Lakers and Clippers Nearly Co-Favored to Win NBA Western Conference

  • BetOnline’s updated odds have the Lakers (+225) and Clippers (+250) as the favorites to win the West
  • LeBron James and Anthony Davis are getting a surprising amount of support from the team’s veteran role players
  • Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers have defeated the Lakers twice this season

While the NBA is certainly more wide-open this year than it was during the Warriors’ recent dynasty, the first half of the season seems to be pointing towards an inevitable conclusion:

The Lakers and Clippers will play in the Western Conference Finals and the victor will go on to win the title.

Let’s examine the latest odds at BetOnline and determine which LA-based team will reign supreme in the West.

ODDS TO WIN NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE

Team Current Odds Trending Before Season
Los Angeles Lakers +225 +300
Los Angeles Clippers +250 +225
Houston Rockets +450 +400
Denver Nuggets +700 +1000
Dallas Mavericks +1000 +2500
Utah Jazz +1000 +900
Portland Trailblazers +3300 +2000
Oklahoma Thunder +5000 +6600
Phoenix Suns +5000 +25000
San Antonio Spurs +5000 +4000
New Orleans Pelicans +10000 +5000
Golden State Warriors +15000 +800
Minnesota Timberwolves +15000 +10000
Sacramento Kings +15000 +8000
Memphis Grizzlies +25000 +15000

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Anthony Davis is leading the team with 27.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while LeBron James is averaging 25.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-leading (and career-high) 11 assists.

However, while everyone knew LeBron and AD would form an imposing tag team, it was fair to wonder whether LA’s hilarious hodge-podge of past-their-prime players (Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Danny Green, etc.) would be enough to win an NBA title.

As discussed in our Pacific Division update, the formula appears to be working.

Highlighted by a ridiculous 20-block effort against the Pistons on Sunday (the most in an NBA game since 2001), the Purple & Gold lead the league in blocks (7.1), rank second in steals (8.6), and allow the sixth-fewest points per game (105.5).

Aside from two losses to their Staples Center roommates, the Lakers’ season could not be going better.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

The Clippers sit four games back of the Lakers in the Western Conference thanks to poor efforts against some of the league’s worst teams. The latest example being Saturday’s 26-point defeat to the under-.500 Memphis Grizzlies.

Doc Rivers’ club bounced back with a 135-132 win over the Knicks on Sunday, however, with both Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams scoring 30-plus off the bench. Along with pesty Patrick Beverly, the Clippers’ reserves still seem a bit more trustworthy come playoff time than the Lakers’ ragtag crew.

Kawhi Leonard has also proven to be King James’ kryptonite historically, famously besting him in the 2014 NBA Finals and already twice this season. On Christmas Day, The Klaw recorded 35 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to lead the Clippers to a 111-106 victory over the Lakers.

Currently, we prefer the Clip to win the West, but trades and buy-outs could change the calculus.

With the NBA trade deadline still a month away, either team could acquire the missing piece that makes all the difference in May.

Pick: LA Clippers (+250)

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.