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How the West was won: Betting on the NBA Western Conference winner


Here’s a look at the Top 4 teams in the West.

How the West was won: Betting on the NBA Western Conference winner | News Article by

The NBA Playoffs are underway and if we’ve learned anything from the past three postseasons it’s that bettors shouldn’t expect too many surprises. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers – the two top teams in their respective conferences, regardless of seeding – have met in three straight NBA Finals and there’s a good chance they could do it again.

However, the Western Conference isn’t as wide open in 2018, with the Houston Rockets earning the No. 1 seed, and the Warriors limping into the playoffs with a long list of injuries to key contributors. That’s swung the Western futures and opens up value on the conference title.

Here’s a look at the Top 4 teams in the West with their nba betting lines and why they could claim the conference crown and a spot in the NBA Finals:

Houston Rockets (-105 to win West)
The Rockets look like the team best suited to snap the Warriors’ run in the Western Conference playoffs. Houston not only topped the NBA with its best record, but it knocked off Golden State in two of their three meetings this season.

The Rockets can match the firepower of the Warriors thanks to their prowess from beyond the arc. Houston knocks down more than 15 3-pointers per game and picks up almost 41 percent of its total points from distance – averaging 112.4 points per game.

James Harden has benefited greatly from having Chris Paul in the backcourt, allowing him to create shot chances away from the basketball while also taking some of the scoring burden off his shoulders. For a team that puts up so many points, Houston plays a fairly subdued pace and is among the Top 10 defensive rebounding teams in the NBA – limiting opponents second-chance buckets.

Perhaps the biggest feather in Houston’s cap entering the postseason is that their roster is relatively healthy – save for the loss of Luc Mbah a Moute until May.

Golden State Warriors (-105 to win West)
On paper, the Warriors should walk over their opponents in the opening two rounds of the postseason. But, Golden State hasn’t been healthy since February and that’s reflected in the results. The Dubs limped into the playoffs and may take some time to find their footing as stars begin to return to the lineup, facing a physical Spurs team in Round 1.

Stephen Curry is expected to miss the opening round of the postseason and the team just returned shooting guard Klay Thompson from a thumb injury. Forwards Draymond Green and Kevin Durant also enter the tournament with lingering health issues, and the playoff grind won’t give the Dubs much time to heal up. But this is Golden State, and its surplus of talent allows it to cruise in the opening rounds and turn up the intensity for the conference finals and – possibly – the NBA Finals.

Portland Trail Blazers (+2,500 to win West)
If the jump in futures price wasn’t enough to show the gap between the West’s two top seeds and the rest of the conference, the fact Portland is just a -220 favorite versus New Orleans in the opening round is more than enough evidence.

Portland does have Damian Lillard, who can take over games, and the Trail Blazers are among to top defensive clubs in the NBA, giving up only 103 points on 44 percent shooting per game. They did go 2-1 versus Golden State but just 1-3 in four meetings with Houston.

Oklahoma City Thunder (+3,000 to win West)
Things could get interesting for the Thunder. Oklahoma City takes on a tough Utah squad in the opening round, but OKC is battle tested heading into the playoffs. The team faced a challenging schedule over the final two months, and went 2-1 versus Houston and 2-2 against Golden State.

The Thunder can match the star power of these top-tier opponents, but must get out of the first round if they want a shot at those teams – and it’s not going to be easy versus the Jazz.

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