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Is There Value in Backing the Clippers to Win the Pacific?

The NBA’s Pacific Division is the definition of the term “two-team race.” The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have been playing some lights-out basketball over the last month, as the Dubs (16-2) have a slight edge over the Clips (14-5) for the divisional lead as of November 30.

At BetOnline the Warriors remain -1000 chalk to win the banner, with the Clippers (+600), Los Angeles Lakers (+10000), Sacramento Kings (+20000) and Phoenix Suns (+50000) also available to wager on.

That’s a far cry from the astronomical -10000 price Golden State had before the season. Back then I wrote about how that number was downright silly, as no one in their right mind was going to risk $100 to win a measly dollar. Oddsmakers were clearly trying to attract money for other teams, and the Clippers’ odds have since fallen from +1000 to +600 as a result.

Golden State is absolutely terrifying, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable betting against a team that features Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. But since the price has already been adjusted so much, it still doesn’t make much sense to back them in this regard due to the meager return.

After a 14-2 start, the Clippers had dropped three in a row at the time of writing, but that doesn’t mean bettors holding Clips futures tickets should fret. L.A. has the sixth-best offense in the league (108.6 points per game) and the seventh-best defense (98.9 points allowed per game), and they'll still be a top team in the Western Conference when all is said and done.

As for the Lakers, Kings and Suns? You know the old saying: there’s always next year!

2016-17 NBA Pacific Division Odds
TeamOdds
Golden State Warriors-1000
Los Angeles Clippers+600
Los Angeles Lakers+10000
Sacramento Kings+20000
Phoenix Suns+50000

Odds as of November 30 at BetOnline

Archived Articles

When it comes to betting the NBA’s Pacific Division, you essentially have two options: the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers.

It's no surprise to see which team is way out in front of divisional odds at Bovada. Good luck finding any value in backing the Warriors, though. The shop has tabbed Golden State as -10000 chalk to win the Pacific, meaning you have to risk $100 to win $1. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see how it plays out.

That’s great news for Clippers backers. L.A. comes in at +1000 – a fantastic number if you think Doc Rivers’ crew can topple their mighty Californian counterparts. The Clips won the division in 2013 and 2014, but the Warriors have stolen away the banner in each of the past two seasons.

What can sports bettors make of this? The price of -10000 is a staggeringly high number, even for the mighty Warriors. Adding superstar Kevin Durant to a roster that already included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is downright terrifying, but oddsmakers are clearly trying to protect themselves in this regard.

As we saw in LeBron James’ first season in South Beach, super-teams don’t always start off on the right foot. It’s going to take some time for Durant to fit in with his new teammates, and all four of the aforementioned players will have to learn how to share the ball appropriately. I think the Warriors will once again claim the Pacific, but it won’t be by as wide a margin as the odds indicate.

The Los Angeles Lakers (+10000), Sacramento Kings (+15000) and Phoenix Suns (+20000) aren’t even on the radar at this point. Unless you’re a believer in the longest of long shots, stay away from these cellar-dwelling franchises this year.

2016-17 NBA Pacific Division Odds
TeamOdds
Golden State Warriors-10000
Los Angeles Clippers+1000
Los Angeles Lakers+10000
Sacramento Kings+15000
Phoenix Suns+20000

Odds as of October 26 at Bovada

Archived Articles

How exciting is the NBA’s Pacific Division going to be this year? In the infamous words of ex-NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens: getcha popcorn ready.

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers boast a pair of rosters the majority of general managers around the league could only dream about, but it’s the reigning champion Warriors who are tabbed as the favorite to capture the Pacific at Bovada. Los Angeles (+150) is not far behind, however.

To add more fuel to the fire, the Dubs and Clips really do not like each other. L.A. added the elder statesman of the NBA Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, and somehow managed to keep superstar big man DeAndre Jordan after a brief fling with the Dallas Mavericks in an offseason drama fit for a soap opera. Considering they already had Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on the roster, this is a team that’s certainly worth watching as the year unfolds.

It’s looking like the book is expecting this division to be a two team race, as the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers have some pretty long odds.

