- 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|
|San Antonio Spurs||+5000||↓||+4000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+10000||↓||+5000|
|Golden State Warriors||+15000||↔||+800|
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.
This LeBron pass.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 6, 2020
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.
— Complex (@Complex) January 5, 2020
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)