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NBA Pacific Division Odds | Preview

NBA Pacific Division Odds/Preview

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As we await World Series betting this Wednesday, now’s an ideal time to continue our NBA season preparation. Monday calls for light reading, right? Well, which division is lighter – and easier – to preview than the Laker-ruled Pacific Division?

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Odds to win Pacific Division: -2000

The defending NBA champion Lakers are so far ahead of the Pacific competition that you’ll have to dig deep to find a book that offers divisional futures on the Lakers at all. You can, however, bet on the Lakers’ online betting odds to win the West at sites like BetOnline.com.

So the Lakers lost Trevor Ariza. He’s a solid player but let’s not get carried away. The Lakers still have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum ready to post major points. Lamar Odom is a nice inside scoring option off the bench and, just for good measure, L.A. added Ron Artest to tighten the defense. Anything less than another Pacific Division title would be a massive failure for Phil Jackson’s boys.

PHOENIX SUNS
Odds to win Pacific Division: +1000

The days of “Phoenix rising” puns in headlines are mercifully gone, as this Suns team could fall hard in 2009-10. In theory, the Suns should return to their bread-and-butter up-tempo style and score a ton. Steve Nash remains the quarterback of the offense, Channing Frye gives the Suns way more finesse and shooting ability than Shaq did, Grant Hill still has a scorer’s touch and Jason Richardson provides athleticism. The big question mark is Amare Stoudemire; he’s reportedly recovering well from his detached retina but all the specialized rehab means he likely won’t be in basketball shape to start the season.

If everyone returns healthy, the Suns could sneak back into the playoffs. But a combination of age, injuries and poor defense should leave them on the outside looking in for the second straight year.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Odds to win Pacific Division: +1600

Could the Clips be laughing stocks no more this season? After some offseason shuffling and the first overall draft pick, the Clippers seemed primed to double their 19 wins of a year ago. Once he’s fully healthy, Blake Griffin will have every opportunity to be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year thanks to his powerful rebounding and scoring ability. Make no mistake, though; the Clippers won’t be a one-man show. Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman provide major defensive presence in the post. Eric Gordon can shoot the lights out. Baron Davis still has elite talent, so you never know what he can do when he’s healthy.

The Clippers still have a ways to go but could easily finish second in the Pacific.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Odds to win Pacific Division: +4000

The Warriors have something going for them – youth and athleticism in spades. Unfortunately, they’re also an unpredictable and volatile group. Stephen Jackson is a versatile player who can defend both guards and forwards and distribute the ball reasonably well, but he could be asking off the team by next week for all we know. Monta Ellis is an explosive slasher but missed much of last season due to injury and is reportedly unhappy about his role.
A big wild card this season is rookie Stephen Curry; if his leadership, shooting and ball-distribution ability translate to the NBA level he could positively influence everyone around him. Expect Curry to form a solid nucleus with Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins over the next few years but there will be growing pains in Golden State for now.

SACRAMENTO KINGS
Odds to win Pacific Division: +10000

Remember when it was trendy to cheer for the Sacramento Kings? Me neither. Chris Webber and Jason Williams are long gone. Now, Kings fans are probably more interested in World Series odds than their basketball team. Wouldn’t you be? The Kings won’t sniff playoff contention for several more years despite drafting Tyreke Evans and watching Kevin Martin bloom as a scorer. This team simply can’t play defense; they allowed 109.3 points per game last season, good for second-worst in the league.

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