NBA - Pacific Division Preview
The Los Angeles LeBrons won the Championship last year and are a favorite to repeat. After some offseason tinkering to rebuild their roster, AD and LeBron are once again in great shape to run it back and repeat as champions. Adding Montrezl Harrell gives the team another solid player to couple with their two superstars. The other new piece is Marc Gasol, a big step up from Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee – even if Gasol is not the once dominant player he was. Perhaps the best addition though was Dennis Schroder. He is a competent defender, solid shooter, and if he doesn’t have to be responsible for the same items he was in OKC he likely will be a great addition. Last season the Lakers had the best record in the NBA. I’d expect LeBron and AD to take a bit of rest this season to stretch them out for the playoffs. They are sitting at 47.5 wins for the season. I don’t know how much the team will care to play during the season and the amount of rest so I would avoid this, but they do seem likely to win the division over the Clippers and at only -143 it isn’t that bad of a price to pay.
The Clippers are the second favorite again in the division and with Kawhi Leonard at the helm, it really isn’t hard to see why. I think it is fair to say that Paul George has not been the same since his injury. Obviously he is a second option on the team, but maybe in order to win they will need him to be a third option and need another piece. The addition of Batum, Ibaka, and Reggie Jackson could help give decent minutes and provide competent pieces for a deeper playoff run. But, they are all just nice pieces. 46.5 wins juiced to -130 for the over is where the Clippers sit. I don’t personally like a side. Home court advantage would basically be them vs the Lakers and they play in the same stadium, so neither team may care if it becomes the two of them jockeying for the top spot in the conference, therefore I want no part of this.
Phoenix had a beautiful and fun stretch in the bubble to end their season. While it wasn’t enough to get them into the playoffs, it was enough to get management to realize they should build around Booker rather than shop him. A trade that brough Chris Paul to the team should help solidify a real playoff run and if Booker can establish himself as a more consistent scorer the team should have two great options. A win total of 38.5 indicates that books don’t think they are going to improve all that much from last season. Paul had the Thunder win 44 last season, it will definitely be hard for the Suns to hit 39+ but I’m more inclined to hit that than the under.
Sacramento should be able to score in bunches, the problem is they are likely to give up points in bunches. While this means the games should be fun to watch, it doesn’t mean much for their win total or division. Looking at DraftKings they have a winning percentage bet of 40.5%, I prefer that under instead of the total of 28.5 games. You could hit both over games and under percentage if you think they will win 29 games.
Gone are the days where it was predetermined that Golden State would win the championship, or at the very least, play for it. After having the second pick in the draft, they found out Klay would be out for another season. When he does, he won’t have played in an NBA game for over two years. James Wiseman will be a nice addition, but can Kerr transform the offense into something effective with only one of the best shooters of all time? The Warriors are at 38.5 wins for the season and I have no faith that they get there. While I wouldn’t hammer this, I do think the under is more likely. Again, if you want to play it as under 39 games, head to DraftKings and put them at under 54.5%.
- David Troy
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