2018 NBA Western Conference Odds to Win & Predictions

2018 NBA Western Conference Odds to Win & Predictions

Written by on October 18, 2018

LeBron James may have switched conferences by joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason, but the question remains the same when it comes to the Western Conference. Can anyone dethrone the two-time defending league champs and four-time defending NBA Western Conference champion Golden State?

 

While the answer to that query looks about as set in stone as it has been the past four seasons, let’s find out now who’s going to give Golden State its stiffest test this season.

 

2018 NBA Western Conference Odds to Win & Predictions

TeamOdds
Golden State Warriors4/9
Houston Rockets4/1
Los Angeles Lakers6/1
Oklahoma City Thunder20/1
Utah Jazz33/1
San Antonio Spurs40/1
New Orleans Pelicans66/1
Denver Nuggets100/1
Minnesota Timberwolves100/1
Portland Trail Blazers100/1
Dallas Mavericks150/1
Los Angeles Clippers200/1
Memphis Grizzlies200/1
Phoenix Suns350/1
Sacramento Kings750/1
   

Houston Rockets

  • 2017-18 finish: 65-17, first
The Rockets almost took out the Warriors before falling in an epic seven game series that went back and forth. Gone are veteran forwards Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson and in their places are Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Knight. I know they’re the No. 2 seed and that they still have a pair of superstars in Chris Paul and James Harden, but I’m thinking the loss of Ariza in particular, is going to be tough to get over. I mean, who’s going to play defense in H-Town besides Clint Capela? Houston fails to finish second because of too much isolation ball. Houston’s roster changes make them take a step backwards this coming campaign.  

Los Angeles Lakers

  • 2017-18 finish: 35-47, 11th
Not only did the Lakers add LeBron James, but they made a trio of other very nice additions that I believe are going to pay immediate dividends, starting with veteran floor leader Rajon Rondo, big man JaVale McGee and swingman Lance Stephenson. The loss of blossoming forward Julius Randle and veteran center Brook Lopez stings a bit, but James has a bunch of young and ‘moldable’ talent around him in forwards Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram and guards Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lakers finish second this season.  

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 2017-18 finish: 48-34, fourth
I have no idea why the Thunder traded for point guard Dennis Schroeder unless they’re planning on moving Russell Westbrook off the ball, but I don’t see that happening. Oklahoma City added athletic, but underachieving center Nerlens Noel in free agency to soften the loss of Carmelo Anthony and retirement of Nick Collison. I love Paul George, but I’m not feeling a whole lot of warm and fuzzies when it comes to Oklahoma City.  

Utah Jazz

  • 2017-18 finish: 48-34, fifth
Utah didn’t make any big changes, but that’s okay, because the Jazz have the look of a team on the rise after finding out they have one of the biggest and best young stars in the league in now, second-year swingman Donovan ‘Spydah’ Mitchell. As a rookie last season, Mitchell led the Jazz to a first round ‘upset’ of Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder before falling the Houston in the second round. Anyway, while the Jazz parted ways with forward Jonas Jerebko, they drafted feisty shooting guard Grayson Allen and they jazz have some  other excellent players starting with center Rudy Gobert, veteran point guard Ricky Rubio and sweet-shooting swingman Joe Ingles. I’m thinking Utah could challenge for second place along with L.A. and Houston, although I’m going to predict they finish fourth.  

San Antonio Spurs

Hold on, let me go get some tissues. The end of an era is officially over. Manu Ginobili has retired, Tim Duncan isn’t coming back, and now, Tony Parker will be suiting up for the Charlotte Hornets for heaven’s sake. The Spurs will be relying on LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan to lead the way with a helping hand from Rudy Gay, an aging Pau Gasol and Patty Mills. I’m thinking San Antonio keeps its playoff streak alive, but just barely as a seventh or possibly eighth seed.    

Golden State Warriors

  • 2017-18 finish: 58-24, second
The Dubs added gifted, but polarizing big man DeMarcus Cousins and veteran small forward Jonas Jerebko to go along with their quartet of all-stars, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Hell, Cousins probably won’t be ready to play until sometime next calendar year, but hey, it’s not like the Dubs need him right? Golden State is the prohibitive odds-on-favorite to win the west and the 2019 NBA Championship for a reason. They’re loaded, still focused and mature.