We have all of our divisional previews complete here at ATS, now it is time to look at the Conferences and how they might shake out come playoff time.
The Western Conference does not have all the necessary information to make a strong statement on who the best values are at this time. We knew the Warriors and Lakers were poor values, and their respective poor starts are not entirely unexpected, particularly not from the Lakers.
We have not seen enough of the Clippers at full strength to have a full understanding of what ceiling they truly bring. They are probably still the most likely to win the conference, but the odds reflect that. The Nuggets remain the best value, even though that figure has dropped from the +850 we had in the preseason.
We need another month or so to have any new updated bets on the Western Conference winner.
As has been the case for many years, the Western Conference once again brings more firepower than the Eastern Conference. The higher-end teams reside in the West. That holds particularly true once playoff time rolls around. Winning games in the regular season is a different beast than advancing through multiple playoff series. We will sift through each Conference, starting with the West, and find the best values and bets to be the last team standing once the playoffs have reached the NBA Finals.
Risk Free Bet
Odds To Win The Western Conference
Who Will Win The Western Conference
We can easily see that the Warriors and Clippers are the favorites in the Western Conference. This makes sense as these are two teams well built for the playoffs once that portion of the season arises. Of course we know the Warriors have the track record of winning NBA championships, as recently as last season. We have also seen Kawhi Leonard get the job done in Toronto with a similar or worse supporting cast than the one he has in Los Angeles. With a minimum of +330 return on either team, it is difficult to call either a bad bet. That said, the competition is stiffer than these odds are allowing credit for and we should look further down the line for a better value.
Next up on the odds list are the Suns and Lakers. The Lakers may be the worst value of any team in either conference. They should not be considered conference championship contenders. The Suns collapse last season does not bring motivation to put any sort of wager on them that includes the postseason. Particularly not at the third lowest price in the conference.
When we get to the next group of teams, that is where value meets realistic outcome and where we will start sifting to find the best bet. The Nuggets, Mavericks and Grizzlies all have quite realistic conference championship hopes and all bring a return of at least +850.
Both the Mavericks and Grizzlies showed what they are capable of last season. That is especially true with with the Mavericks. They showed what they are capable of come playoff time, making the Conference Finals. While either of these teams are sound value, they are not the team that can take the largest step forward this season.
The ATS.io Western Conference Pick & Prediction
The Nuggets were able to produce 46 wins last season while getting only a handful of combined games by what are easily their second and third best players. Now with the Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr back in the fold, they have as good a chance as any team to be the last team standing in the West. Also of note are returning and impressive second year Bones Hyland, along with Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green. Of course it is an immense help to have the back to back reigning MVP in Nikola Jokic.
Jokic is on a trajectory to be perhaps the most skilled big man of all time, and truly makes every player around him that much better. The incredibly well built roster returns all the key pieces, but that’s not all. The addition of Ketavious Caldwell-Pope at the two is underrated and a perfect fit. He will bring shot making ability and high end defense. With a pair of players in Murray and Porter with legitimate ability around Jokic that was lacking last season, the +850 return on the Nuggets is the best value and wager on the Western Conference winner.