2015/16 Pacific Division Odds

Odds as of October 26 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -220
  • Los Angeles Clippers +150
  • Phoenix Suns +5000
  • Sacramento Kings +5000
  • Los Angeles Lakers +6600

Archived Articles

Following a tumultuous spring and off-season that culminated in a change in team ownership, the Los Angeles Clippers open the NBA season at Bovada as -200 futures betting favorites to repeat as Pacific Division champs.

Despite being engulfed in off-court controversy, the Clippers posted 57 wins last season to capture their second straight division title but struggled in the playoffs, first against the Golden State Warriors, whom they needed seven games to beat in the first round, before falling to Oklahoma City in six games in the conference semi-finals.

But with the air free of controversy and arguably the NBA’s best tandem in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, the Clippers are expected to be legitimate championship contenders.

The Warriors follow the Clippers in NBA futures odds at Bovada, pegged at a solid +220 to win their first Pacific Division title since 1976. Golden State won 51 games last season, their highest total in 20 years, and face high expectations come playoff time after bowing out to the Clippers in the first round last season.

Despite winning 48 games last season, the Phoenix Suns missed the playoffs last season for the fourth straight year and open the new season with +1200 odds of winning the Pacific.

The Suns are trailed by the Los Angeles Lakers, who will be without future hall-of-famer Steve Nash for the entire season, and sport +2500 odds, while the Sacramento Kings are pegged as +5000 longshots in futures betting at Bovada.

Odds to Win 2015 NBA Pacific Division at Bovada as of October 15

Golden State Warriors +220
Los Angeles Clippers -200
Los Angeles Lakers +2500
Phoenix Suns +1200
Sacramento Kings +5000

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The Los Angeles Clippers are the favorites at the sportsbooks on the odds to win the NBA's Pacific Division this season, after they claimed that title by nine games over the Golden State Warriors last year.

The Clippers are sitting as the -250 favorites at Bovada to win the Pacific Division crown once again this year, with the Warriors second on those NBA futures at +180.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who ended up 11 games behind the Clippers in the Pacific standings last year and lost Dwight Howard in the offseason, are at +1000 on the odds to win that division.

The Sacramento Kings (+10000) and Phoenix Suns (+20000) are the longshots on the Pacific Division odds heading into the season. Sacramento finished 28 games behind the Clippers in the division standings last year, with Phoenix 31 games back of the leader.

Odds to Win 2014 NBA Pacific Division at Bovada

Los Angeles Clippers -250
Golden State Warriors +180
Los Angeles Lakers +1000
Sacramento Kings +10000
Phoenix Suns +20000

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No matter how you slice it, the Pacific Division title will be decided in Los Angeles this season. Will it be the star-studded Lakers that come out on top or the up-and-coming Clippers?

With a starting five of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, the Los Angeles Lakers make a pretty clear-cut favorite to not only win the Pacific Division but to win the Western Conference as well. The Lakers are currently going off at -400 at TopBet to win the Pacific.

The only real question with this team is its health. Bryant, Howard, and Nash have all dealt with their share of dings in recent years, and the Lakers’ main priority is going to be being healthy for the playoffs as opposed to being the regular season’s top team.

If everyone stays healthy and on the court, the division title is a virtual lock; but health concerns leave the door open just a tiny crack.

If any team is going to press the Lakers for the Pacific Title, it will be their fellow team at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Clippers (+275 to win the Pacific Division). The Clippers looked good enough to beat anyone when they were healthy in 2011-12, but their depth issues became apparent when Chauncey Billups went down with an injury early in the year.

As a result, the Clippers went out and solidified their bench with a handful of signings including Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, and Lamar Odom. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul should keep the team rolling until Billups’ expected return in January where the Clippers could really start picking up steam.

The Golden State Warriors (+5000), Phoenix Suns (+6000) and Sacramento Kings (+8000) are all quite a ways away from being ready to compete with the big boys in LA. All three have some exciting young talent to build around though, especially in Sacramento’s front court of DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson.

The Clippers might be able to press, but the reality is that the Lakers should be good enough to win on most nights even if one of their “Big Three” is out with an injury. Barring a complete inability to gel (unlikely with Steve Nash running things), the Lakers should run away with it.

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