With less than two months until the end of the NBA season, the race is on to see who will win the Western Conference title. Several teams have a solid chance of winning the NBA championship outright, and certain blockbuster deals have also changed the makeup of the conference and the NBA playoff race.
NBA fans don’t only love to watch their team play but they also love to bet on them.
We’ve used FanDuel to get the odds for our betting predictions below. FanDuel is an excellent option when it comes to choosing an NBA betting site. Its options include traditional sports betting options, such as point spreads, money lines, and over/unders as well as less conventional betting markets such as futures betting including championship/conference winner, season MVP, and even season scoring champion . So without further ado, let’s see what could make or break these teams in the 2023 Western Conference title aspirations and who will ultimately lift the crown.
- Phoenix Suns (+230)
After acquiring Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns are currently +230 favorites to win the Western Conference at FanDuel, but this may be a bit of a market overreaction.
Depending on the book, the Suns’ odds were between +600 and +800 just before they traded for Durant. The excitement is high amongst sportsbooks with this trade, and the Suns’ odds shot up significantly after that. However, there’s a chance this could just be hype in a bid to support the Suns and for Durant to win the West.
- Denver Nuggets (+300)
This season was the first time in the history of the organization that the squad had 40 victories before the break. They may be looking spectacular right now, but the Nuggets typically run out of tricks when they reach the playoffs.
Despite getting to the Western Conference Finals four times, they are one of six teams that have never played in the NBA Finals. The team’s last two postseason series have resulted in a combined 1-8 record. The Suns swept them in the second round of the 2020–21 season after they had lost to the eventual champion Warriors in the first round the year before. But there’s hope in the fact that all the pieces are in place for a successful playoff run. The current league MVP, Nikola Jokic, is who the Nuggets are placing all their NBA championship hopes and dreams on.
- LA Clippers (+500)
The Clippers have been favored to win for a while now. There are a few reasons, such as Paul George not showing any signs of slowing down over the past few seasons. However, considering that he hasn’t participated in an NBA game in over a year, superstar teammate Kawhi Leonard might need some time to get used to the high caliber of basketball.
Even if the LA Clippers are likely to win, a number of things could prevent them from doing so. Which participants are willing to accept their roles and participate in any way is what it ultimately boils down to. This includes things like concerns with chemistry, the high level of competition in the Western Conference, and the health of the team as a whole.
- Dallas Mavericks (+700)
As long as 23-year-old superstar Luka Doncic is a member of the Dallas Mavericks, the team will be a title contender in the 2022–23 NBA season. Sadly for Mavs supporters, there are a number of factors at play that will probably prevent the team from even making it to the NBA Finals in 2023, let alone winning it.
Firstly, although having won two playoffs and 52 games, coach Jason Kidd is not quite at championship level yet, especially when compared with coaches like Steve Kerr or Monty Williams, who Kidd will come up against. Secondly, there is no other player to complement the talent that is Doncic. Branching off of that, Doncic has played a lot of basketball over the two years, and that could take its toll when it counts.
- Golden State Warriors (+800)
With their victory in 2022, the Golden State Warriors will have claimed four of the previous eight NBA championships. The Warriors would undoubtedly surpass the Chicago Bulls from the 1990s as the greatest NBA dynasty with a fifth championship in nine seasons. But the chances are not to the Warriors’ advantage as they attempt to reach the NBA Finals.
Another Larry O’Brien may elude them for a few reasons. There are a couple of teams in the Western Conference that are stacked with players that could win a championship alone—such as the aforementioned Nikola Jokic, Paul George, Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard.
Our prediction? We think the Denver Nuggets may surprise bookmakers and bettors alike. But no matter your personal choice, it looks like it’s going to be a close call. Best of luck!