NBA Central Division Winner Odds & Predictions 2020/2021

Central Division Winner Odds

  • The Milwaukee Bucks are massive favorites to win the Central Division, especially after signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a five-year extension.
  • The only other Central Division representatives in the 2019 playoffs were the Indiana Pacers, who are projected to finish second in the division again.
  • With no significant changes, it looks like the Bulls, Cavaliers, and Pistons will be scrapping for relevance not just in the Central Division, but also in the Eastern Conference.

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The Milwaukee Bucks finally secured their future by extending Giannis Antetokounmpo to a five-year, super-max extension. Not that his extension changed their odds to win the Central Division this season, but the Bucks’ recent overhaul on top of a calm front office could just spur them to greater success.

With the Milwaukee Bucks firmly at the top of the division, all eyes are on who will make a change to challenge for second place. At the moment, the Pacers are the easy favorites to come runners-up in the division. A well-organized team with a recovered star in Victor Oladipo, we may just be underestimating the Pacers this season.

It’ll be interesting to see who can make a name for themselves in the division outside of the top two. The Cavaliers look to be firmly at the bottom of the conference, but the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons have some interesting talent that might spur some competition in the division.

Central Division Winner Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM, updated on April 21, 2021.

Team Odds
Milwaukee Bucks -10000
Indiana Pacers +6000
Chicago Bulls +50000

Odds from BetMGM. Get up to a $600 sign-up bonus at BetMGM today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

WSN’s Pick:

A simple choice here. The Milwaukee Bucks are the strongest team in the division by a mile, with their eyes set at the top of the league. While the Pacers are strong, they don’t look to have the talent to challenge the Bucks at the top.

Milwaukee Bucks

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
56-17 118.7 (1 of 30) 108.6 (8 of 30) 105.1 (1 of 30) 112.4 (8 of 30) 102.9 (1 of 30)

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to recover after what was an embarrassing exit from the 2020 NBA Playoffs. After winning his second Most Valuable Player award, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Bucks were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat.

General Manager Jon Horst did everything he could to strengthen his Milwaukee Bucks squad, in the attempt to compete on top of convincing star man Antetokounmpo to commit his future to Milwaukee. The Greek Freak now has a stronger supporting cast than ever, adding Jrue Holiday, Torrey Craig, D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes to the fold.

Barring any serious injury during the season, it would be foolish to think the Bucks wouldn’t win the Central Division this season. The only question is, by what margin will they win the division?

Indiana Pacers

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
45-28 109.4 (23 of 30) 107.5 (3 of 30) 98.9 (21 of 30) 110.0 (19 of 30) 108.0 (6 of 30)

The Indiana Pacers finished about were expected last season. While they finished in the top four of the Eastern Conference, they never looked built to truly contend in the NBA Playoffs, especially with the recurring health issues of All-Star guard Victor Oladipo.

Indiana’s front office looked to improve their squad this offseason but struck out on the free agency front. While they maintain a strong squad, it is difficult to see a similar roster doing better than they did in the previous season. They’ll hope that an improved bill of health and new head coach Nate Bjorkgren can spur them on to success.

The Pacers open as the favorites to be runners up in the division, but the future could be even grimmer for them. All teams need to improve over the offseason and Indiana’s stagnation may just set them further back.

Chicago Bulls

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
22-43 106.8 (27 of 30) 109.9 (14 of 30) 99.7 (16 of 30) 106.7 (27 of 30) 109.8 (12 of 30)

Name a more contentious group of players and staff than the Chicago Bulls. At times throughout the season head coach Jim Boylen and star guard Zach Lavine clashed publicly. Their performance was dismal, winning just 22 of the teams 65 played games.

It is difficult for a team as weak as the Bulls to attract talent via free agency, but they received an interesting piece in Garrett Temple on top of re-signing Denzel Valentine and drafting Patrick Williams fourth overall. New head coach Billy Donovan will be the most crucial addition, as the former NCAA coaching standout will have to manage an immature group.

The Bulls have more talent than at first glance, but it won’t be enough to propel them anywhere near contention. Zach Lavine is an interesting young piece, but the clock is ticking on Chicago’s ability to surround him with the right talent.

Cleveland Cavaliers

19-20 Team Performance

RecordPPGOpp PPGPaceOff RtgDef Rtg19-46106.9 (26 of 30)114.8 (22 of 30)98.7 (23 of 30)107.5 (25 of 30)115.4 (29 of 30)

The Cleveland Cavaliers were not only near the bottom of the standings last season, only leading the Golden State Warriors in the 2020 table, but there was little cause for optimism amongst its players and performances. Sure Collin Sexton and Darius Garland could have bright futures, but their team balance couldn’t be further from optimal with them running the show.

Despite losing long-time pivot Tristan Thompson, the Cavaliers did their best to make up for him by adding defensively adept players like JaVale McGee and Isaac Okoro. The Cleveland backcourt is set, so shoring up their defense is priority number one. Priority number two is finding a taker for tenured team servant Kevin Love.

The Cleveland Cavaliers improved after last season, but not by much. That also takes into account the fact that Thompson and Love saw significant time on the court. While the Cavs won’t be reliving their championship glory days, a defined future with Garland, Sexton, and Drummond at least shows a path forward.

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Detroit Pistons

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
20-46 107.2 (25 of 30) 110.8 (15 of 30) 97.6 (28 of 30) 109.0 (21 of 30) 112.7 (22 of 30)

The Detroit Pistons didn’t have the season that they expected through the 19-20 campaign. Hard-nosed head coach Dwane Casey seemed to do the best with the pieces he had, which only led to 20 wins on the year. Starman Blake Griffin was limited to just 18 games, but they saw fantastic contributions out of Christian Wood and a revitalized Derrick Rose.

The Pistons may surprise a lot of people when they step on the court this season. While they were unable to hold on to Christian Wood, they were able to acquire coveted free agent forward Jerami Grant, his frontcourt partner in Denver Mason Plumlee, promising big man Jahlil Okafor, and veteran swingmen Delon Wright and Wayne Ellington.

With the right game plan, the Pistons may have something special on their hands. It won’t be enough to take on the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot, but this level of depth hasn’t been seen on the Detroit Pistons in a long time.

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Christian Jope

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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

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