- BetOnline has the Los Angeles Lakers as huge favorites (+190) to win the Western Conference
- The Golden State Warriors (+525) will welcome back All-Star guard Klay Thompson from a two-year injury absence
- Dallas (+1200) failed to bring in a second star to shoulder the load with Slovenian stud Luka Doncic
With both Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal reportedly content in Portland and Washington, the only disgruntled NBA star that could cause the futures market to shift is Ben Simmons. The 25-year-old Aussie is threatening to hold out of Sixers training camp when it gets underway this Tuesday in hopes of forcing a trade out West.
The three California teams at the top of Simmons’ preferred list are reportedly the Warriors, Lakers and Clippers – but Golden State is the only one of the three with the young assets and future picks necessary to make a deal happen.
Is it worth making a speculative bet on the Warriors 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||+525|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+2800|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+4000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+12500|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+15000|
LeBron and the Lakers
The Lakers (+190) are prohibitive favorites to return to the NBA Finals after losing their first-round series against Phoenix last year. While the defeat could be blamed on Anthony Davis’ groin injury keeping him out of big chunks of Game 4, Game 5 and Game 6, Los Angeles retooled in the offseason, bringing in veterans Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.
Hoops Twitter has taken their fair share of potshots at the “Purple & Old’s” aging roster, but KIng James and the Lakers are clearly the class of the Western Conference.
Western Conference Contenders
The Golden State Warriors (+525) missed the postseason two years in a row, but swingman Klay Thompson believes he can still play at a high level after suffering an ACL tear in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and then tearing his Achilles last November while rehabbing.
While Thompson won three NBA titles with Steph Curry and Draymond Green, it’s unlikely the trifecta will reform a dynasty anytime soon without shipping their recent draft picks (James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody) to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons. The only problem, of course, is with the Sixers also in win-now mode with Joel Embiid, the two teams will have to pull a third club into the deal.
Klay Thompson and James Wiseman’s recovery is going well 😊 pic.twitter.com/rArHab4Sw6
— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) September 21, 2021
It’s hard to get excited for the teams out West. The Suns (+650) are probably relying too much on a 36-year-old Chris Paul, everyone knows Utah (+650) is strictly a regular-season team, the Clippers (+850) could be without Kawhi Leonard all season and Dallas (+1200) failed to bring in a second star alongside Luka Doncic,
That leaves Denver (+1200) as the best longshot bet on the board. If forward Michael Porter Jr. can take another step forward and point guard Jamal Murray can return healthy for the playoffs, the Nuggets will have a strong lineup around reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and deadline acquisition Aaron Gordon.
While the Nugs’ roster doesn’t quite resemble a championship contender, they might be able to make a Phoenix-like run to the NBA Finals if the Lakers succumb to injuries once again.
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