points per game.
Upcoming Key Games
There are a number of games coming up that will have a bearing on these standings.
- Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (Wed 26th Jan)
- Cleveland Cavaliers @ Charlotte Hornets (Fri 4th Feb)
- Miami Heat @ Charlotte Hornets (Sat 5th Feb)
- Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls (Sun 6th Feb)
- Chicago Bulls @ Charlotte Hornets (Wed 9th Feb)
- Cleveland Cavaliers @ Philadelphia 76ers (Sat 12th Feb)
- Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat (Sat 12th Feb)
- Miami Heat @ Charlotte Hornets (Thu 17th Feb)
- Philadelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks (Thu 17th Feb)
Join us again tomorrow when we take a look at how things are developing in the NBA’s Western Conference where one of the true dynasties in the NFL is struggling.