NBA Western Conference Odds Feb 14th, 2008
CappersPicks.com NBA Handicapping Staff
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NBA: Odds Shakeup out West
Trade winds have blown in the NBA’s Western Conference causing some sharp changes in the futures odds . Find out all the latest information at Sportsbook.com.
Odds to win the Western Conference are listed in parenthesis.
The Lakers (3:2) have become the favorite after acquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis in the fleecing of the century. The interesting part will come when center Andrew Bynum returns and Gasol slips comfortably into the power forward role. It’s those two seven-footers up front combined with superstar Kobe Bryant that has Lakers’ fans thinking about a Conference Championship.
Phoenix (3:1) sits right behind the Lakers after pulling off a giant (and we mean giant) trade for Shaquille O’Neal. The 7’1” behemoth doesn’t get up and down the court like he used to, and doesn’t seem like a good fit in their ‘run and gun’ offense. However, the Suns are depending on the big guy to help deliver a trip to the NBA Finals.
San Antonio (3:1) is the defending champions, and they are playing good basketball even without injured point guard Tony Parker. The Spurs defensive prowess is still the main reason for their success, but they need Parker ready to go in the postseason as he is their key generator on the offensive end.
Dallas (9:2) is another team that has the talent to go all the way in the West, if healthy. The Mavericks are still rumored to be interested in New Jersey point guard Jason Kidd. While the price of young guard, Devin Harris is a steep one, the acquisition of Kidd would give a shot of energy to this club and that’s exactly what they need.
New Orleans (10:1) had the best record in the Western Conference just a couple of weeks ago, but a recent three-game losing streak brought them back to Earth. New Orleans then went into Phoenix and won 132-130 in double overtime proving they are for real and not going anywhere in this race.
Utah (10:1) recently had a 10-game winning streak and is in a heated battle with Denver in the Northwest Division. Few people remember that this team made it to the Western Conference Finals last year before losing to San Antonio. If they keep playing at their current pace, they may go even farther this season.
Denver (12:1) still possesses the best two-headed scoring monster in the league with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. However, there’s a need for a consistent third scorer and Sacramento’s Ron Artest could be it. Artest is one of the biggest ticking time bombs in the history of the NBA, but his defense and scoring ability would be a valuable addition come playoff time.
There are two more teams fighting for the last playoff spot in the conference, Golden State (20:1) and Houston (25:1). Both of these squads would be elite teams in the East, but in the West they are almost also-rans.
Golden State has continued to play well and now they have added big man Chris Webber to the mix. The Rockets have been on fire since the return of Tracy McGrady and they are an attractive sleeper at these odds.
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