Why the Top Three Teams with the Best NBA Title Odds Are Not Moving
One of three teams that have dominated the conversation as potential NBA title contenders include the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the best record in the league last year. The other two teams are the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers who each have two of the best players in the league on their respective teams. Will this trio of teams continue to be the favorites to win it all this year? Here’s an updated look at how these teams are ranked based upon how they performed over the past week (Jan. 6 through Jan. 12).
|Los Angeles Clippers|
|Los Angeles Lakers|
Third-Best NBA Title Odds: Milwaukee Bucks (+300 – No Change from Last Week)
The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their slate of games with an uninspired outing against the San Antonio Spurs. In that contest, the Spurs knocked down a season-best 19 shots from 3-point range en route to a surprising 126-104 route against the team many have predicted will represent the east in the NBA Finals. Not to panic though Bucks fans. Despite their five-game winning streak being snapped, the Bucks bounced back with wins against the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and the Portland Trail Blazers, finishing with a 3-1 mark over the past week.
Although they have the league’s best record and are a top-three team at both ends of the court, the Bucks continue to come in at the No. 3 spot on the list of title contenders. I believe that should change at some point.
Second-Best NBA Title Odds: Los Angeles Lakers (+300 – No Change from Last Week)
The Los Angeles Lakers, who are the top team in the Western Conference, had a solid week as well. After blowing out the New York Knicks by a 30-point margin (117-87), they concluded their week with a 15-point victory over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks and a 15-point win against the Washington Wizards. On the heels of a perfect week, the Lakers have now reeled off eight straight and they have a five-game lead in the standings over the Denver Nuggets.
It is also worth mentioning that Anthony Davis has been out of the lineup over the past two games due to a lower back injury. Like the Bucks, the Lakers are playing well on both offense and defense as they have the fourth-best offensive rating in the league (112.9 points per 100 possession) and the third-best defensive rating in the league (104.6 points per 100 possessions).
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Top NBA Title Odds: LA Clippers (+300 – No Change from Last Week)
The LA Clippers had a five-day layoff prior to their first game over the past week. And unlike their competition, they played only two games during that stretch. As expected, they knocked off a depleted Golden State Warriors squad by a 109-100 margin. However, their outing against the Nuggets was a different story. They were behind by as many as 20 points in the second half but managed to trim the deficit to just six points at the 1:11 mark.
Thanks to a pair of free throws by both Nikola Jokic (20 points and 15 rebounds) and Jamal Murray, the Nuggets pushed their lead back to double digits and went on to win 114-104, despite going the last six minutes of the contest without recording a field goal. Will this team continue to hold down the spot despite their inconsistent play? Only time will tell.