We are still in the very early stages of what will be a 72-game NBA season, so the standings that you are looking at now are likely to be very temporary. Some of the teams that we expect to be challenging for the NBA title this season are off to slow starts, but you can bet that no one is looking at the panic button after just a few games. It sometimes takes a minute for teams to get rolling, while those who bolt out of the starting gate often have a tough time maintaining that early pace. We have already taken a look at the Eastern Conference and the teams that are in as the early favorites there, so now its time to turn our attention to the West so you can continue planning your bets and place them against their NBA odds.
NBA Betting | Western Conference 2021 Preview
LA Lakers (+120)
The defending champions are unsurprisingly in as the favorites to win the West and take another run at the NBA Finals. Having LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both of whom inked new deals in the offseason, in the same team is enough to strike fear in the hearts of any opponent, but the Lakers did not rest on their laurels. They made some offseason moves to land the likes of Marc Gasol and Dennis Schroder to add depth to what is already a very good team. This group actually looks better than they did last season, but they are off to a frustrating 2-2 start. Don’t expect things to stay that way for too long.
LA Clippers (+300)
Ask anyone who they think the biggest challengers to the Lakers will be in the West and the vast majority will likely go with the LA Clippers. The Clippers had a strong team last season, but they were one of a few that struggled to play consistent ball in the bubble once the NBA season restarted last season. Coach Doc Rivers moved on to take a job with the Philadelphia 76ers, with Tyronn Lue taking over as head coach. The Clippers front office made some moves on the court in hopes of addressing the chemistry issues that were allegedly in play last season. The Clippers are off to a 2-1 start this season, which puts them 2nd in the West in the early going.
Denver Nuggets (+850)
You need to only look at the odds of the other teams in the Western Conference to see that the bookies see this as a 2-horse race. The question with the Denver Nuggets coming into this season was whether their run to the Western Conference Final last season was a sign of a team on the rise or maybe just a sign of a team that adapted better than most to life in the bubble. The Nuggets lost Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig in the offseason, which could potentially hurt them, but perhaps their momentum from last season will carry over. Denver is off to a 1-2 start.
Dallas Mavericks (+1100)
The Mavericks finished last season at 43-32, which got them into the postseason at the #7 spot. They have a legitimate star in Luka Doncic, but they also had a weak defense that made it impossible for them to make any kind of legitimate postseason run. Josh Richardson and James Johnson have been brought in to hopefully fill some defensive holes, but this team still looks like a longshot to win the West. Dallas has started the new season at 1-2.