With the 2015-16 NBA season starting on 27th October, now is the time to get your outright winner bets on a number of markets, not least on which team will become champions of the Western Conference. Here we take a look at the likely contenders as we bring you the latest betting tips, live odds comparison and predictions for what will happen on the west side of the NBA.
With five of the last seven NBA champions (including the last two) hailing from the Western Conference, there is no doubt that there is plenty of quality to be found across the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest Divisions. But it is also apparent there are very few teams who stand a realistic chance of challenging to become outright winners of the Western Conference given that each division has an odds-on favourite with the bookies. In reality we feel there are but three true contenders to become champions of the Western Conference, unless something strange happens. These sides are Oklahoma City Thunder, current NBA champions Golden State Warriors and 2014 champions San Antonio Spurs.
The Northwest Division looks the easiest to predict with most bookies offering betting odds of just 1/25 or shorter for Oklahoma City Thunder to prevail, and yet they are only the 5/1 third-favourites with Sky Bet to win the Conference. Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, are priced at 1/2 with most bookmakers to finish atop the Pacific Division, while Bet365 priced them as the 14/5 second-favourites for the Conference. Finally, San Antonio Spurs might be the favourites with the bookies in the outright betting for the Western Conference at 9/4, again with Bet365, but they have perhaps the toughest task to top their division. They are priced around the 5/6 mark to end the regular season at the top of the Southwest Division, though the likes of the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies might have something to say about that.
Oklahoma made some significant changes in the off-season as they sacked head coach Scott Brooks – who had been at the helm for seven years and who led them to the NBA finals in 2012 (which the side lost 4-1 to Miami Heat). The Thunder failed to make the playoffs last season by the narrowest of margins, New Orleans claiming the eighth spot from the Western Conference based on their 3-1 head to head record with Oklahoma. Brooks paid for that failing with his job and he has been replaced by Billy Donovan, who led the University of Florida side to back to back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007. Whether Donovan can make it in the cut and thrust of the NBA remains to be seen, but this uncertainty is enough to make us look elsewhere for our Western Conference betting tips.
San Antonio are worthy favourites for their consistency over the last few seasons and a roster of players that is well-balanced and full of dynamism. But having only 26th pick in the draft and some questionable additions in the form of free agents leaves us wondering whether the Spurs can maintain their challenge in the Southwest Division.
Instead we predict it will be the Pacific Division’s Golden State Warriors who are crowned champions of the Western Conference and they are our main betting tip at best betting odds of 14/5 with Bet365. Not since the Lakers’ victories of 2009 and 2010 has a side retained the NBA championship, and we are not convinced Golden State can do that, but we do feel they have enough to at least make it to final, so back them now for the Western Conference at very fair odds.Google+