The NBA Title Odds Are a Story About Consistency
With neither the Golden State Warriors or the Toronto Raptors expected to make a serious run at the NBA title this year, three teams were labeled as the favorites to win it all in 2020. Following an offseason with solid additions, the first two teams on the list are the LA Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. The third team on the list is the Milwaukee Bucks who have been playing some good basketball this year.
Did the games that occurred over the past week do anything to shake up the list in any way? Here’s an updated look at the teams with the best odds to win it all based upon how their teams performed over the past week (Dec. 30 through Jan. 5).
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Third-Best NBA Title Odds: Milwaukee Bucks (+300 – No Change From Last Week)
Although they continue to be the No. 3 team on the short list of true contenders, the Milwaukee Bucks put together another excellent week of basketball. They posted wins in each of their outings last week. After knocking off the Chicago Bulls by a 21-point margin, the Bucks barely got by the Minnesota Timberwolves, beating them by a narrow 106-104 margin. And they concluded their week with a 127-118 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Thanks to a perfect week, the Bucks improved to 32-5 – the best mark in the NBA.
Not only that, but the Bucks have the third-best offensive rating and the league’s top defensive rating. Furthermore, these guys are limiting opponents to just 41.1 percent shooting, which happens to be the lowest conversion rate in the league. Hopefully, this squad will get a bit more respect going forward because they have certainly earned it.
Second-Best NBA Title Odds: Los Angeles Lakers (+300 – No Change From Last Week)
As was the case with the Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers also played three games over the past week. And like the Bucks, they posted wins in each of those outings. They defeated the fading Phoenix Suns by a 117-107 margin. They followed that up with a 123-113 win against the New Orleans Pelicans and concluded their weekly slate of contests with 116-109 win over the Detroit Pistons. The most impressive outing of the bunch was the home win against the Pistons.
In that game, the Lakers blocked 20 shots. No, that is not a misprint. On the heels of their perfect week, the Lakers have now won five straight games following a four-game skid and they have the best record in the Western Conference at 29-7. Look for the Lakers to continue to be in the thick of the title chase as long as they can stay healthy.
Top NBA Title Odds: LA Clippers (+300 – No Change From Last Week)
The LA Clippers – who continue to be the frontrunners to win it all – played four games over the past week, posting wins in three of them. They kicked off their week with a pair of double-digit victories over the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons. Their next outing against the Memphis Grizzlies didn’t go as expected. The Grizzlies scored 40 points in the opening quarter and did not score less than 25 points in each of the subsequent frames.
When it was all said and done, the Grizzlies came out on top 140-114. Sure, the Clippers were without Paul George, but they still have enough talent to knock off a team not expected to compete for a postseason berth. As they have done most of the season following a loss, the Clippers bounced back with a 135-132 victory over the New York Knicks. It is understandable that championships aren’t won in January or April for that matter. At the same time, it’s kind of puzzling why this team continues to get the nod as the favorites to win the title when their counterparts have outperformed them over the past several weeks.