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Western Conference Has Shortest Odds Yet to Produce 2019 NBA Champion

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NBA Basketball

Feb 28, 2019 · 11:35 AM PST

Steph Curry drives to the basket.
Steph Curry and the Warriors are favored to return to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).
  • Western Conference teams have the shortest odds of the season to ultimately produce the 2019 NBA champion
  • Several Eastern Conference contenders made major NBA trade deadline acquisitions
  • Toronto, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee all added significant pieces at the deadline

The Eastern Conference teams made the bold moves at the NBA trade deadline, but when it comes to predicting an NBA champion, sportsbooks are still leaning heavily toward the Western Conference.

Sportsbooks are now offering its shortest odds of the 2018-19 season that the Western Conference will produce the NBA champion.

Odds On Which Conference Will Produce 2019 NBA Champion

Which Conference Will Produce 2019 NBA Champion? Odds
Western Conference -400
Eastern Conference +300

*All odds taken 02/28/19

Sportsbooks’ -400 odds on the champs being from the West are even better than the -300 previously offered on November 23rd.

East Opted for Beast Mode at Deadline

As always with the NBA, it’s all about LeBron. Considering the summer move of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Western Conference Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference looked to be a wide-open race when the season started.

James’ teams – the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat – had represented the East in eight straight NBA Finals. The last East team to win the NBA title that didn’t include James was the 2007-08 Boston Celtics.

Where do you put your money when it comes to picking the beast of the East? Milwaukee currently leads the conference standings. The Bucks have a legitimate superstar in likely MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks, who acquired Nikola Mirotic at the deadline, have limited playoff experience. It might be too much, too soon to expect them to go all the way.

Likewise, Toronto is a dominant force – at least the Raptors are during the regular season. Does switching out DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and adding Marc Gasol at the deadline turn Toronto into a team that can make a deep postseason run?

Philadelphia loaded up, adding Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but there’s not much time for the Sixers to gel prior to the playoffs.

The Celtics are healthy this season but they’ve been an up-and-down club all season long.

You see why it’s so hard to back any team coming out of the East?

How the Western Conference Will Win

Golden State hasn’t looked as overwhelmingly dominant as in past years, but like any champion, the two-time defending NBA title holders retain the belt until some team proves worthy of knocking them out.

Might that finally be the Houston Rockets? James Harden has been on fire for what seems like forever, scoring 30 or more points in 32 consecutive games.

While it might be too early to consider the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets as serious contenders,  let’s not count out the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The NBA title has gone West the past two springs and in four of the last five seasons, and we don’t see that changing.

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