NBA Western Conference update
Let’s take an updated look on my power rankings in the Western Conference and in light of recent events, let’s see if anything has changed over the last week and how it could affect you NBA picks.
- San Antonio Spurs (54-17 SU, 37-32-2 ATS, 1st in West standings)
The Spurs are no longer the most underrated squad in the West right now when it comes to against the spread, and despite missing Tony Parker for the better part of March, San Antonio is still 1 ½ games up on the Thunder with 11 games to play.
The Spurs have only lost four times SU this season at home, something only the Heat and Nuggets have bested. Since it seems the correction for the Spurs has come already, I doubt you’ll be able to make much money on the Spurs at a game to game basis for the rest of the season. As soon as they have anything close to a clinch of that top spot, they will start resting their players. It wouldn’t even surprise me if the Spurs’ big three started playing less minutes starting now. I’m staying away from the Spurs.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (53-19 SU, 42-27-3 ATS, 2nd in West standings)
It remains to be seen if the Thunder can catch the Spurs for the top spot in the West. I’d say OKC has a slightly easier schedule, but they do have some road games that will be tough. Either way the Thunder have been very profitable over the last few weeks, and it looks as if they are rounding into form.
I am still skeptical (as I mention this a lot) if they can win a deep rounded playoff series with Kevin Martin instead of James Harden, but for now, the Thunder are somehow being undervalued some by the books.
- Los Angeles Clippers (49-23 SU, 39-32-1 ATS, 3rd in West standings)
LA has also been on a nice streak of covering over the last few weeks, but the books tend to correct more for them than they do for San Antonio or OKC. The Clippers have made themselves almost firmly out of reach for one of top two spots, as they are 5 ½ back of the Spurs and four games back of the Thunder with about ten to go.
The Clippers will however host a home playoff series, and will almost surely play one of the above teams in the second round, whoever does not get the 1st seed. LA could be poised for a run, but any value you could be getting day to day or even in the future odds is masked by if they rest guys down the stretch or not, something I think Vinny Del Negro could do if their playoff seed is in hand within the next few weeks.
- Denver Nuggets (49-24 SU, 44-29 ATS, 4th in West standings)
You’d think that a huge 16 game SU winning streak would catch the eyes of the books, but apparently it didn’t. The Nuggets are still one of the most profitable teams in the West, and I see no reason why they can’t continue it.
The Nuggets and Grizzlies have become the perennial undervalued teams in the NBA, and with a dozen games to go, keep taking them game to game.
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- Memphis Grizzlies
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Los Angeles Lakers