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NBA Pacific Division Futures: Warriors Large Faves Despite Recent Struggles

NBA Pacific Division Odds January 4, 2019

The NBA’s Pacific Division has usually been all but decided since the 2014-15 season and oddsmakers have not budged on their prediction that the Golden State Warriors will take the divisional crown again.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors as -6000 favorites after opening them at -2000 to start the season, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at +1700, the Los Angeles Clippers at +1800, the Sacramento Kings at +4500 and the lowly Phoenix Suns at +100000.

Let’s break down the odds for each team and see if there’s value for betting against the juggernaut Warriors:

Golden State Warriors -6000

I’m not going to go all Skip Bayless on you right now and have some crazy hot take for why the Warriors won’t win the title or their division but there are clear warning signs that the end may be sooner than we thought. The Dubs’ defense has taken a nosedive this season as they rank 21st in points allowed per game and they have regressed in that category each season since their first title win in 2015.

Another troubling reason is their fortress at Oracle Arena isn’t as stout as it once was. From the 2014-15 to 2016-17 seasons (three years), the Warriors lost a total of nine games. Since the start of last season, they’ve dropped 18. Does that mean you should bet the house on another team? Not necessarily but it does mean that the -6000 is a little overinflated.

Los Angeles Lakers +1700

If you’re going to make a bet on any team other than the Warriors, it would have to be on the Lakers. They’re 3.5 games back of the Warriors for the division lead and are expected to have LeBron James back from injury soon, which could be a great push for them in the key part of the regular season. The Lakers’ next 20 games see them facing 13 teams with records below .500 and if they can get up for the remaining seven games against contenders, they could separate themselves from the Clippers. The price tag is decent but don’t forget that betting on any other team in this division is a gamble.

Los Angeles Clippers +1800

The Clip Show are a great story but they don’t have the overall talent to continue this incredible run. Oddsmakers didn’t have the Clippers even making the playoffs this year, let alone finishing the season with a winning record as the O/U win total was set at 36.5. Los Angeles ranks 24th in points allowed per game and although the Clippers are 6-1 SU in seven divisional games this year, it feels hollow when you get to play Sacramento and Phoenix in those games too.

Sacramento Kings +4500

Another great story of watching a franchise actually play competent basketball but this bet might be two seasons too early. The Kings are 19-19 SU in 38 games this season and while they are a great team to catch on NBA’s League Pass, they don’t have the defense necessary to win this division over Golden State. Sac-Town is 28th in points allowed per game and is just too young to compete with the veterans. I would not recommend a wager on Sacramento at any value.

Phoenix Suns +100000

To quote the highly philosophical Ariana Grande, “Thank u, next.”

2018-19 NBA Pacific Division Odds
Golden State Warriors-6000
LA Lakers+1700
LA Clippers+1800
Sacramento Kings+4500
Phoenix Suns+100000

Odds as of January 4 at Bovada

Archived Articles

Last season the Golden State Warriors opened the season with -10000 odds to win the Pacific Division, annihilating the market for futures action. While they’re not favored by quite as large a margin, the Warriors are a prohibitive preseason favorite in the NBA’s Pacific Division at -2000 odds.

That means to bet on Steve Kerr’s boys to win their fifth consecutive division title, you have to bet $2,000 to win $100. I mean, if you’re able to tie up that kind of money for such a small profit, by all means, but it won’t be a bet I’m making despite it being the next-best thing to a GIC.

New Faces in the Division (Lakers +700)

The dip from -10000 to -2000 for Golden State has less to do with their dominance in the division (which is well expected again, by the way) and more to do with the arrival in California of arguably the best player to ever step on the court. King James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason and he will be in tough to continue his unprecedented streak of appearing in eight consecutive NBA Finals.

If you’re not reminded of this fact, you may not believe it. The Lakers have missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. While they could very likely get back to the postseason in 2018-19, it’s unlikely they’ll do it as division champions even after adding Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley to insulate and support LeBron. But, if you’re looking for a team that COULD win the division should something disastrous happen to Golden State, it’s LA.

LA Clippers (+5000)

The Clippers will get some scraps from the table and may even win a couple of games against the top teams in the division. There’s plenty of uncertainty around the Clippers, just a couple of seasons removed from being the big brother at Staples Center. They’re now back to their familiar (some would say rightful) place as the second-tier team in LA. Things are likely to get worse before they get better for this franchise.

Phoenix Suns (+15000)

The Suns should be a fun team to watch for the next couple of seasons as first overall draft pick Deandre Ayton finds his way in the NBA. If he can replicate the success he had in high school and with the Arizona Wildcats, fans in Phoenix will be in for a treat. Suns fans are going to want to pick up a program on the way into Talking Stick Resort Arena for the first few games as Ryan McDonough was a busy man during the off-season.

Serbian Igor Kokoskov is the new man behind the bench for the Suns, although he’s not coming from the European professional leagues. After 18 years as an NBA assistant, he’ll get his first head coaching gig.

Trevor Ariza, who won a championship with LA in 2009, signed from Houston for one year at $15 million. Fans will also welcome rookies Mikal Bridges and De’Anthony Melton, former first-rounders Darrell Arthur and Ryan Anderson, and former Sixer Richaun Holmes. If you’re looking for a punt, go ahead. 

Sacramento Kings (+50000)

Unless you’re a Kings fan, you’ve probably never heard of most of the guys on the Kings roster. Don’t make this bet.

2018-19 NBA Pacific Division Odds
Golden State Warriors-2000
LA Lakers+700
LA Clippers+5000
Phoenix Suns+15000
Sacramento Kings+50000

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada