Fear the Dear Out East, But the Best NBA Title Odds are Out West
Alright NBA fans. We’re back for another week to discuss the teams that have the best chances of winning the NBA title in 2020. With the offseason moves they made, it was little surprise that the LA Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers catapulted to the top of the list. Another team that is on that list that should not be overlooked is the Milwaukee Bucks. Let’s look at updated odds for each of these ball clubs based on how they performed over the past week (December 9 – December 15).
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No. 3 Spot This Week in NBA Title Odds Race: Milwaukee Bucks (+450—No Change)
Before I begin, I must once again express my surprise that the Bucks’ odds haven’t dramatically improved based on what we’ve seen thus far. For starters, this team went a perfect 4-0 over the past week. Not only that, but they have won a whopping 18 straight games, the second–longest winning streak in the history of the franchise. They are the highest–scoring team in the league, averaging 121.2 points per contest.
They are third in offensive efficiency and they have the best defensive rating in the league at 102.0 points per 100 possessions. Additionally, Milwaukee is limiting its opponents to just 41.3 percent from the field, the lowest mark in the NBA. I understand that the Bucks are not as glamorous as the other two LA teams, but what else must they do in order to move up on the list from a betting perspective?
No. 2 Spot This Week in NBA Title Odds Race: Los Angeles Lakers (+325—No Change)
As was the case with the Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers notched a perfect week as well, going a perfect 3-0. After dispatching the Orlando Magic by a 96-87 margin, the Lakers went on to win their next two games by a combined eight points against the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. While they didn’t mow down their competition, a win is still a win, right? The Lakers are tied for the best record in the NBA at 24-3. They have also won nine of the previous 10 overall. Not only that but they remain a top-five team in both offense and defense.
You need to look no further than the fact that they are holding their opponents 43.4 percent shooting from the field and a stingy 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, which is the fourth-best mark in the league. Although their odds didn’t improve from where they were a week ago, they should still be a safe bet in terms of a team that has a chance to win it all next year.
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The NBA Title Odds on Favorite: the LA Clippers (+300—No Change)
For the third consecutive week, the LA Clippers’ odds haven’t budged from +300. Unlike the other teams on the list, the Clippers played four games over the previous week. They kicked off their slate of games with a 110-99 win over the Indiana Pacers. They followed that up with an impressive 112-92 win against Kawhi Leonard’s former team: The Toronto Raptors. After narrowly beating the Minnesota Timberwolves by a seven-point margin (124-117), something odd happened. The Clippers managed to lose to a Chicago Bulls club that has only won 10 times through their first 28 games. Sure, Leonard, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley sat out that game, but the Clippers should have still had enough talent to beat a Bulls team that has been struggling all season.
Despite their recent setback, the Clippers still have the second-best record in the Western Conference behind the Lakers, and they currently have the seventh-best offense and defense in the league. While the Clippers continue to lead the pack as the odds-on title favorites, I think the other team that occupies the Staples Center will continue to play a major role in the conference playoff race during the rest of the season.