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Odds to Win the NBA Western Conference: It’s the Warriors And Everyone Else

NBA Western Conference Betting Odds April 11, 2019

The NBA’s regular season is finished and as usual, the Western Conference is a gauntlet of good teams almost like in a video game and the final boss, I mean, the Golden State Warriors are always waiting for you at the end. That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dubs as huge odds-on favorites to win their fifth straight Western Conference title.

The Warriors are huge faves at -375 followed by the Houston Rockets (+600), Denver Nuggets (+800), Oklahoma City Thunder (+1700), Portland Trail Blazers (+2200), Utah Jazz (+2800), San Antonio Spurs (+4000) and Los Angeles Clippers (+8000) to round out the field of eight.

Serious Question: Is Anyone Beating The Warriors?

Not likely but it is possible. This is the first time during this five-year run of dominance that they’ve started to look vulnerable. Their average winning margin is the lowest it’s been in four seasons and the drama that came out of the locker room spilled onto the court in a very public display. Some would counter that that’s just the competitive juices coming out but that type of bickering can obviously be counterproductive and if they were to somehow go down in a series, we could see a lot of technicals and arguing with referees.

That being said, they still have two of the top five players in the NBA and four of the top 20 and have three players averaging over 20 points per game. Do I really need to sell you on the Warriors at this stage?

No, Seriously, Who Is Beating Them?

Well, now that you’ve put me on the spot, I’d go with either the Rockets or Thunder but I don’t feel great about it.

The Rockets have fared pretty well against the Dubs this season by winning three of four games, including two wins at Oracle Arena. They are the one team that can actually match the Warriors shot for shot from the perimeter and James Harden looks to be a man on a mission. But this all comes down to the supporting characters and while the Rockets retooled on the fly this season, they don’t have enough weapons to overcome the top-end talent the Warriors have. I like the Rockets to get to the West final but fall in six games.

As for the Thunder, they were my preseason pick to face the Warriors in the Western Conference final but the way they wrapped up the season was not encouraging. They had a horrible record after the all-star break and their offense dropped off once Paul George hurt his shoulder. He looks to be getting over it but he and Russell Westbrook would need to play out of their minds to somehow upset the Warriors in a seven-game series. At +1700, it’s worth a stab but don’t be shocked if they don’t even make it to the WCF.

Odds to Win NBA WESTERN Conference in 2018-19 season

Odds as of April 11 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -375
  • Houston Rockets +600
  • Denver Nuggets +800
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +1700
  • Portland Trail Blazers +2200
  • Utah Jazz +2800
  • San Antonio Spurs +4000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +8000

The NBA’s Western Conference is a gauntlet of good teams almost like in a video game and the final boss, I mean, the Golden State Warriors are always waiting for you at the end. That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dubs as huge odds-on favorites to win their fifth straight Western Conference title.

Since our first update at the beginning of the season, the Warriors’ odds have gone from -245 to -375 and they currently sit first in the West standings. They’re followed on the oddsboard by the Houston Rockets (+625), Denver Nuggets (+750), Oklahoma City Thunder (+2000) and Portland Trail Blazers (+2800) to round out the top five.

Since we can only assume the Warriors will make it to the Western Conference final, let’s examine the next four teams on the list that could potentially topple the Warriors dynasty:

Houston Rockets +625

The only team to actually give the Warriors a true scare in the postseason, the Rockets may be still trying to recapture the magic that saw them have the best record in the NBA last season. They recently got Chris Paul and Clint Capela back from injury and the addition of Kenneth Faried and Austin Rivers has helped to restore a bench that was gutted in the offseason.

I still think the value is decent at +625 if you’re a Rockets believer. Sadly, I’m not. I know they’ve beaten the Warriors three times this season but they still fall short in the key aspect to take down Golden State in a seven-game series and that’s mainly because of health. Chris Paul has not proven in his time with Houston (or Los Angeles, for that matter) that he can stay on the court when it counts. James Harden has had to play an insane number of minutes just to keep the Rockets afloat and I think by the time the Western Conference final rolls around, he’s going to be gassed.

Denver Nuggets +750

Owners of the best home record in the Western Conference, there’s a great chance that the Nuggets could make it to the Western Conference final but waiting for them will be the Warriors and the way the standings look, they could be without home-court advantage in the crucial series.

