888Sport’s Best Bets to win the NBA West – Lakers or Jazz?

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New Jersey online sportsbooks have great futures odds available now on the teams to place your wagers on to win the NBA Western Conference title. The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA Champs, while the upstart Utah Jazz boast the league’s best record in 2021.

One of the two NBA juggernaut teams will go arguably go on to win the Western Conference and take on the Eastern champ, who many predict will be the Brooklyn Nets or Philadelphia 76ers.

We look at the best odds available on the market with 888Sport and the form lines on whether it’ll be the Jazz or Lakers facing off with the East’s best in the NBA Finals this summer.

888Sport’s Odds to Win the NBA Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers – +125

Utah Jazz – +400

(Odds current as at 19 April 2021 – subject to change)

Considering the Jazz have the best record in the NBA and currently lead the West by 2.5 games (at the time of writing) – why are they at long odds to win the West and on the other hand, why are the Lakers still favorites?

The Lakers vs Jazz 2020/21 season record

In season 2020/21, the Lakers and Jazz have met only once, with the second game set for April 20.

In the one match-up between the two teams in season 2020/21 to date, the Jazz humiliated the Lakers in Salt Lake City, 114-89.

Many experts, including Golden State Warriors’ multiple championship winning coach, Steve Kerr, has gone on record to say that the Jazz are the best team in basketball this season, and their record reflects that.

For the Jazz, it’s all about team work, not star power

Unlike the Lakers, who abound in star power including arguably the game’s best clutch player and multiple NBA Finals Winner, LeBron James, the Utah Jazz are all about team work, without any superstars.

That said, Utah guard Donovan Mitchell and rejuvenated center Rudy Gobert are back playing together happily with their issues ironed out (on court at least). Gobert is arguably the most dominant defensive force in the NBA and critical to creating room with his physical presence for Mitchell to drain his jumpers in wide open space. No-one sets a better screen.

The deep Jazz bench also supply their fair share of points and defensive pressure. Compared to the Lakers’ LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, the Jazz roster are no-names. That honest work ethic is their best strength.

Can the Lakers repeat?

Generally repeating as NBA champions is more difficult than winning the first. On any given night, opposition teams are looking to put a winning notch on their belt over the defending champs. It’s why the Lakers find themselves in 5th place in the West right now, but they’ll make the playoffs.

Injuries have not helped the Lakers and the word is, come playoff time the starting five will all be fit again and firing. Experience means a lot in playoffs and the Lakers have that in spades.

The Lakers also reinvented their squad and got younger and deeper on the bench in the offseason by trading wisely.

The Verdict – Who will take it?

Many doubt the Jazz’s ability to beat any L.A. team – whether it’s the Clippers or the Lakers – but we like Utah’s starless, non-name ‘work hard, defend tough’ efforts that are reminiscent of the 2003-4 NBA Champions, Detroit Pistons.

Consider the fact that the Jazz are set to finish with the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs, right now they are the bargain underdog team to help you add to your bankroll in the NBA West.

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