Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Golden State Warriors have won the past five Pacific Division titles, parlaying that into three championships and five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals.
But times have certainly changed this offseason, with Kevin Durant getting injured and then bolting for the Brooklyn Nets in addition to the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both significantly upgrading their rosters to become favorites to win the division.
The Clippers are the team to beat according to oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with a price of -150 (bet $150 to win $100). After trading for Paul George and signing free-agent prize Kawhi Leonard earlier this month, the Clippers should be able to take a giant step forward from the six games they went with the Warriors in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
Led by a two-time champion in Leonard, the Clippers should win at least 10 more games during the regular season, and it would be a disappointment if they did not make the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers have also improved dramatically following the acquisition of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. They are the +225 second choice (bet $100 to win $225) at sports betting sites to take home their first division championship since the 2011-12 campaign, their last of five straight Pacific titles.
Pairing Davis with LeBron James has made the Lakers serious contenders, and they have filled in the rest of their roster with other solid players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley and Danny Green, who was one of Leonard’s teammates with the recently crowned NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
Of course, Golden State should also not be overlooked completely since Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all won their first NBA championship without Durant in 2015. The Warriors are the +450 third choice on those NBA odds to win the Pacific Division for the sixth year in a row, although Thompson is expected to miss most of the season with the torn ACL he suffered against the Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Rounding out the rest of the teams in the Pacific are a pair of longshots in the Sacramento Kings (+5000) and Phoenix Suns (+25000). The Kings are a much-improved squad that might be able to make the postseason for the first time since 2005-06, but winning the division is a much more difficult task. The Suns have virtually no shot either unless the other three teams are all decimated by injuries this year.