NBA Western Conference Futures Picks: Phoenix Pulls Away

For most of the 2022 NBA season, the battle to win the NBA’s Western Conference was a two-team fight between the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors. As the season heads toward an end — the last game of the 2022 NBA regular season takes place on April 10 — the Suns have put a fair amount of distance between themselves and the Warriors, who are now the No. 3 team in the West. The Memphis Grizzlies have taken the second spot.

Meanwhile, the preseason favorites to win the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers, look like they will finish the season outside the playoffs this season.

Before we look at the best teams in the NBA’s Western Conference, be sure to check out the best NBA betting sites and our NBA Finals betting guide.

2022 Western Conference odds

To Win NBA Western ConferenceBetOnlineSportsBetting.agBetUSBookMaker
Phoenix Suns+115+115+115+106
Golden State Warriors+375+375+350+370
Memphis Grizzlies+550+550+600+655
Utah Jazz+1200+1200+1000+1275
Dallas Mavericks+1400+1400+1200+1100
Denver Nuggets+1400+1400+1200+1035
LA Clippers+1800+1800+1800+1850
Los Angeles Lakers+3300+3300+5000+5000
Minnesota Timberwolves+4000+4000+3300+5000
New Orleans Pelicans+12500+12500+15000+18500
San Antonio Spurs+20000+20000+25000+32500
Sacramento KingsTBATBA+50000+500000

Phoenix dominates

The Phoenix Suns will finish in the first spot in the standings. With a 62-16 record and four games left on their schedule, the Suns are seven games up on the second-place Memphis Grizzlies. With that, expect the Suns to rest some of their starters as the season winds to a close.

If the Suns win one of their final four games, they will set a franchise record for wins. The year they finished 62-20, which was during the 1992-93 season, Phoenix went to the NBA Finals. The Suns also had a 62-20 record in 2004-05. They lost in the Western Conference Finals that year.

Right now, it’s hard to see the Suns as anything but back-to-back winners of the Western Conference.

Phoenix SunsTO WIN 2022 NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+115
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Memphis gets hot

It’s never a bad thing when a team gets hot at the end of the regular season and that’s exactly what is taking place in Memphis right now. The Grizzlies started the season in rough shape, going 9-10 in their first 19 games. The Grizzlies are 12-3 since the start of March and are riding a seven-game winning streak as they head toward their final four regular-season games.

On April 1, the Grizzlies beat the Suns by a score of 122-114. In that game, only one of Memphis’ starters played. That win moved the team to 20-2 without the services of their star player Ja Morant, who is out of action with a knee injury.

Memphis is playing incredible team basketball, even without a single player averaging more than 20 points per game, without Morant on the court.

Memphis GrizzliesTO WIN 2022 NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+550
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Golden State Struggles

The Golden State Warriors were one of the hottest teams at the start of the season. The team began the season on an 18-2 run. Since the beginning of February, the Warriors have gone 12-16 and have not won more than four straight games. The team ended a rough 1-7 run with back-to-back wins to open April, but with only three games left on the schedule, the Warriors are not in a great place heading into the playoffs.

Golden State is unsure if star player Steph Curry will be in the lineup for the playoffs. Curry is out with a foot injury. Without Curry, the Warriors will struggle.

Golden State WarriorsTO WIN 2022 NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+350
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Our Pick

I think this comes down to Memphis and Phoenix, and with Phoenix having the experience edge in playoff basketball, Memphis has only made the playoffs twice and has never advanced past the first round; I expect the Suns will win the Western Conference in 2022.

Phoenix SunsTO WIN 2022 NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+106
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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