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NBA Pacific: Playoff Futures Odds


Now that the regular season is over, the real quest for an NBA championship can begin. Sixteen teams will embark on that quest and only one will find what they are searching for. Will it be a team from the Pacific Division?

Three teams from the Pacific have made their way into the postseason, including the Los Angeles Lakers who spent the entire year under the microscope, with analysts debating whether or not they would even get this far. Then there are the Warriors and Clippers, who have both impressed this season, but both lack playoff experience. Who has the best chance of winning the West and going all the way? Check out the odds and our favorites below:

#4 Los Angeles Clippers: West – 15/2, NBA Title – 25/1

The Clippers are the most balanced of the three Pacific Division representatives in the postseason, so it’s no surprise that they earned the highest seed and have the best odds of the trio. Still, odds makers aren’t really considering the Clipps to be a serious threat to win the 2013 crown, despite L.A. ranking in the top 10 in scoring, assists and fewest points allowed during the regular season.

See, that’s the key. The Clippers were fantastic during the regular season, but they don’t have the playoff experience to prove they can get it done when the stakes are raised. They’ll also have the toughest road initially, as they’ll have to get past the Grizzlies and then likely the Thunder. But, at 25/1, I like the Clippers as a dark horse team for the title and keeping their 18-game win streak from earlier in the season in mind, we know they can get hot, so winning the West is not out of the question for the Clippers.

#6 Golden State Warriors: West – 40/1, NBA Title – 100/1

The Warriors faded a bit down the stretch, which is a bit worrisome for potential bettors, and their late season performance obviously spooked odds makers too, who placed them at 100/1 to win the title. The Warriors are not a team that defends particularly well (19th in points allowed), but we know they can score the basketball with the best of them (7th in points per game), so if they get hot at the right time, they can certainly beat anyone.

Obviously, in a seven-game series that will be hard to do. And considering how stacked the West is, I don’t see the Warriors going far, at least not this year. They have a very talented young team that should be competitive for a long time, but they definitely lack experience, so this is not their year. Still, at 100/1, it wouldn’t hurt to throw a small wager their way just to see what happens, but don’t put all your eggs in Golden State’s basket this postseason.

#7 Los Angeles Lakers: West – 20/1, NBA Title – 40/1

Then there’s the Lakers. The Lakers have the experience. There’s no doubt about that, but these odds are straight highway robbery. The Lakers barely snuck into the playoffs and they lost their best player to injury in the process. Sure, they won the past two games without him, but both of those games were against West teams that didn’t have anything left to play for, as they had already clinched playoff berths.

I expect that the Lakers will be competitive. They may even take the Spurs to six or seven games, but there’s no way they are escaping the first round, much less winning the West without Kobe Bryant. Sorry to say, these odds overvalue the Lakers significantly. Odds makers have been generous with the Lakers all year, but this is criminal. STAY AWAY from this bet at all costs.

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