After years of the Western Conference resembling a gauntlet of powerhouses, any one of whom could usurp another on a whim, things are starting to change. The West is still top heavy in many respects, but with the exception of the Golden State Warriors’ reign, it’s also withstanding an influx of uncertainty. Bettors will need to survey the landscape extra carefully in the seasons to come. Single game plays could become more difficult to predict, and the futures market will most assuredly prove tougher—as in, more exclusive—than we’re used to.
Looking ahead, in fact, you may actually want to table all Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals futures for most teams that aren’t the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets or Warriors.
Divisional futures should still be fine, though NBA divisions are now officially irrelevant to the standings, and sportsbooks, as a result, may not be slinging the best odds.
That increases the importance and intrigue surrounding win total odds. These bets are more wide open, because you can experiment with lottery bound squads. If you have a gut feeling that a rebuilding squad is going to be better or worse than its win total over/under, that’s a play you can make.
Place a few of those bets over the 2017 offseason while you’re waiting for the upper echelon plays—conference and championship odds—to sort themselves out. Just remember that if you’re going to increase the number of wagers you’re placing, you should also probably cap the amount of money you’re investing in each bet.
Western Conference Betting Lines Today
This is your official guide to the Western Conference’s daily betting possibilties. Think of it as a conference wide schedule. It shows start dates, times, moneylines, spreads, overs and unders.
Get in the habit of looking this over multiple times, right up until you are ready to hit the sportsbook. Lines can change over time or because of injuries. The former won’t be much of a problem during the regular season, since the games are in such close proximity of one another, but doubling back to recheck lines after hearing about a key player’s injury or return is shrewd betting practice.
NBA Western Conference Standings Right Now
Take in the latest NBA Western Conference standings. They can be valuable for those only looking to bet moneylines, since the records are a clear indicator of who’s better than who.
They’re especially useful for those dipping their feet in midseason futures waters.
Should you find a sportsbook that’s accepting bets on whether or not a team makes the playoffs, or what seed they’ll snag in the event they secure a postseason berth, you need updated looks at where every squad stands within the conference.
This provides a snapshot of how much space separates teams you’re betting on from where you need them to be relative to the rest of their conference foes.
On a more macro level, this just plain helps you sniff out worthy futures gambits. If you see that a team is a high playoff seed—around the top three—then you know that unit is a solid Conference Finals or NBA Finals pick. This comes with the caveat that any Western Conference contender must go through the best ever Warriors, and there may not be a contingent equipped to do that for quite some time.
Still, if there is one ready to give the Warriors a run for their money, the West’s standings will help alert you to which team it actually is.
How To Win At NBA Western Conference Betting
The Western Conference hasn’t exactly shaken out has planned.
Sure, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs retain their cream-of-the-crop status, but the field below them is enduring a shakeup.
For starters, the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t what they once were. They are still good and can be dynamic when healthy, but they might not even be a top-five conference anymore.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are right there with them. They deserve kudos for remaining relevant following the departure of Kevin Durant, but their days as a title play, like the Clippers’, appear to be over for the foreseeable future.
And then there are the surprise risers taking the place of these fallers.
First up is the Utah Jazz. They look to be setting up camp as one of the four best team in the conference for the foreseeable future. The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, are catching everyone by surprise. They’re stocked, it seems, to be a top-three team, just behind the Spurs and Warriors, for a quite a few years.
Adjust the way you bet on the Western Conference accordingly.
But don’t change everything.
Despite all the change underneath, including the plunge of the Portland Trail Blazers and gradual rise of the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors remain the championship standard. It doesn’t matter how close the Spurs or the Rockets might be in the regular-season standings. There isn’t a team in the league that comes close to sniffing the Warriors’ championship.
Even while dealing with injuries, you have to take them seriously. If they lose one superstar, they have three more. They are going to be playing deep into the playoffs every year, trying to actualize a dynasty few saw coming to begin with.
Continue to assume that mentality whenever you’re placing big-picture future bets. View anyone you are investing in, including the Spurs and Rockets, as low- or high-end dark horses. The Warriors are that good on paper and in action, and they aren’t about to go anywhere anytime soon.