Updated 2022 Eastern Conference Picks After Harden-Simmons Trade
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Updated 2022 Eastern Conference Picks After Harden-Simmons Trade

The entire NBA was shaken up last week when the Nets and Sixers completed a blockbuster trade involving James Harden and Ben Simmons. After that trade, it's time to reevaluate the 2022 Eastern Conference futures — and which teams are most worth a pick. Here's an updated look at the conference after the superstar swap! 

The best Canadian sportsbooks have updated betting odds on who will win the East. They'll change more as the season wears on, but right now — before either Harden or Simmons debut for their new teams — here are the five teams with the best odds to win:

The early indication is oddsmakers are optimistic about Harden's effect on the 76ers. Philly's betting line to win the East was slashed in almost half after the trade went through, which makes sense since the player they gave up (Simmons) wasn't even playing. Brooklyn's odds stayed about level. They were the betting favourites to reach the NBA Finals before the deal and remain so right now.  

Betting Picks To Win 2022 NBA Eastern Conference

We couldn't make one betting pick to win the 2022 NBA East Conference. No, no, we're stuck on two teams. 

Bet Philadelphia Over Brooklyn

We're honestly baffled that the Nets are STILL the betting favourites. This team is loaded — and we mean loaded — with question marks, especially with its three superstar players. Its best player, Kevin Durant, is the best player in the league calibre when he's healthy. However, that's the thing — Durant hasn't been able to consistently stay on the court in three straight years. Does that change when he returns from an MCL injury? We have our doubts.

And then there's the mercurial Kyrie Irving. Unless New York removes its COVID vaccine mandate for arenas, he won't play in home games, only road ones. Having your second-best player on the court only half of the time in the postseason is a giant question mark that the bookies just seem to be glossing over, but we sure aren't. 

But perhaps the biggest question of all is the new Nets addition, Simmons. Let's call a spade a spade — Simmons has been the ultimate playoff choker for multiple years now. Does that suddenly go away on a new team? Our gut feeling is now, in fact, it intensifies since this team is expected to win a championship outright. 

We really believe the Sixers won the trade and because of that, they are our favourite pick to win the East in 2022. Harden, despite the rule changes on foul calls this year, is still a premier offensive threat. So is Joel Embiid. That's two game-changing players that Philadelphia will have on the court every time out — something that wasn't the case when it was just Simmons and Embiid (yes, that's shade at Simmons).  

So yes, we're hammering Philly in this futures bet. That's not to say they don't have question marks (namely, can Embiid stay healthy), but it's nowhere near the amount that Brooklyn possesses right now. The 76ers at 4.00 is the perfect value for this wager!

Ride With The Reigning Champions

While Brooklyn and Philadelphia have won the media headlines, Milwaukee have been busy winning on the court. As it stands, the defending NBA champions have a better record than the Nets or Sixers. So we're here to remind you — the Bucks are still a solid bet to return to the NBA Finals. A bet on the champs AND Philly makes a whole lot of sense. 

We talked about the Nets "big three", but the Bucks' own trio of stars isn't far behind them, maybe not name-wise but certainly on-court production-wise. Of course, that trio includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday. That big three is a nightmare for opponents, both offensively AND defensively. 

But the problem so far for Milwaukee is the three haven't played together all that much this season due to injuries. As we write this, Antetokounmpo is battling an ankle injury. Regardless, here's the advantage the Bucks' best players have that the Nets and Sixers don't — familiarity. These three won an NBA title a year ago, while the other two teams will be adjusting on the fly the rest of this year with their new acquisitions.

All things considered, Milwaukee is a "safer" bet than either Philly or Brooklyn. You know for a fact what this team's ceiling is — an NBA championship — while the other two are still unknown.  

How To Bet On NBA 2022 Futures?

Want to bet on NBA futures, but not sure where? Look no further than the curated list of betting sites underneath. These Canadian bookies are the "best of the best" — especially when it comes to their NBA betting selection. Not only will you find long-term futures, but also the usual game bets (spread, over/under, prop, etc.). 

If you join one of these betting sites today, you could also earn anywhere from $300 to $1000 in free play from lucrative sportsbook bonuses. The table below has a list of bonuses currently on the table. To redeem the deal (and the free money that comes with it), hit one of the "get bonused!" buttons below and you'll be minutes away from cashing in!