2023 NBA Pacific Division Sports Betting Preview
The NBA season is just over a week away and we are almost ready to start crushing the books. Before that happens, we have to examine some bets and take a look at what is happening in the NBA. We now take a look at one of the most intriguing divisions in all of the league with all five teams making the playoffs last year. These are just my high-level thoughts, but if you want my NBA plays, we have a 30-day package that includes all futures including any MAX play.
Sacramento Kings, 48-34 last year, 1st in division
It was certainly a surprise for some how successful the Kings were last year. Look, the Kings being good wasn't much of a surprise to me. Them winning the division, of course, is a different story. Their defense still wasn't exactly good last season - they had the third most points allowed to opponents in the Western Conference. But, their offense was efficient, fun to watch, and the team played well together. It also helped that De'Aaron Fox was better than ever and one of the best clutch scorers in all of basketball. Consistency can help and they do have the same starting five as last year, so my biggest concern is that they aren't going to progress as the other teams in the division have upgraded. 44.5 wins seems like it will be hard to get to for them.
Phoenix Suns, 45-37, 2nd
I loved the Suns last year. They had a preseason win total of 51.5 games and it was absurd to me that it was so low. Well, there was a reason for it apparently - but the biggest reason was that Devin Booker was missing for almost 30 games. He didn't get a ton of time with Kevin Durant after the trade because Durant got injured but they were incredibly efficient and played well together. The team traded in Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton for Bradley Beal and some depth - something they didn't have last season. They are getting a bit older, but I like the squad quite a bit. Grayson Allen is in a perfect role for him - defense and threes and a little toughness. Eric Gordon should get more open looks than ever before. Yuta Watanabe is actually a really solid shooter as well. These role players could make a huge difference come playoffs. They will go as far as Booker and Durant take them, but I think they can take the Suns far. They were the only team that gave the Nuggets trouble last year in the playoffs, and this year they have a better team. How much they care about the regular season is a different story, so play the over at your own risk, but the under isn't something I'd bet.
Los Angeles Clippers, 44-38, 3rd
Speaking of teams that have good depth, the Clippers have 10 guys on the roster that could potentially be starters on other teams. Sure, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard are locks on almost any team, but Robert Covington has been an admirable 3-and-D guy his whole career. Ivaca Zubac and Miles Plumlee are both hard workers and solid bigs that won't hurt you. Nicolas Batum, Norman Powell and Terance Mann are former starters and will likely see starting minutes this season as George and Leonard inevitably will be injured. Bones Hyland is instant offense off the bench. The biggest question is if anyone on the team will lead them to consistent play and a real playoff run. Tyronn Lue is still the head coach, but last season there was rumblings that he would make lineup decisions with the intention of annoying the front office. It is a situation worth monitoring, but players apparently like him. Save your money, you can't play something with the best two players constantly missing games. The books have a good number at 46.5.
Golden State Warriors, 44-38, 4th
The solution to the Warriors issue with no real future plans and no bench was to trade Jordan Poole... for Chris Paul. So, um, Moses Moody, Gary Payton, Jonathan Kuminga, and Kevon Looney are the backups. That is... not ideal. There was talk that Paul would come in off the bench, and I'd expect him to probably play significant time with the second unit. The Paul fit is not what I question about this team. Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson have kind of shown they can play with anyone. I think even Paul fits that mold. I love Andrew Wiggins and keep in mind he was absent for many games last season. The starting five should be able to hang with just about anyone, but Kerr will need to be creative in order to keep them in the top half of the West.
Los Angeles Lakers, 43-39, 5th
There was talk about how great the Lakers looked in the playoffs and how amazing it is that LeBron got them where he did in his 90th season. But... it all came because the Timberwolves collapsed. The Lakers squeaked into the playoffs and made the most of their shot. Kudos to them on that I suppose, but we could be talking about how they missed the playoffs and that maybe they need to blow up the team. Anthony Davis needs to be the best player on the team and the best player on any court if they really want hope. D'Angelo Russell is a score-first point guard that I don't think fits well with this team. Austin Reaves is a sub-par defender, but does have moments of getting hot. Their bench is better than it has been in the past, but there are going to be some frustrating moments with Christian Wood and Cam Reddish out there. I have to assume both Davis and LeBron will miss time but they should be better equipped than they were the past two years.
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