- BetOnline favors the Los Angeles Lakers (+190) to win the Western Conference
- The Golden State Warriors (+550) need more than the healthy return of Klay Thompson to make a NBA Finals run
- Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic make Dallas (+1200) and Denver (+1200) intriguing longshots to win the West
Russell Westbrook is a former league MVP who has averaged a triple-double in four of his last five seasons, yet has developed a reputation as a stat-padder who can’t lead his team to victory.
Now paired with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on a Los Angeles team looking to win their second championship in three years, Westbrook’s arrival in Hollywood has made the Lakers prohibitive favorites to win the Western Conference. Before we look at the odds, make sure to check out our tips and advice for betting on basketball.
2022 Western Conference Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+190|
|Golden State Warriors||+550|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+2800|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+4000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+12500|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+15000|
Lakers open as heavy favorites
Father time is undefeated, but he may take a devastating beating from the Lakers (+190) this season. After suffering an injury-induced first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns last June, LeBron James brought in a slew of veterans (Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Carmelo Anthony) to help him on his quest towards a fifth title.
While the King will turn 37 this December, he’s shown no signs he will abdicate his thrown anytime soon. With Russ taking over a sizeable chunk of the scoring burden, Los Angeles could resemble the championship club that dominated in the Orlando bubble, assuming Anthony Davis can stay healthy for a change.
Wizards GM Tommy Shepard on trading Russell Westbrook to the Lakers
“Russ actually never asked to move on. He just said, ‘If I can get to the Lakers, that’d be something I would love to do. If not, I’ll be back here.’ I said, ‘What about the Clippers?’ He said, ‘Hell no.’” pic.twitter.com/xRKkE2UtUn
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) September 29, 2021
Golden State (+550) is priced like Western Conference contenders but Klay Thompson’s return from injury won’t be enough to get Steve Kerr’s club back to the NBA Finals. Until the hotstove indicates the Warriors are close to acquiring Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons or Damian Lillard, it’s best to stay away at these odds.
Similarly, we see Utah (+600) as strictly a regular season team and believe the Clippers are a better bet to miss the postseason at +210 than they are to win the West (+900).
Are the Mavs and Nugs worth a bet?
Luka Doncic and reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic make Dallas (+1200) and Denver (+1200) the best longshot bets to win the West. While both scenarios will likely require a Lakers star to get hurt, last year’s postseason proved that injuries have to be accounted for in the modern NBA.
The case for the Mavericks starts and ends with their Slovenian superstar, who is the 2022 NBA MVP favorite after averaging 27.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 8.6 APG last season. Unfortunately, however, replacing coach Rick Carlisle with Jason Kidd isn’t nearly enough for Dallas to ascend to Western Conference contenders.
Trae Young and Luka Dončić are leading a group of young NBA stars taking their teams to new heights.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 6, 2021
Instead, we prefer the Nuggets as our longshot wager out West. While Doncic has little help around him, Jokic shares a court with 6-foot-10 forward Michael Porter Jr., dunk machine Aaron Gordon and Canadian point guard Jamal Murray, who should be fully recovered from a torn ACL when the postseason rolls around.
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