OKC Thunder Just 5 Games Back in Northwest, Now 20-1 Odds to Win Division

  • BetOnline’s updated odds have the Jazz (-150) as the favorites in the Northwest
  • The Nuggets (+120) are tied with Utah for the division lead with an identical 32-14 record
  • Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have the overachieving Thunder (+2000) in seventh place in the West

After dumping Russell Westbrook and Paul George in the offseason, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Thunder, but Sam Presti’s club sits just five games out of the division lead entering Wednesday night’s action.

Listed at +2000 to win the Northwest, is there value in betting Oklahoma City to leapfrog the Jazz and Nuggets? Let’s look at the updated odds at BetOnline and place our bets.

NBA NORTHWEST DIVISION ODDS

Team Current Odds Trending Nov. 21, 2019
Utah Jazz -150 +120
Denver Nuggets +120 -125
Oklahoma City Thunder +2000 +6000
Portland Trail Blazers +10000 +1400
Minnesota Timberwolves +100000 +1200

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Chris Paul sat out of Monday’s 107-97 loss to the Mavericks mourning the death of his friend Kobe Bryant. But before that tragic event, the 34-year-old was playing inspired basketball, averaging 17.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game while leading the league in clutch scoring.

Best of all, he’s helped the development of sophomore point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has almost doubled his scoring (19.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) output while playing an additional nine minutes per game.

Sitting in seventh in the Western Conference with a seven-game pad between them and the ninth-place Spurs, the Thunder should be applauded for making the playoffs — their 10th berth in 11 seasons in OKC — but it’s difficult to imagine them surpassing both Utah and Denver.

In fact, look for Presti to be a seller at the deadline. With Danilo Gallinari’s contract set to expire, the 6-foot-10 Italian has been one of the hottest names on the rumor mill after averaging 19 points per game with Oklahoma City.

UTAH JAZZ OR DENVER NUGGETS?

Favored in the preseason, Utah is again the division favorite (-150) over the Nuggets (+120) who were -125 chalk to win the Northwest when we last checked in two months ago.

Prior to Monday’s 126-117 loss to an undermanned Rockets team that was missing both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Jazz had won 19 of their past 21 contests to move within four games of the Lakers for the first seed in the Western Conference.

It should be noted, however, that Quin Snyder’s club mostly beat up on sub-.500 opponents during that stretch. And given the Jazz share an identical 32-14 record with Denver, the Nuggets might be the better value at +120 if point guard Jamal Murray can return from a sprained ankle that’s already sidelined him for seven games.

Rebounding from a sluggish start to the season, Nikola Jokic has become a triple-double machine over his past six games, averaging 23.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists.

Rookie Michael Porter Jr. has also been a revelation in his past five contests, averaging 16.8 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Assuming Denver can get healthy, they’re still the best bet to win the division.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.