The Western Conference once again looks like the story of one team: the Golden State Warriors. They had the highest win total entering the season and they have the most stacked roster in the NBA, possibly ever. They are a favorite for a very good reason and will very likely meet the Eastern Conference winner in the Finals. That said, anything can happen between now and June and there are some interesting odds here.
The Warriors at -233 to -263 is actually a steal. Consider the injuries they suffered last season as they went long chunks without one of Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry. Consider that even with that happening this team still won 58 games. They are great and they deserve all the hate/praise that they get.
After them is when things get interesting. The Rockets were very nearly in the Finals last year and took the Warriors to seven games. They missed a ton of threes in the deciding game and if they went in, who knows? Put a healthy Chris Paul in that game and who knows? The Warriors aren’t unbeatable and the Rockets actually put out a pretty good gameplan for doing so. James Harden is still the toughest offense player in this league and you just never know.
The team that will really get a lot of love in this category is the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James has been to the Finals so many times in a row that it’s hard to imagine him missing them. He’ll need to some big contributions from Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Can all four of those guys develop alongside him? Will we see a trade to add another star? It’s hard to imagine them doing this in LeBron’s first year there, but you are better off not betting against him at this point.
The most intriguing team to me on this list is the Utah Jazz. Donovan Mitchell is a future superstar in this league and they might have the best starting five out there. They have a ton of wings that they can throw at you, Rudy Gobert is a defensive god and they have a really smart coach. Last year, they had the best Defensive Rating in the league and I could see them topping that this year. This is a really good team. The Finals are a stretch, but weird things can happen in the playoffs.
The Thunder might get some play, but I just don’t see it. Russell Westbrook is who he is at this point and the book is out on him. He’ll get his numbers, but he won’t get the wins. Paul George is a great player, but the Jazz really killed the notion of Playoff Paul George in last year’s playoffs and I’m not sure he’ll be back.
Complete 2019 NBA Western Conference Division odds are below.
|Golden State Warriors||-233||-245||-263|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1025||+650||+700|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2600||+1500||+2200|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5700||+6000||+4000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+5700||+4000||+4000|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+15000||+10000||+8000|