Naturally, the Western Conference championship is expected to end up as the Battle of LA. Lakers and Clippers fans are salivating at the possibility. But one look at the Western Conference first-round playoff matchups shows quality alternatives. Among them are the Rockets and Thunder. Which is one of the top first-round matchups for NBA bets. Also looking even are the Jazz and Nuggets. Dallas is seen by some as a dark horse. Gamblers see the Clippers having a little problem with the Mavericks. Let’s take a look at the first-round matchups.
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets
Utah is a +4900 pick to win the NBA championship. So too are the Jazz +2300 for the Western Conference title. Denver is a +2400 choice to win the NBA title. And the Nuggets are at +950 to win the Western Conference.
Of course, the Nuggets and Jazz are arch-rivals from the Northwest Division. Denver and Utah are similar in that they rely upon defense for their success. Neither team turned a profit during the regular season. Second leading scorer on the Jazz Bojan Bogdanovic is out with injury. That puts all of the pressure on SG Donovan Mitchell. Denver is led by All-Star C Nikola Jokic.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
At first, the Mavericks are +4900 sportsbooks to win the NBA championship. Dallas is a +1600 pick for the Western Conference. Counter to that is the Clippers at +300 for the NBA championship. LA is +160 to win the Western Conference title.
Late results show the Clippers have been one of the most profitable teams on the board. LA boasts the trio of SG Kawhi Leonard, SG Paul George, and SG Lou Williams. Dallas relies on emerging superstar Luka Doncic. For all that the Mavericks lack of depth and defense are liabilities.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Now the Rockets are a +1300 selection to win the NBA championship. Houston is at +600 for the Western Conference. Oklahoma City is +6500 for the NBA championship and +3000 for the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City is that rare NBA team that finds success without a superstar performer. Contrarily the Thunder’s old marquee man is Houston’s Russell Westbrook. Three-time NBA scoring champion James Harden is the ultimate Rocket Fuel. Correspondingly we get a matchup of mirror opposites. Houston and the traditional star system or the Thunder’s team approach.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles is a +350 selection for the NBA championship. Accordingly, the Lakers are +180 to win the Western Conference. Portland is +3000 for the Western Conference and +6000 for the NBA title.
Namely, Damian Lillard carried the Trail Blazers to this playoff series. Portland lacks the defense to consistently stop the powerful Lakers. Anthony Davis and LeBron James should feast on the Trail Blazers.
Western Conference First Round Playoff Series SBG Free Picks
In this situation, the Clippers and Lakers are tough to step in front of. Counter to that are attractive dogs with Oklahoma City and Utah. Both the Jazz and Thunder match ability and good NBA bets prices. More emphatically Utah and Oklahoma City bring defenses that can deliver.
Western Conference Playoffs SBG Best Bets: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz.