The new NBA season is just about to start and as we’ve been trawling through the stats and news we are going to share with you our predictions and betting tips for the Northwest Division outright winner market. We also bring you live betting odds comparison from the best bookies around to ensure you get the best value on your bets. The question is, of course, with such a strong favourite in the form of Oklahoma City Thunder, what bet should you place to give yourself the best chance of bringing in a decent cash haul?

When a sports team is available at best odds of just 1/25 in any betting market, you really have to question whether it’s worth betting at all; back the favourite and you’ll need to risk a hefty amount of cash to earn a meaningful return, or back an outsider who – according to the bookies – has very little chance of success. For us there is only one answer to this conundrum for the forthcoming season’s Northwest Division outright winner market: ignore the Thunder and back the Utah Jazz at enticing betting odds of 14/1 with Bet365.

While taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder might appear risky – or even foolish – when looking at the odds of just 1/25 on them topping the division, we predict the Thunder will not be the force some people expect them to be. They were mighty impressive at times last season, and Russell Westbrook shone in particular, scoring an astounding 1,886 points. But the fact remains, the team not only failed to finish top of the Northwest Division (that honour went to the Portland Trail Blazers), but they also failed to make the playoffs. Okay, they missed out by a slender margin with New Orleans taking the eighth and final playoff spot on account of their 3-1 head to head record with Oklahoma. But the Thunder could and should have ensured their position in the playoffs long before the end of the regular season and the lack of that killer instinct is what leads us to predict their failing again this season.

More questions are posed by the fact that Oklahoma sacked their head coach of seven years in the off-season and replaced him with a man without any NBA head coaching experience, Billy Donovan. The former University of Florida coach is likely to take some time to bed in, and with a team who will still be smarting from their failure to progress last season, we see this as a recipe for underperformance once more.

So, up step the Jazz, another side who underachieved last term but one which is on the up and which could take the Northwest Division outright betting by storm if things go their way early in the campaign. Last season was head coach Quin Snyder’s first in charge, and he clearly learned a lot as the months passed. We predict he will rally his troops this season and get them playing the kind of basketball that Jazz fans haven’t seen since the late 1990s. In Gordon Hayward and Trevor Booker they have the players to win games and, though we’re not urging a massive stake, our betting tip for the Northwest Division outright winner is to back the Utah Jazz at odds of 14/1 with Bet365.

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