The Nuggets have dropped two of three games vs the Warriors this season, including getting stomped at home in a 31-point butt-kicking. I don’t normally overreact to one regular-season game but both teams were healthy and rested and once the Warriors decided to put their foot down, the Nuggets’ highly rated defense couldn’t hang. I think Denver can make it to the Western Conference final but I also think that if it’s a Nuggets-Warriors final, you’d almost get just as good value to take the Nuggets moneyline each game or to take them to win the NBA title.

Oklahoma City Thunder +2000

Out of the four teams behind Golden State on the oddsboard, the Thunder I feel have the best chance to dethrone the Warriors. OKC has a roster that can match up well with the Warriors’ lineup of death and Draymond Green has always had issues guarding center Steven Adams. Paul George is playing the best basketball of his career and is a top-three MVP candidate.

Russell Westbrook is shooting poorly but he’s morphed his game to become more of a facilitator to allow guys like Jerami Grant, Terrance Ferguson and Markieff Morris to become key contributors instead of ball-watchers. Obviously, stopping the Warriors is easier said than done and this whole article might be all for naught once the Warriors start to care but based on talent and value, give me the Thunder at +2000.

Portland Trail Blazers +2800

Much like I wrote for their chances to win the NBA title, I think the Blazers are done. That snap you heard of Jusuf Nurkic’s leg was also the one for the Trail Blazers’ playoff chances and I’d be surprised at this stage if they make it to the second round.  Portland is now severely undermanned to compete in the West because Nurkic was an essential part of the team with his stout defense and ability to score in the post. When you factor in that CJ McCollum is also on the shelf likely until the playoffs, I can’t endorse a Blazers bet to win the Western Conference.

Odds to Win NBA WESTERN Conference in 2018-19 season

Odds as of March 28 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -375
  • Houston Rockets +625
  • Denver Nuggets +750
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +2000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +2800
  • Los Angeles Clippers +3000
  • San Antonio Spurs +3000
  • Utah Jazz +3000
  • Sacramento Kings +200000

Odds as of October 16 at  Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -245
  • Houston Rockets +550
  • Los Angeles Lakers +650
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +1500
  • Utah Jazz +3500
  • San Antonio Spurs +4000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +6000
  • Denver Nuggets +7500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +7500
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +8000
  • Dallas Mavericks +9000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +10000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +17500
  • Phoenix Suns +17500
  • Sacramento Kings +30000
Odds to Win NBA Western Conference in 2018-19 Season

They’ve always been a tough out at home and if the Warriors go on cruise control again and punt on the regular season, the Spurs could end up having home-court advantage in a potential playoff series. Do I think they have enough based on the roster as currently constructed? Probably not but based on value alone and the winning tradition of the Spurs organization, the value at +4000 is decent.

The only team in the West to really give Golden State fits over the last four years, this isn’t the same Spurs roster that controlled the Warriors’ perimeter game. But they do have some pieces that could make them tough to beat come playoff time as DeMar DeRozan should be able to pair nicely with LaMarcus Aldridge and Gregg Popovich’s system.

San Antonio Spurs

The Jazz are my pick to win their division and make it to the conference final to play the Warriors. They may have the best home-court advantage in the NBA and they beat the Warriors when they came to Salt Lake City during the regular season. The Jazz only allowed 99.8 points per game at home last year and guard Donovan Mitchell may be the best up-and-coming player in the NBA. At +3500, the value may be too hard to pass up.

Utah Jazz

The Western Conference is so competitive that the Lakers could be a top-three team or an eight seed depending on how they finish the season. Last year, the difference between a three seed and the eight seed was five games. I expect them to win at least 50 games next year, which should put them near the top, so it comes down to how they will match up with Golden State. If the Lakers can repeat being a top-three team guarding the three-point line from last season, they could be in line to pull off an upset.

A lot is still up in the air for how this roster will translate to the regular season but with LeBron James in the fold, they cannot be dismissed. The Lakers roster has some interesting pieces like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball that should develop quickly when they get to play with a top-three player of all time.

Los Angeles Lakers

I won’t spend much time harping on the Warriors as they are built to contend for at least another three or four seasons and have the matchup edge at every position outside of center. So, because every team’s chances are dependent on pulling off an upset, let’s break down the odds for some upset specials:

Online sportsbook Bovada has listed the Warriors at -245 to win the Western Conference followed by the Houston Rockets at +550, the Los Angeles Lakers at +650, the Oklahoma City Thunder at +1500 and the Utah Jazz at +3500 to round out the top five.

A berth in the NBA Finals from the Western Conference is no easy task but the Golden State Warriors are certainly making it look that way. The Warriors and their four all-stars have won four straight Western Conference finals so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see that they’re the odds-on favorite to win their fifth in a row.

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