NBA Odds Darkhorses to Win the Western Conference

David Lawrence

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 1:09 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 1:09 PM GMT

The Western Conference has heavy NBA betting favorites everyone knows about but is there room for a team to emerge and win the conference? Here are some longshots worth considering for your NBA picks.

1.  Dallas Mavericks

NBA Odds To Win The West: +1000

This is the team outside the expected top three that could really make some noise in the West as a potential championship contender. It might almost be giving Dallas too little credit to call the Mavericks a darkhorse in the West. This team very nearly defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 Western Conference playoffs, taking the eventual champions to seven full games. Dallas became a better team because Monta Ellis, fresh from basketball purgatory in Milwaukee with the Bucks, was surrounded by far better players. He was able to command the ball in isolation and allow his speed to take over. He was able to take his man off the dribble and cause many problems for San Antonio’s defense, not to mention just about every other defense the Mavericks faced. Dallas’ offense rounded into shape in the playoffs, and had the Mavericks been able to make just a few more plays in Game 4 of a series they led, 2-1, they just might have been able to knock out the Spurs. This team now has Tyson Chandler, Jameer Nelson, and its featured acquisition, Chandler Parsons, as new pieces to the puzzle. Dallas is going to be a very tough team to deal with.

 

2. Phoenix Suns

NBA Odds To Win The West: +2500

The Suns have to prove that they can make the playoffs, but on the other hand, they are so young and talented that after finishing ninth in last season’s Western Conference race, they could have a higher ceiling than some of the teams that made the playoffs last season and finished fifth through eighth. The Suns have a budding superstar in Goran Dragic, and they are very quick at all the other spots on the court. If head coach Jeff Hornacek, who did such a great job with this team in his first season as an NBA head coach, can do an equally good job with this next team, the Suns could soar far higher than a lot of experts are ready or willing to acknowledge. This team could jump past several others in the Western Conference’s new pecking order.

 

3. Golden State Warriors

NBA Odds To Win The West: +1200 at Bet365

The Warriors might not be likely to cause problems, but they’re a team that could certainly explode and catch a lot of experts off guard. Maybe, on one hand, losing head coach Mark Jackson will kill the Warriors this next season. That’s one possibility. However, the other possibility needs to be considered before placing your NBA picks, and that’s the Warriors opening up their game under new coach Steve Kerr. It’s true that Kerr is a coaching unknown, much as Jackson was when he joined the Warriors a few seasons ago. Jackson was not expected to work out by many analysts, so if Kerr works out, the Warriors might be able to go even higher than they did under Jackson. If this team can get defense near the basket and find new toughness under Kerr, Golden State could pull a few playoff upsets.

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