Training camps have begun and tip-off is less than a week away, so it’s time to preview the upcoming NBA season. With all the movement in the offseason it is likely that some new teams will rise to the tops of their divisions. Let’s take a look at the Pacific Division. – All odds according to Pinnacle Sportsbook, although other places like Bodog offer online NBA betting on these props as well.
Los Angeles Lakers (-101 to win Western Conference, +251 to win NBA title) Last Year: 57-25,1st in division – Until proven otherwise, this is still the best team in the league. The Lakers had a quiet but effective offseason by signing Steve Blake and Matt Barnes. They are the two-time defending champions and show no signs of slowing down. Better yet, if they make it to the NBA Finals again, their team matches up well against all of the teams that the Eastern Conference has to offer, especially the Heat. The Lakers are the only team in the league that has the size down low (Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom) to attack Miami’s weakness AND multiple perimeter defenders that can limit LeBron James and Dwayne Wade (Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, and Matt Barnes). Although Bryant is a year older and the odometer is high, he is still one the game’s best players. The Lakers should win this division with ease. Overall, the value to win the conference isn’t great, but seeing as they have won it the past three seasons it’s still worth it. Great team balance and experience also makes the Lakers a great bet to threepeat. Prediction: 58-24, 1st in division.
Phoenix Suns (+2005 to win Western Conference, +5440 to win NBA title) Last Year: 54-28, 2nd – This Suns teams is getting up there in age and losing Amare Stoudemire hurts their chances of reaching the NBA Finals. Still, any chance with Steve Nash on it has a chance. The Suns traded for Hedo Turkoglu to fill the void that opened after Stoudemire left. The move changes the approach of the team entirely. While Stoudemire is much more athletic than Turkolgu, Turkoglu has the ability to handle the ball, which could take some pressure off of Nash. The Suns have one of the league’s deepest bench, and it proved in last year’s playoffs that it has the capability to win games. This team isn’t as good as last year, and with virtually a nine-team race for the eight playoff spots, the Suns could find themselves outside looking in come spring. Even so, the Suns always seem to be in the mix and offer great long shot value. Prediction: 47-35, 2nd in division.
Los Angeles Clippers (+5267 to win Western Conference, +14127 to win NBA title) Last Year: 29-53, 3rd in division- This team will be better than last year, but that’s not saying much. Baron Davis and Chris Kaman are the team’s best players, but the future will be led by youngsters Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Griffin, if healthy, will be in the running for Rookie of the Year and will make an immediate impact. Picking up Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes in the offseason gives the team some needed depth. This team may not be great right now, but expect improvement. Prediction: 35-47, 3rd in division.
Sacramento Kings (+8846 to win Western Conference, +27162 to win NBA title) Last Year: 25-57, 5th in division – Tyreke Evans had one of the best rookie seasons in league history and looks to have a bright future. DeMarcus Cousins has the potential to win Rookie of the Year this season, and through Hassan Whiteside and Omri Casspi in the mix and this team has a young core to be excited about. They are still a few years away though. Prediction: 28-54, 4th in division.
Golden State Warriors (+6320 to win Western Conference, +17384 to win NBA title) Last Year: 26-56, 4th in division – Adding David Lee helps, but the Warriors lost a lot of their young talent this offseason. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combine to make an exciting backcourt, but this team doesn’t have much else to offer. Prediction: 24-58, 5th in division.
Overall- The Lakers are definitely worth the bet given their recent success, balance, and team depth. The Suns will be on the brink of making the playoffs, but do offer great value, especially as they were the three seed last year. The other three teams are not worth your money.
Remember that you can get NBA Basketball Picks from the best basketball handicappers out there. Also our NBA betting odds page will feature live point spreads on all the NBA betting action the entire season, a must have tool for NBA bettors this season.