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NBA Western Conference Odds (As of Nov. 22)
Los Angeles Clippers 3.00
Los Angeles Lakers 3.40
Houston Rockets 5.50
Utah Jazz 8.00
Denver Nuggets 9.00
Portland Trailblazers 22.00
San Antonio Spurs 30.00
Dallas Mavericks 35.00
The Los Angeles Lakers are living up to the aura that surrounds their name, with the best record in the NBA this season. And it looks like there’s no team that can stop their momentum.
After the retirement of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers struggled to rebuild their team. Bryant’s retirement led to six years of not making it into the playoffs, however, during this time the Lakers were drafting young players for their rebuild. After receiving LeBron James through free agency, and trading for Anthony Davis, the all-new Laker look like true title contenders.
Since losing their first regular-season game to the rival Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers have been untouchable. They have had convincing wins over the Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, and San Antonio Spurs. These wins have seen the Lakers take the early pole position in the race for the NBA Championship.
As of Thursday, the Lakers had odds of 3.40 to win the Western Conference at PlayNow.com. Bettors have been bullish on the Lakers winning, with more than 50 per cent of the money wagered L.A. to claim the Western Conference.
A lot of the success of the Lakers can be attributed to their all-star worthy line up, comprised of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma. James’ veteran experience coupled with the athleticism of Davis and the youth of Kuzma has made the Lakers a force to be reckoned with on either side of the ball.
All three are early contenders for some of the league’s individual awards.
As of Thursday at PlayNow.com, Kuzma had odds of 15.00 to win the Sixth Man of the Year title, Davis had odds of 3.00 to be the Defensive Player of the Year, and James had odds of 7.25 to be the regular season MVP.
We cannot talk about the battle for the Western Conference title without mentioning the new-look Clippers. After losing five of their first 15 games, the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-led Clippers are currently ranked fourth in the West. However, bettors are not seeing this as a big concern. The second-largest percentage of money wagered on the Western Conference market is on the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard currently has the seventh-best odds to win the regular season MVP – 20.00 at PlayNow.com, while Paul George has the sixth-best odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year award – 15.00 at PlayNow.com.
Although the spotlight is on the two Los Angeles teams, there are more title contenders in the West.
As of Thursday, the Rockets had odds of 5.50 to win the Western Conference. Over the off-season, the Rockets signed former MVP Russell Westbrook to play alongside James Harden. The two ball-dominant guards have reignited their chemistry from the days when they played with the OKC Thunder and have made the Rockets an offensive powerhouse.
Harden has the second-best odds to win regular season MVP – 4.70 at PlayNow.com. The second-largest amount of money wagered on the MVP market is on Harden winning.
Another team to look out for in the West is the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have the second-best record in the Western Conference. As of Thursday, the Nuggets had odds of 9.00 to win the Western Conference.