- BetOnline has the Utah Jazz (-125) as the slight favorite to win the Northwest after the offseason acquisition of Mike Conley
- The Denver Nuggets (+175) and star center Nikola Jokić look to repeat as division champs
- The Portland Trailblazers (+600) can’t be overlooked with one of the league’s best backcourts
Oklahoma City was the busiest team in the Northwest during the offseason, conducting a roster reset that reshaped the NBA power balance in sending Paul George (and as a result, Kawhi Leonard) to the Clippers and Russell Westbrook to the Rockets.
These moves, of course, also make the Thunder irrelevant in a strong division with a couple of pseudo-title-contenders in the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.
Let’s take a peek at the divisional odds at BetOnline to see who might end up on top.
NBA NORTHWEST DIVISION ODDS
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2000|
THE FAVORITE: UTAH JAZZ
In a Western Conference without Kevin Durant, is it possible Larry O’Brien (the championship trophy) relocates to Utah, marries a few sister wives, and settles down? Probably not. But the Jazz are division favorites after trading for point guard Mike Conley.
After 12 seasons of Grit & Grind basketball with the Grizzlies, the 31-year-old represents a huge upgrade at point guard from Ricky Rubio. Conley will form a dynamic backcourt with 22-year-old guard Donovan Mitchell, who averaged 26.7 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game over last season’s final 44 games.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 22, 2019
The Jazz also signed three-point specialist Bojan Bogdanović to add floor spacing, and still have back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert in the middle. If Mitchell can become a true star in his third season, this deep Utah team should win the division.
DIVISION DEFENDERS: DENVER NUGGETS
Both ESPN and CBS Sports have predicted the Nuggets to win the Western Conference, so betting for Denver to repeat as division champs at +175 could be a nice value.
The team’s primary offseason acquisition was 6-foot-9 forward Jerami Grant, whose ability to protect the rim and guard any position should greatly improve the team’s overall defense.
— Nuggets Nation (@NuggetsNationCP) August 16, 2019
Serbian center Nikola Jokic posted a career-high 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists last season, while Canadian guard Jamal Murray took his game to another level in the postseason, averaging 21.3 points per contest.
With more room for growth from both guys, the Nuggets just might stay on top of the mountain in the Northwest.
UNDERRATED: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Portland followed up their trip to the Western Conference Finals with a quietly effective offseason. While the rest of the league worries about losing their superstars to big-market clubs, the Trail Blazers can sleep easy knowing they have Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum under contract together for the next five seasons.
The team did it’s part to “Keep Portland Weird,” bringing in polarizing center Hassan Whiteside (and his mammoth $27.1 million expiring contract) to replace the injured Jusuf Nurkic.
— Blazers Nation (@BlazersNationCP) August 14, 2019
The Blazers also sent guard Evan Turner to Atlanta for forward Kent Bazemore, and signed 39-year-old Pau Gasol for added frontcourt depth.
Considering they finished only one game back of Denver for the division title and then went on to defeat them in round two of the playoffs, Portland likely deserves more respect than +600.