NBA Betting: Who is the Smartest Bet to Win a Crowded Western Conference Race?

Basketball news


  • The Nuggets are the favorite at +165
  • Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden have all played in 58+ games
  • OKC are second in the NBA in point differential and turnovers in the league

While the Eastern Conference race is all but over, the West still has three teams currently within a half game of each other at the top of the standings.  The Thunder and Nuggets are currently tied with a 45-20 record, while the Timberwolves are just a half-game behind at 45-21. Behind them are the Clippers and Suns, both of whom also have title aspirations.

Below, we will share the latest odds and insights on the top three favorites from our USA Legal Betting experts, helping you bet confidently on who will win the West at betting sites this week.

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Denver Nuggets 

Odds to win the West: +165 at FanDuel Sportsbook 

The reigning NBA Champions have been fantastic of late, winning nine of their previous ten games. The run ended a three-game losing streak and brought them back up to the top of the standings. Bookmakers now see them as the favorite to win the conference, slightly ahead of the Clippers.

While the Nuggets talent and ability are unquestioned, they also have the advantage of a have the sixth-easiest remaining schedule. They will face eight teams with a record below .500 over their final 17 games. Denver also has three matchups against a Minnesota team that has lost four of their last seven games and will be without Karl Anthony Towns for the remainder of the season.

If there is one red flag for the Nuggets Conference Title hopes, it is their point differential. They are fifth in the NBA at +5.2, but the Thunder (+7.6), Timberwolves (+6.4), and Pelicans (+5.2) are all ahead of them. The good news is that the Nuggets point differential over their last ten games is +11.1, signaling that they could surpass all three rivals before the end of the season.

Los Angeles Clippers 

Odds to win the West: +240 at BetMGM Sportsbook 

The Clippers have lost five of their previous ten games, but bookmakers still believe they are a strong challenger to win the West. LA is currently fourth in the West, trailing the Thunder and Nuggets by 3.5 games. They are coming off back-to-back losses to Milwaukee and Minnesota, but experts expect this talented to heat up starting this week.

The Clippers remaining schedule is more difficult than Denver’s, they have a favorable schedule in March. They’ll face the Bulls, Pelicans, Hawks, Blazers (twice), Pacers, Magic, Hornets, and an ice-cold Sixers team (twice).

You can’t talk about the Clippers without talking about their health. This is a championship roster, but injuries have kept them from reaching their full potential. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden have all played in 58+ games. If they can continue to stay healthy, this team could go on a monster run over the next month.

Oklahoma City Thunder 

Odds to win the West: +700 at BetRivers Sportsbook 

This is by far the most tempting bet on the board. OKC currently leads the East, thanks to owning the tiebreaker over the Nuggets. The reason their odds are so friendly is their youth and remaining schedule. This is a team with an insane amount of talent, but they are all young. That youth could come back to haunt them as they face some of the league’s top teams competing for playoff positioning.

There are not many easy games left on the Thunders’ schedule. Starting on March 29, they will face the Suns, Knicks, Sixers, Celtics, Pacers, Hornets, Kings, Spurs, Bucks, and Mavs. All but two of those game will be very challenging against veteran teams, which could lead to a cold streak to end the year.

While the Thunders’ youth is a concern, there is no questions how balanced this team is. They are second in the NBA in point differential at +7.6 and turnovers in the league (11.5 TO/G). Younger teams often struggle with turnovers, signaling that this team may be more mature than we thought.