Even though the NBA won’t celebrate All-Star Weekend until mid-February, we have already reached the halfway point of the regular season. Now that we are past the halfway point of the regular season, playoff races in the NBA are really going to start to heat up.
This was supposed to be a good year for NBA teams from the state of California, but that just hasn’t played out that way. The Golden State Warriors still look like a threat to win the NBA Championship, but the other California teams have struggled.
The Brooklyn Nets are still the betting favorites to win the NBA title with odds set at +250. Brooklyn is going to be a tough team to eliminate, especially if they have the full trio of superstars healthy and ready to play in the postseason.
The Golden State Warriors are next on the list at +450, and they are followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at +700. These odds are clearly going to change as the year moves on, but the top-three teams have emerged as the clear betting favorites.
Who Wins the West?
The Western Conference has consistently been the top conference in the NBA over the last few years, but the East is coming on strong. Winning the conference championship is obviously the first step that needs to be taken before winning a title.
Golden State has now emerged as the betting favorite to win the Western Conference, with odds set at +220. The Warriors were not the favorites when the season began, but a strong start has put them in that position.
The Phoenix Suns (+300) and the Utah Jazz (+450) are viewed as the two biggest contenders in the Western Conference, and both teams are loaded with talent.
The Los Angeles Lakers currently have odds set at +850 to win the Western Conference, and the LA Clippers are way down the list at +1500.
Eastern Conference is Loaded
The Eastern Conference doesn’t appear to be as top-heavy as the Western Conference, but there are still plenty of NBA Championship contenders. The Milwaukee Bucks are actually the defending champions in the NBA, but they aren’t even favored to win the East.
The Brooklyn Nets are the clear betting favorites to win the East as they have odds set at +135. Milwaukee is next on the list at +300, and then things get pretty crowded from there. With the way that the odds are set, the Eastern Conference race should be much more competitive than the Western Conference race.
Steph For MVP?
Not only are the Golden State Warriors one of the betting favorites to win the NBA Championship this season, but their top player is in line to win a nice individual award. Stephen Curry is now the betting favorite to win the MVP, with odds set at +200.
The fact that Klay Thompson is now back in the fold for the Warriors might affect those odds, but Curry is clearly one of the best players in the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+360) and Nikola Jokic (+500) are the two main contenders for this award.