NBA Betting: Raptors sink to bottom of futures

It won't be a very merry Christmas for the Toronto Raptors or their supporters, as the hobbled franchise has sunk to the bottom of the odds to win the NBA's Eastern Conference thanks to their terrible start to the 2012/13 season.

The Raptors are now tied with the Washington Wizards as the 750/1 longshots to win the NBA's Eastern Conference this season, with those two teams battling the Cleveland Cavaliers (350/1) for the basement in the conference standings this week.

And Toronto got more bad news last week when it was determined that Andrea Bargnani would be out at least three weeks with an elbow injury. The Raptors have also been playing without guard Kyle Lowry, who has a triceps injury and is expected to miss another week of action.

Toronto has three games on tap this week, starting in Cleveland on Tuesday night and continuing through home games against Detroit on Wednesday and Orlando on Friday. The Raptors got one of their rare wins against the Magic, beating them 97-86 as a 4-point home favorite on the NBA betting lines on November 18.

Meanwhile, the Miami Heat continue to lead the way on the NBA futures at the sportsbooks at just 1/2 odds to claim the Eastern Conference crown once again this season.

The Heat will play host to the Timberwolves on Tuesday night this week, then hit the road for a game in Dallas on Thursday before returning home to face the Jazz on Saturday night. Miami is just 1-3 both SU and ATS over its past four games against Utah, with the OVER/UNDER going 3-0-1 for totals bettors in those contests.

The New York Knicks (6/1) and Chicago Bulls (9/1) trail the Heat on the current odds to win the NBA's Eastern Conference title at the sportsbooks, and those teams will do battle at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

Chicago topped New York 93-85 as a 2-point home underdog on the NBA betting lines on December 8, and they're 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS over their past five games against the Knicks dating back to last season. The OVER/UNDER went 3-2 for totals bettors in those games.

Bodog - Odds to Win 2013 NBA Eastern Conference

Miami Heat 1/2
New York Knicks 6/1
Chicago Bulls 9/1
Boston Celtics 12/1
Brooklyn Nets 12/1
Atlanta Hawks 28/1
Indiana Pacers 30/1
Philadelphia 76ers 30/1
Milwaukee Bucks 60/1
Detroit Pistons 200/1
Orlando Magic 200/1
Charlotte Bobcats 300/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 350/1
Toronto Raptors 750/1
Washington Wizards 750/1