NBA Division Winner Betting Tips

Futures bets are a fun way to make the NBA season more exciting. It makes following a player or a team even more interesting because you have a stake in the outcome.

Now that we’re roughly 15 games into the season it’s a great time to look at some NBA Futures bets and look at what may be good value to have a punt.

One betting option that often gets overlooked is Division Winner markets. This is betting on which team will finish the regular season at the top of their NBA Division.

There are 6 NBA Divisions: 3 in the Eastern Conference and 3 in the Western Conference.

The Eastern Conference Divisions are: Atlantic Division, Central Division, Southeast Division

The Western Conference Divisions are: Northwest Division, Pacific Division, Southwest Division

So let’s take a look at the PlayUp odds (current at 20th January 2021) and see which teams are relatively safe bets, and which ones offer nice value.


This is clearly a 3-team race to win the division with these as the current win/loss records

Boston 8-4

Philadelphia 9-5

Brooklyn 9-6

New York 7-8

Toronto 5-8

The Raptors are surprisingly bad this season, coming off a 2-8 start they’ve won their last 3 games. It’s a long way to go but they’re 3.5 games off the Celtics and 76ers, and given that the Nets will be a juggernaut with Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant as their main trio, they will likely be the team to beat and are currently on a 4-game winning streak.

However, the Boston Celtics probably represent the best value in this division at $4.33 odds. They are a team built to win games, and with Tatum and Brown leading a host of efficient and defensively minded players they should post a very strong record this season.

The 76ers feel like they are overperforming compared to their last few seasons, and Embiid appears to be injury prone once again this season. It’s possible that they come off the rails and finish middle of the pack in the East again this season.

Summary: Celtics offer great value at $4.33


The Bookies have this division all but wrapped up already with the Bucks paying $1.08 to win the division.

Is it safe to the level of being considered high bank interest at that price? Probably not, but it would take a lot to unseat them at the top of the division.

The current win-loss records are:

Milwaukee 9-5

Indiana 8-5

Cleveland 6-7

Chicago 6-8

Detroit 3-10

The Pacers are only a half a game behind Milwaukee at this early stage, however it feels as though Milwaukee is underperforming having racked up 5 losses already. Their points differential is still a +9.8 which is 2nd only to the Lakers (+10.2).

To put it into perspective, Milwaukee’s +/- differential for last season when they had the best record in the NBA at 56-17 was +10.1 so they haven’t really slipped much from last season when they finished 11 games clear of Indiana, and 33 games clear of Cleveland.

For Indiana to have a chance at winning the division it may come down to the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Throughout his career he has remained pretty reliable and usually doesn’t miss any extended periods.

If he does sit out, then $6.50 odds for Indiana would suddenly become very enticing as they would be more in the $2.0 to $3.0 range or less. Domantas Sabonis, who was almost an afterthought at the time the Pacers acquired him through trade, has developed into arguably the team’s best player.

Summary: Back the Bucks if you feel Giannis will lock down another division win, but if you want to take a punt, Pacers at $6.50 could win this division too and are currently only half a game behind.


This is a bad division. Miami is currently underperforming, having missed games from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo amongst others but are heavily favoured by the bookies to come good as the season goes on.

Here are the current team records:

Atlanta 6-7

Orlando 6-8

Charlotte 6-8

Miami 5-7

Washington 3-8

There currently aren’t any teams in this division with winning records, and only 2.0 games separating the top team from the bottom team.

Orlando started off red hot with a 6-2 record, but has since dropped 6 straight games to be 6-8.

As much as it surprises me to say it, Atlanta could be the value team in this division. They’re currently in top spot at 6-7 @$5.0 odds, and they’re not a team operating at full strength yet.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is out with an injury, as well as scoring threat Danilo Gallinari who (when healthy) is able to score 20+ on any night. Capela is really finding form lately and putting up big individual numbers. This is not the same bottom dwelling team the Hawks have been the last couple of years.

Summary: The Heat most likely will still overtake Atlanta, but at $5 odds Atlanta offers enough upside to have a crack and hope they can extend their lead further while Miami struggles.


These are the current team records:

Utah 9-4

Portland 8-6

OKC 6-6

Denver 6-7

Minnesota 3-9

Looking at the teams and how they have performed, initially the Utah price looks too short at $2.00 however when you look beneath the surface of their team records, and factor in other aspects of each team it becomes clearer that the prices look pretty much spot on.

Utah has played a lot more away games than home games, with only 4 games on their home court so far this season. Portland and Denver have each played 8 home games. Teams traditionally perform a lot better at home than on the road, so it’s almost like you can add a couple of extra games advantage for the Jazz.

Portland is now missing CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic for an extended period of a month or more, and they are a core part of their starting unit. Lillard will have to carry the team on his back for the next 4-6 weeks to keep them afloat.

Denver is the biggest threat, with an excellent team they are currently putting up the most points per game in the West at 115.4ppg (the Lakers are a narrow 2nd at 115.3).

They definitely could go on a run, and there’s a long time to go, but with the Jazz being relatively healthy, having a 3.0 game lead, and having more home games up their sleeves it feels like they are the team to beat!

Summary: Utah are a worthy favourite at $2.00 odds


This is a 2-team race that will very likely be won by one of the LA teams: The Lakers or The Clippers.

These are the current team records:

Lakers 11-4

Clippers 10-4

Suns 7-5

Warriors 7-6

Kings 5-9

The Lakers should be the team to beat and are also the favourites to win the NBA Championship.

The Clippers are now riding a 4-game winning streak though and won’t go away without a fight. Kawhi Leonard is playing in more back-to-back games, which is something he didn’t do last season. Paul George also appears to be playing with a chip on his shoulder.

Will the rigors of Lebron playing in his 18th NBA season wear him down as the season grinds on? It’s definitely possible.

Despite all of that, I do think the Lakers are the team to beat in the Pacific division.

Summary: LA Lakers to win at $1.53 odds, but the Clippers could make it challenging for them.


This is seen as a sure thing for the Mavericks, but if early season form is anything to go by, it won’t be as straight forward as the odds suggest.

Current Records:

Spurs 8-6

Grizzlies 7-6

Mavericks 6-7

Pelicans 5-7

Rockets 4-8

The Spurs have been surprisingly good so far this season with an 8-6 record. This is being driven by the improved play of Keldon Johnson and DeJounte Murray. It’s entirely possible that the Spurs, or even the Grizzlies now that they’ve got Ja Morant healthy again, could unseat the $1.45 favourite Mavs. If San Antonio can continue to develop their young players, while getting production out of DeRozan and Aldridge, they could contend for a playoff spot, which is something I didn’t expect.

Don’t forget that Memphis has also been missing Jaren Jackson Jr, who is a fantastic 3 & D guy that adds another dimension to their team. When he returns it should help them in the win column. They definitely feel like better value than the Houston Rockets who appear to be a little bit dysfunctional at the moment following the trade of James Harden.

Summary: Spurs @ $7.0 and Grizzlies @ $10.0 represent some great value as darkhorse teams that could win this division.


For the latest NBA Futures and Daily Match Betting Odds, head on over to PlayUp.

Best of luck on your bets!


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