NBA Futures: 2020-21 NBA Western Conference Predictions, Odds & Preview

Kawhi Leonard celebrating with his Los Angeles Clippers teammates
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Andrew Ortenberg

NBA · 1 year ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The start of the 2020-21 NBA season is right around the corner, and here at Pickswise we’re going to be bringing you a ton of futures betting picks as we ramp up coverage. We’ve already done an Eastern Conference preview, as well as breakdowns of the MVP race and championship odds, with plenty more to come. Right now though we’ll be taking a look at the Western Conference and all the heavy hitters looking to emerge from it. Let’s dive in, with odds courtesy of DraftKings:

Los Angeles Lakers +140

Los Angeles Clippers +275

Denver Nuggets +1000

Dallas Mavericks +1100

Golden State Warriors +1400

Utah Jazz +1500

Phoenix Suns +2200

Portland Trail Blazers +2500

Houston Rockets +3000

New Orleans Pelicans +3500

Memphis Grizzlies +8000

San Antonio Spurs +8000

Minnesota Timberwolves +10000

Oklahoma City Thunder +10000

Sacramento Kings +10000

There’s a massive gap between the two Los Angeles teams and everybody else, and honestly it’s hard to argue with that. The Suns have clearly caught a little buzz after their trade for Chris Paul this offseason, leaping to the seventh-best odds after failing to make the playoffs last year. The Warriors are an interesting one after they were one of the worst teams in the league last season, but obviously they’ll be a lot better this time around with Stephen Curry returning and James Wiseman added.

Best long-shots

I think there’s a lot of value here with the Rockets at 30/1. How quickly everyone seems to have forgotten that this is a team that very easily could’ve gone up 3-0 on the Lakers in the second round if not for a couple of late fourth-quarter meltdowns. James Harden is obviously still seeking a trade and that would blow up this ticket, but Houston seems quite content to hold onto him. Harden will almost certainly like playing with John Wall better than Russell Westbrook, and if he stays put I don’t see any reason to believe this team won’t once again have one of the highest ceilings in the league. At this price you have to bet it, as there’s a plausible scenario where everything works out perfectly if Harden is happy and Wall and Demarcus Cousins return to pre-injury form.

I’m also taking a nibble on the Timberwolves at 100/1. They already have a generational talent in Karl Anthony-Towns, and quietly have some really nice pieces around him. Malik Beasley was on fire after getting traded to Minnesota right before the shutdown, and I love the acquisition of Ricky Rubio this offseason. D’Angelo Russell also only got to play 12 games with his new team last season, and I think he could finally take the next step this year. If first overall pick Anthony Edwards plays to his potential, this team might be really good.

Best bet

If those two are a little too risky for your blood, I think the Clippers make the most sense at +275. They had all the talent to make it to the finals last year, there was just too much dysfunction in the organization. The locker room was clearly toxic, as evidenced by Doc Rivers’ comments after his departure. I think things will be much healthier this time around, and now that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have had a year to play together it’ll be a lot smoother. Adding Nic Batum and Serge Ibaka were sneaky good pickups, and this team is going to be incredibly deep. They’ll have a huge chip on their shoulder after all the slander they caught the past few months, and that’ll be great motivational fuel for their eventual playoff run.

Pickswise is the home of free NBA Picks and Predictions. Check out our daily NBA Prop BetsNBA Parlays and NBA Best Bets throughout the entire NBA season.

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