NBA Title Odds: Fear the Dear and Steer Clear of the Staples Center
Greetings and salutations NBA fans. Welcome back to our weekly discussion regarding the teams who are considered legitimate contenders to win the NBA title this year. As we head into the home stretch, the teams on everyone’s radar include the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Did anything happen over the past week to alter that trend? Here’s a look at the latest Unibet odds for each of the teams based on how they performed over the past week (Feb. 24 through Mar. 1).
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Third-Best NBA Title Odds: LA Clippers (+350) Last week’s NBA Title Odds (+330)
The LA Clippers stumbled out of the gate following the All-Star break, falling to the Sacramento Kings 112-103. However, they bounced back over the past week and in a big way. With a healthy complement of players, the Clippers routed the Memphis Grizzlies 124-97, snapping a three-game losing skid.
They followed that up with a 102-92 win against the Phoenix Suns and then proceeded to blowout the Denver Nuggets by a 132-103 margin. LA then concluded its week with a 136-130 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, giving them a 4-0 mark. Are the Clippers on the verge of making a huge run down the stretch? Stay tuned.
Second-Best NBA Title Odds: Los Angeles Lakers (+280) Last Week’s NBA Title Odds (+300)
Like their rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers also had four games on their weekly slate. They kicked things off with a 118-109 over the New Orleans Pelicans and they kept the momentum going with a 30-point win over the defending western conference champion Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, the Lakers didn’t come with the “A” game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
They trailed Memphis by as many as 22 points in the third quarter en route to a disappointing 105-88 loss, snapping their seven-game winning streak. It should be noted that if the playoffs started today, these two teams would be facing each other in the opening round. The Lakers got back into the win column with another win over the Pelicans, their second victory against New Orleans in seven days. On the heels of a 3-1 week, the Lakers still have the second-best record in the league, and they have a five-and-a-half game lead over the Nuggets and Clippers for the top seed in the West.
The NBA Title Odds on Favorite: Milwaukee Bucks (+230) Last Week’s NBA Title Odds (+240)
The Milwaukee Bucks posted wins in each of their first two games following the All-Star break and that momentum continued over the previous week. Their first opponent was the Washington Wizards. Usually, I don’t go into much detail about a team matching up against the Wizards, but this one was interesting. You see, Wizards’ guard Bradley Beal went off for a career–high 55 points (after scoring 53 points against the Chicago Bulls the night before) and he connected on eight of his 13 attempts from behind the arc. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Bucks from prevailing in OT by a 137-134 margin.
In a rematch of last year’s conference finals, the Bucks outlasted the Toronto Raptors 108-97 despite shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. Milwaukee then went on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder by a whopping 47 points (133-86) before concluding their week with a 93-85 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Following a 4-0 week, the Bucks have won six in a row and they have the league’s best record at 52-8. Moreover, they have the best shooting defense in the league, limiting opponents to 41 percent and they are a top-three team at both ends of the court. Simply put, this team has what it takes to win it all.