The NBA trading deadline has passed, and with the subtraction of two of the game’s biggest stars from within their own division, the Boston Celtics seem to have solidified their stance as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
The team to beat overall, actually, according to Massachusetts sportsbooks.
An old nemesis, the Milwaukee Bucks, are breathing down the Celtics’ necks.
Where Celtics Stand
Heading into Friday night, Boston (39-16, .709) has a one-game lead over the Bucks (38-17, .691) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia 76ers (34-19, .642) are third, four games back, and the Cleveland Cavaliers (35-22, .614) are fourth, five games back.
The Brooklyn Nets (33-22, .600) are the current fifth seed, but will have an uphill battle ahead of them. The Nets traded former teammates Kevin Durant (to the Phoenix Suns) and Kyrie Irving (to the Dallas Mavericks) earlier this week before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trading deadline.
Boston hosts the Charlotte Hornets (15-41) tonight (ESPN, 7:30) and looks to improve on an impressive 23-11 record against Eastern Conference opponents.
The Celtics are 11-point and -650 moneyline favorites tonight at FanDuel Massachusetts Sportsbook.
The over-under is 225.5 points.
Meanwhile, at BetMGM Massachusetts Sportsbook, the Celtics are 11.5-point and -600 moneyline favorites.
The Hornets at a nice +425 on the moneyline. The game’s over/under point total is 225.5 points.
In their last 10 games, the Celtics have a 6-4 record, averaging 111.2 points per game, and holding their opponents to an average of 107.4 points per game.
Caesars Favors Boston for Title
Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook has the Celtics as a +350 favorite to win it all, followed by Durant’s new team, Phoenix (+450), the Bucks (+550), the Denver Nuggets (+800) and the Sixers (+1000).
To win the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are the favorite at +150 at Caesars with the Bucks at +250 and the 76ers at +375.
On Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) proposed a Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m. launch date/time for the debut of Massachusetts betting apps.
Three retail sportsbooks launched on Jan. 31: Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool), MGM Springfield (BetMGM) and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett (WynnBET Massachusetts Sportsbook).
Be sure to check back with BetMassachusetts at launch for all the top Massachusetts sportsbook promo codes.