In this article we analyze Bovada’s NBA odds to win each division in the Western Conference and offer our predictions based on how each team performed last year and how they prepared for this season.
As usual, the Western Conference won’t be short of storylines. The defending champion Warriors want to start a dynasty, Kevin Durant is ready to reclaim his status as MVP, the Clippers and Spurs made some serious moves and almost every team has a chance to reach the playoffs, which means that most of the division races will be wide open.
The Warriors (-30000) bring back most of their championship roster, which makes them the best team in this Division, at least on paper. The backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is one of the best in the NBA and the team’s starting lineup is balanced. Injuries are Golden State’s only concern as Curry and Andrew Bogut have had issues in the past.
The Clippers (+2500 NBA odds at Bovada) are the team with the best chance to overtake the Warriors in this division. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are all back and the additions of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson make them a serious candidate to win the NBA Championship.
The Kings, Suns and Lakers made interesting moves but all have a very slim chance to win the division. DeMarcus Cousins is a stud but Sacramento’s roster lacks talent, even with Rajon Rondo at point guard. The Lakers have a bright future with D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle providing a solid foundation and they have a chance to reach the playoffs but Kobe Bryant’s health is a big question mark.
The Suns have some talent but they still miss Goran Dragic. Adding Tyson Chandler is a step in the right direction but they need more key pieces in order to challenge the Warriors and Clippers.
The Southwest Division is still the best in the NBA. The Spurs (-30000) signed LaMarcus Aldridge, the biggest free agent, and they also added David West while keeping most of their roster intact. San Antonio could very well have the best team in the entire NBA and they look poised for another title run.
The Rockets have shifted their odds from +250 to +3300, which might add value to your NBA picks if you're feeling adventurous. Houston can contend in this division as long as Dwight Howard stays healthy, James Harden has another MVP season and Ty Lawson gels with them.
The Grizzlies (+3000) have a season win average of 54 over the last three years and they have most of their roster from 2014-15 back but they might be in for a small step back.
Anthony Davis (+3500) is becoming a mega star and he makes the Pelicans a dangerous team but New Orleans doesn’t have enough talent surrounding Davis to have a chance at winning this extremely competitive division.
Losing out on DeAndre Jordan and the departures of Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo along with a lack of significant additions make the Mavericks the favorites to finish last in this race.
The Northwest Division is probably the easiest to predict in the league. The Thunder (-30000) missed the playoffs for the first time in six years but they’re the clear favorites to win this division. Russell Westbrook almost took the Thunder to the playoffs all by himself… so imagine what can happen if Kevin Durant is back and at 100 percent. Oklahoma City will cruise to a division title and they can even make a championship run as long as Durant and Westbrook stay healthy.
The rest of the teams in this division have enough talent to reach the playoffs but not to challenge the Thunder. The Timberwolves (+100000) will be fun to watch with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio but they are extremely young and inexperienced.
The Jazz (+2800) have talented players like Gordon Hayward, Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors that can help them make a run at the No.8 seed but not at the division title.
The Trail Blazers lost five of their top six scorers, including LaMarcus Aldridge and they could face a big drop off, even with Damian Lillard leading the team and the Nuggets can have a bright future with Emannuel Mudiay at point guard but this will not be the year they challenge the Thunder in this division.
Northwest Division Odds
Denver Nuggets (+15000)
Minnesota Timberwolves (+100000)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-30000)
Portland Trail Blazers (+4000)
Utah Jazz (+2800)