The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder remain your co-favorites in the updated 2014 NBA odds to win the Western Conference at +130 and +180 respectively, and right now there isn’t a team I would take above any of them.
The top two seeds look like they’re on a collision course to clash in the Finals in a great series where the young studs from OKC will be trying to rip the torch out of the old guard’s hand. Can any team sneak past them? Well, I do like a longshot but it’s not the Clippers anymore.
Updated NBA Playoff Series Prices
Memphis Grizzlies +550
Oklahoma City Thunder -800
Golden State Warriors +150
Los Angeles Clippers -170
Atlanta Hawks +160
Indiana Pacers -185
Brooklyn Nets -300
Toronto Raptors +250
Washington Wizards -157
Chicago Bulls +137
Charlotte Bobcats +1750
Miami Heat +3000
Dallas Mavericks +850
San Antonio Spurs -1300
Portland Trailblazers -145
Houston Rockets +125
The only reason to really stay away from the Thunder is Westbrook’s knees, which look totally fine, but could go at any moment. Westbrook and Durant’s minutes are still out of control, but playing Reggie Jackson some meaningful minutes allows Westbrook to get the rest he needs. I know I harp on the whole minutes thing with Oklahoma City, but I’m just worried about health here. Durant played 43 minutes on Saturday for goodness sakes.
As long as Westbrook is healthy there’s no reason to be worried about Oklahoma City. You can’t be scared because of injuries are bad things happening when you look at the updated NBA odds to win the Western Conference. That’s not how gambling – or life – should work.
As for San Antonio, they look like they’re in for a physical battle with Dallas but they still remain the team to beat. Their lineups are brilliant and I could gush about Tim Duncan’s play forever. The Big Fundamental had 27 points and 7 rebounds during a fourth quarter rally against the Mavericks. I wouldn’t call San Antonio an automatic every-game bet, but long term there’s no better team to back in the west. The Spurs are deep, disciplined, experienced and developing their young players at a proper pace.
So is there anyone else worth talking about? I suppose the Clippers are an attractive play at +650 but I have major concerns about their ability to stay focused. Golden State has been exceptional at pushing the Clippers off kilt with some physical play and Doc Rivers’ new squad doesn’t seem to take it all that well. And while I was hot on the Clippers heading in to the playoffs, their performance over the weekend has me worried quite a bit. I don’t even know if they can get past Golden State to be honest, and their problems in the playoffs have persisted this season despite a coaching change. So I’m not high on the Other L.A. Team as I was just a few days ago.
The team I do love as a longshot is the Portland Trail Blazers at +1500. Those are odds I can throw a heavy flier at without concern. Sure, they have defensive issues but right now their biggest problem is not having someone to deal with Dwight Howard (and very few teams have that type of player). Portland has the type of lineup diversity and over-confident talent I look for in a longshot play. There’s a huge cavern of inexperience here that could scare some people off, but when I’m looking at the updated NBA odds to win the Western Conference, no team is posting a better outright value than Portland.