The National Basketball Association is made up of 30 teams (29 in the United States, and one – Toronto – in Canada). These 30 teams are split up into two conferences. One is called the Eastern Conference (i.e., the “NBA East”), and the other is called the Western Conference (“NBA West”). Each conference, which features 15 teams in total, is further divided into divisions. Each division includes five teams.
The West is broken down into three divisions: the Southwest, Pacific, and Northwest. The eight teams that finish the regular season with the best record in the conference qualify for the playoffs. One team makes it out of the Western Conference Playoffs, qualifying for the NBA Finals, where it squares off with the lone team to emerge from the East. Bettors are able to wager on who will win each conference and division. We are here to help you understand the odds to win the West and each of its divisions, leading to a big pay day in 2019.
Understanding NBA West Odds
Before we dive into the West breakdown, we will quickly recap how to read the odds. Below, you’ll see each team name with a plus or minus sign next to it. If the team has a minus sign after its name, the number that follows indicates how much money you would have to wager to win $100. For example, the Rockets have -110 odds of winning the Southwest – that means you would need to wager $110 to win $100 if Houston won its division.
The plus sign, alternatively, shows how much you would win on top of a $100 bet. For example, the Spurs have +110 odds to win the Southwest. That means if you bet $100 on the Spurs, you’d cash out with $210 if they won the division.
Odds to Win the NBA Southwest Division
Houston Rockets -165
San Antonio Spurs +500
New Orleans Pelicans +600
Memphis Grizzlies +900
Dallas Mavericks +1000
This Rockets should cruise to a Southwest title. After adding DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs have some talent, and they have arguably the best coach in the game in Gregg Popovich. But the Rockets finished last season with the league’s best record, and James Harden and Chris Paul should be hungrier than ever after a devastating Western Conference Finals loss to the Warriors that proved they are right on the precipice of greatness.
Odds to Win the NBA Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors -5000
LA Lakers +1600
LA Clippers +2000
Sacramento Kings +4000
Phoenix Suns +100000
The Pacific is extremely top-heavy. The Warriors are heavy favorites to win not only the division but also the conference and the league championship. The Lakers are their only real competition. The Clippers have a scrappy squad that could fight for a playoff berth, but they won’t pose a threat to Golden State. Look for the Warriors to win their division easily.
Odds to Win the NBA Northwest Division
Denver Nuggets +170
Oklahoma City Thunder +205
Portland Trail Blazers +375
Utah Jazz +700
Minnesota Timberwolves +1200
The Northwest is clearly the deepest and most competitive division in the West. This division truly could belong to any of its five teams. Though the Thunder have the best odds of coming out victorious, we favor the Jazz. Utah’s defense is otherworldly, and Donovan Mitchell continues to come into his own as one of the game’s best young players. Don’t be surprised if Denver also contends for the Northwest crown.
Odds to Win the NBA Western Conference
Here are each team’s odds to win the NBA Western Conference Championship in 2018-19.
Golden State Warriors -250
Houston Rockets +850
Los Angeles Lakers +1100
Oklahoma City Thunder +1100
Denver Nuggets +1800
Utah Jazz +3000
New Orleans Pelicans +3100
San Antonio Spurs +4000
Los Angeles Clippers +5000
Portland Trail Blazers +5000
Memphis Grizzlies +6000
Dallas Mavericks +7000
Minnesota Timberwolves +7000
Sacramento Kings +10000
Phoenix Suns +75000
Analyzing the NBA West Odds
Golden State has come out of the West four years in a row, but Houston claimed the West’s best regular season record in 2017-18. If it weren’t for an untimely injury to Chris Paul and some ice-cold shooting from downtown, the Rockets very well could have won the West. It’s no surprise that these two teams have the best odds again this year.
Golden State is the safest bet – it would be surprising for the loaded Warriors, who added DeMarcus Cousins, to be dethroned in 2018-19. But betting on Golden State comes at a steep price, and the payoff would be minimal.
Houston is a good bet at +550, as the Rockets have the best chance of anyone at taking down Golden State. Though that seems unlikely – the Rockets lost valuable perimeter defenders Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza this offseason – the line makes this bet interesting.
The Lakers are also an intriguing bet at +650. Los Angeles wasn’t even a playoff team last year, but the Lakers added the best player in the league this summer. Given the continued development of L.A.’s young core and addition of feisty veterans like Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo, Luke Walton’s squad could turn some heads this season.
If you’re looking for a longshot, roll the dice on the Utah Jazz at +3500. The Jazz have played the Warriors tough in the past, and they have one of the best young coaches in the game, as well as a star who can take over in crunch time.
Strategy for Betting NBA West Futures
Futures bets are a type of NBA betting line based on an event that will be decided further down the road. For example, this includes the odds to win the division or odds to win the conference, as we’ve mentioned above. There are a few important strategies to keep in mind when you’re betting futures like these. Let’s go over them so you have a better chance at winning your bet:
Note How the Team Finished the Season
Seeing how the team finished the previous year is a telltale sign of how they’ll perform in the coming year (assuming the roster is similar). For example, a young team that won 10 games to the end the season could carry that momentum over. Or a team that lost seven of its last eight games could be foreshadowing even greater struggles. Keep an eye on a team’s momentum of and how it finished the previous season.
Track the Offseason Changes
There’s plenty of movement in the modern NBA, so keep your finger on the pulse of transactions. Some teams will fire coaches and change their entire team philosophy. Some teams, feeling they are on the right track, will merely add to what they have. Monitor the news from free agency as well as the NBA Draft. Teams can acquire key players that can change the course of their season (like the Lakers acquiring LeBron James this summer). Paying attention makes it much easier to predict a team’s outcomes.
Know the Strength of Schedule
Once the annual schedule is released, every team’s strength of schedule gets graded. That’s important to track, because some teams will play easier schedules and some will have harder foes to match up with. For example, the Thunder, Jazz, and Nuggets are in the same division, so they’ll play each other more frequently. That figures to be much more challenging than the Rockets playing against lesser competition. Take note of who has an easier or more difficult schedule, as that’s important for betting futures.