The Western Conference should be a great watch down the stretch of the season. There are several questions yet to be answered, and 1-8, the standings could change a lot from now until April.
The Houston Rockets are one of the hotter ATS teams out West heading into the second half. Dwight Howard finally looks like Howard again after spending the better part of two seasons looking like a slightly above average center. Houston went 7-4 ATS in their final 11 games heading into the break, and if their balanced play continues they could still be a great bet in the final 30 games. However their title chances are a bit more questionable. I still don’t see them as more than the 4th or 5th best team in the West, and they trend of them covering is not long enough for me to become overly excited.
The Warriors have been the exact opposite recently. They have plummeted down to 8th in the West standings, and they have been an even worse ATS wager. The Warriors are only 24-28-1 ATS this season, and with no consistent second scorer outside of Stephen Curry, this team is pretty overvalued. A lot of people expected them to be better this season, and while they have plenty of time to turn things around in the second half, injuries and inconsistency are likely still going to plague them.
The Spurs have been struggling ATS heading into the break, and for the first time in nearly a decade, we are wondering whether the Spurs are becoming a team to fade instead of nearly blindly tailing them. San Antonio went 3-5 ATS heading into the break, and with all of the injuries they have experienced, it doesn’t surprise me they started to falter. However with guys like Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobli coming back soon, the Spurs could once again be a solid bet at some point this season. Even though they have been bad ATS, their SU record is still the 2nd best in the East, so it just goes to show you this team is still very good.
Some of the teams out West that are destined for the lottery can still be moneymakers for NBA bettors. The Lakers have been a prime example of this. Their injuries have made them chronically undervalued at certain times this season, and with some of their guys starting to come back after the break, it could really help their ATS prospects, or start to hurt them. Another team I like in the second half is the Grizzlies. They avoided crisis with the news that Marc Gasol has no new structural damage to his knee that he sprained two months ago. They are currently the best defensive team in the Western Conference by far. Another team might be the Kings. Don’t be fooled by Sacramento’s SU record. If they were in the East, they would be about .500 right now. The Kings have been especially good at home this season, and I expect that to continue.
Be sure to also check out NBA Betting: Eastern Conference Update