The NBA’s Pacific Division winner in 2017-18 will be the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive season, barring any very surprising outcomes. Golden State is the defending NBA champion and has one of the best teams in the league history, and the rest of the division isn’t filled with powerhouses.
Of course, the USA oddsmakers know this, and have constructed their moneylines accordingly. Is it worth betting on the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings or Phoenix Suns, or are the dominant Warriors still your top option?
Bovada Sportsbook recently released its odds for all divisions, including the Pacific. Be sure to check there and with USA Betting’s earlier NBA division previews as you decide on making more bets on the NBA’s six divisions, since Bovada did not post those odds until recently.
But for the Pacific Division, we’ll provide brief previews for each team and then offer our best betting predictions, picks and advice for how you should bet.
Golden State Warriors (-100000 at Bovada)
The Warriors are one of the biggest locks to win their division in NBA history. They have at least the top three, and arguably four, best players in the Pacific. The four-man combination of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson might be the most potent foursome in league history.
It’s not like the Warriors aren’t deep, either. Golden State has plenty of established role-playing veterans who know exactly what they have to do to make the team better.
If the Dubs are healthy, they’ll run through not just the Pacific Division, but the entire league. They probably won’t go all out in the regular season, though, and will pull the plug on their starters early in blowouts both ways (in wins and losses).
- Projected record: 69-13 (67-15 in 2016-17)
Los Angeles Clippers (+2000 at Bovada)
The Clippers lost longtime All-Star point guard Chris Paul during the offseason, but they still managed to keep a strong team. Los Angeles turned the signing of Paul with the Houston Rockets into a sign-and-trade, which netted the squad Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. Danilo Gallinari also joined the team in free agency.
Los Angeles has one of the top starting frontcourts in the league, with Gallinari, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The former two have had extensive injury problems, though, and the team’s depth at small forward, power forward and center is very weak.
What the Clippers have going for them is that most of its players are experienced, but not yet out of their primes. All players should be motivated and equipped to play well, if they stay healthy.
- Projected record: 45-37 (51-31 in 2016-17)
Los Angeles Lakers (+3300 at Bovada)
The Lakers’ odds often overrate them, because of how big of a market they play in, their illustrious history and the number of fans they have who bet on them. Newsflash: Los Angeles is not ready to be a playoff team yet, especially in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles is going to be giving minutes to a lot of relatively inexperienced players, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, Jost Hart and Ivica Zubac. They did get some solid veterans this summer in Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but both are on one-year deals and may not be a part of the team’s future — this could affect their playing time.
The Lakers are building something exciting, but without a top-40 player this season and with so little experience, they won’t be good.
- Projected record: 31-51 (26-56 in 2016-17)
Sacramento Kings (+10000 at Bovada)
Sacramento’s recent history of transactions has not been the best. Thanks to terrible draft picks, questionable trades and many unsuccessful signings in free agency, the Kings have managed to stay in the lottery for the last 11 seasons.
However, the Kings took a step forward during the offseason. They acquired a nice set of players in the draft, most notably lightning quick point guard De’Aaron Fox, who went fifth overall. They also got some capable veterans to help mentor their youngsters, including George Hill, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph.
The roster in Sacramento isn’t great, but it has an intriguing blend of young talent and the aforementioned veterans. The young talent played very well to end last season, and it should continue to grow during the 2017-18 campaign.
- Projected record: 33-49 (32-50 in 2016-17)
Phoenix Suns (+10000 at Bovada)
The Suns are too focused on youth to take a significant step forward in 2017-18. Per RealGM, they have the fourth-youngest roster in the NBA, and many of those young talents will play big minutes. Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and Marquese Chriss are all projected to start, but none of them can legally drink alcohol yet.
It seems that many of the Suns’ younger players are still prospects and have one side of the floor that is much better than the other. Veteran point guard Eric Bledsoe is maybe the only reliable guy on both offense and defense.
Phoenix certainly has the potential to move up in the conference, but it’s cutthroat in the West — most of the teams above the Suns have both a bunch of talent and a bunch of experience.
- Projected record: 27-55 (24-58 in 2016-17)
Our Preview’s Pacific Division Betting Predictions & Picks
It’s pretty simple — stay away from this division. The Warriors are basically a lock to win the Pacific, but their odds are absolutely ridiculous. Bovada seems to think there is just one scenario in 1000 where the Dubs don’t finish with the best Pacific’s record. With the frequency of fluke injuries in the NBA, that doesn’t seem like a smart bet. Betting on -100000 odds is a pick that I could not advise in any situation. Down that road lies the poorhouse.
Nobody else seems like a particularly intriguing dark horse based on their moneylines, though. The Clippers (+2000) are your smartest bet, but even they would need a combination of great health and chemistry, with the Warriors suffering an unforeseen spate of injuries and issues.