The Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers were both popular preseason picks to win the NBA Championship, and they remain that way to this day. Each team has struggled a bit during the NBA restart in Orlando, but they are gearing up for the playoffs.
The Lakers have the top seed in the Western Conference wrapped up, but the Clippers are still battling for playoff positioning. The Clippers need just one more win in Orlando to wrap up the number two overall seed.
The Western Conference is once again loaded this season, and it won’t be easy for either team to even win their first-round series. Both teams are likely to face off against young and hungry teams, and anything can happen in the NBA Playoffs.
Both the Lakers and Clippers have been giving their big stars some rest during the restart games, but both teams should be healthy when the playoffs begin. The Lakers and Clippers will be favored to win against whatever team they face, but it won’t be as easy as it was supposed to be.
Battle For Eighth Seed Heating Up
The NBA was hoping to create some drama for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and that has been accomplished in Orlando. This weekend will see two teams squaring off for the eighth and final spot in the postseason.
The Portland Trail Blazers have now taken over the eighth spot in the West, and three other teams are tied for ninth. Those three teams are the Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs.
Each team has just one game remaining, and there could end up being a four-way tie for the number eight spot. The Phoenix Suns have been the biggest surprise in Orlando, winning each of their first seven games to jump back into the race.
Western Conference Finals Matchup Coming?
The Lakers and Clippers have been the co-favorites to win the Western Conference since the preseason, and that will be the case as the playoffs begin. Most bettors expected this to be the Western Conference Finals matchup, and it could shape up that way.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Los Angeles Lakers slightly ahead of the Clippers in terms of betting odds, but it’s close. The Lakers are listed at +165 while the Clippers come in at +175.
The Houston Rockets (+550) and the Denver Nuggets (+1000) are the next teams on the list, but it would be an upset to see one of those teams win the West.
Who Wins the Eastern Conference?
The Milwaukee Bucks are huge favorites to win the Eastern Conference, but some other teams are starting to emerge as possible contenders. Milwaukee is currently listed at -140 to win the Eastern Conference, which is much shorter odds than any other team.
The Toronto Raptors (+250) and the Boston Celtics (+580) are the next two teams on the list, but each team has struggled to beat the Bucks this season. The Miami Heat are +850 round out the potential threats to win the Eastern Conference.