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Houston Rockets 4-1 Odds to Win NBA Western Conference One Month After Russell Westbrook Trade

James Harden of the Rockets
Since acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the odds of the Houston Rockets winning the 2019-20 NBA Western Conference title have dropped from +830 to +400. Photo from @Deadspin (Twitter).
  • The odds of the Houston Rockets winning the 2019-20 NBA Western Conference title dipped from +830 to +400
  • The drop in odds correlates with Houston’s acquisition of point guard Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder
  • The Rockets last won the NBA Western Conference title in 1994-95

Are the NBA Western Conference title chances of the Houston Rockets better now that they’ve added Russell Westbrook?

That answer won’t be known until the spring. But this fact of life can be stated for certain – the odds of the Rockets winning the West are much better since they acquired Westbrook.

On July 8, the Rockets were listed at odds of +830 to win the NBA Western Conference title across an array of top sportsbooks. They made the move to get Westbrook on July 16.

Currently on average the NBA Western Conference odds on the Rockets have shortened to +400.

2019-20 NBA Western Conference Odds

Team Odds at BetOnline
Los Angeles Clippers +225
Los Angeles Lakers +300
Houston Rockets +400
Golden State Warriors +800
Utah Jazz +900
Denver Nuggets +1000
Portland Trail Blazers +2000
Dallas Mavericks +2500
San Antonio Spurs +4000
New Orleans Pelicans +5000
Oklahoma City Thunder +6600
Sacramento Kings +8000
Minnesota Timberwolves +10000
Memphis Grizzlies +15000
Phoenix Suns +25000

*Odds taken on 08/09/19

Houston hasn’t won the Western Conference title since 1994-95. The Rockets have lost their last three Western Conference final appearances.

Westbrook, Harden Clicked Before

Skeptics wonder how the teaming of Westbrook and James Harden – two past NBA MVPs and scoring champions – will work out. They question whether the two stars will be be able to share the ball.

The fact of the matter is that the only time either has played in an NBA Finals, they did so as teammates.

Westbrook and Harden were the starting backcourt of the 2011-12 NBA Western Conference champion Thunder, who lost the NBA Finals in five games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Westrook was second on the team in scoring, averaging 23.6 points per game. Harden was third at 16.8 PPG.

The Wild NBA Western Conference

The stripping of the roster of the four-time defending champion Golden State Warriors has left the NBA’s Western Conference title wide-open for the taking. All three of the top-rated teams in the odds are faced with working star newcomers into their rotation.

The Los Angeles Clippers added 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and 2018-19 NBA MVP finalist Paul George. The Lakers teamed all-star Anthony Davis with James.

Who wins it all could come down to which team finds a way to mesh the smoothest.

Why Not the Rockets?

Like the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and MLB’s Cleveland Indians, the Rockets have earned a reputation as a very good team that can’t get it done when it matters most.

Westbrook and Harden are the two highest-usage guards in the NBA. They’ve worked together in the past, so that should help the reunion click better and quicker. Both are at or about to enter their 30s and realize their championship window is shrinking.

Houston was a sound investment at +830. Even at +400, the Rockets are worth the risk.

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