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NBA Northwest Division Odds | Preview

2009-10 Northwest Division lines/NBA Preview

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BetOnline.com has posted NBA divisional odds for the season; basketball is back. We start our round of NBA divisional previews with the intriguing Northwest Division. Can the Nuggets remain a powerhouse or will the Trail Blazer era begin?

DENVER NUGGETS
Odds to win Northwest Division: +115

The Nuggets had a banner 2008-09, winning 54 games and reaching the Conference final. In theory, the next step for George Karl’s team is to reach the NBA Final. Anyone who likes to bet on sports knows the Nuggets have the pieces in place to duplicate last season’s success. Carmelo Anthony is maturing into more than just a scorer and Chauncey Billups remains a great leader in the backcourt. Billups can still do for an NBA team what Derek Jeter does for New York’s World Series odds every year. Nene and Kenyon Martin bring good scoring ability up front but are both perennial injury concerns.

The Nuggets’ bench is a big plus; J.R. Smith should be ready to go despite serving a prison sentence for reckless driving. Chris Andersen was a major energy booster, particularly on the boards, in his first full year since sitting out due to alleged drug use, and should keep up the good work.

The Nuggets are solid picks to contend again this season but may lack a true slasher on the wing.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Odds to win Northwest Division: +165

The days of the Jail Blazers are long gone. The only thing criminal about these Blazers will be the beatings they lay down on the Western bottom feeders, Gambino Family style. This young group of up and comers could have the seeds in place for a future championship run. Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are great scorers at their positions and, while Steve Blake isn’t the best ball distributor, he’s a good shooter and Andre Miller is a great backup for him.

The key to Portland’s success is Greg Oden; in the preseason, he looks like the second coming of Dikembe Mutombo, combining great defense, rebounding and a solid amount of scoring. If he can finally stay healthy for a season, there’s no telling what he and the Trail Blazers can do.

UTAH JAZZ
Odds to win the Northwest Division: +245

If they can say healthy, the Jazz are yet another team with good BetOnline.com odds to compete in the Northwest. They have one of the league’s most elite point guards in Deron Williams, who is a true game breaker. Mehmet Okur’s long-range shooting ability is rare for his size. Paul Millsap is an underrated power forward who improved dramatically this season.

Ironically, two of Utah’s stalwarts of recent seasons could lead to their downfall this year. Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko may not be starting-caliber players anymore yet won’t accept anything less than starters’ minutes. Keeping them on the floor (allegedly, to boost their trade value, at least in Boozer’s case) could hurt the Jazz, who would rather let guys like Millsap develop more.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Odds to win the Northwest Division: +3050

Two words: Kevin Durant. He looked like a future scoring champ last season, jumping from 20 to 25-plus points per game and displaying that rare ability to score from anywhere. For at least one more season, he’s probably the only thing that really matters on this improving squad. However, with pieces like inside scorer Jeff Green and first-round pick James Harden in place, the future looks good for Oklahoma City. Those who pick the Thunder no longer automatically deserve indictment for their gambling instincts.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Odds to win the Northwest Division: +3050

Nothing to see here – probably for another season or three. All hope is not lost in Minny; any team would be lucky to have Al Jefferson and Jonny Flynn has great gamer mentality at the point guard position – but no T-Wolves player will sniff a championship ring for quite some time.

2009-10 Northwest Division Prediction

The Nuggets are great but stagnant; the Jazz are held back by commitments to sagging veterans. There’s no stopping the Trail Blazers. They’ve got an amazingly deep roster full of All-Stars in the making and they’ll only get better. Pick Portland to win the Northwest. The Lakers and Spurs should look over their shoulders – now.

Sorry, Denver; the Broncos’ NFL odds will be the best sports news in your city this season.

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