One team stands above the rest in the Western Conference in NBA betting as we embark on the playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns have been one of the betting favorites to represent the West in the NBA Finals since the start of the 2021-22 campaign, watching their NBA odds improve throughout the season, ending with the best odds in the conference heading into the playoffs.
Now, they have to validate the hype by going on another extended playoff run, watching out for a few teams in their way.
Phoenix Suns (+105)
Despite making it to the NBA Finals last year and bringing back their core players, several teams were priced ahead of the Suns in the Western Conference futures market to start the season.
Still, the Chris Paul-led Suns showed no signs of letting up, finishing the season with the best record in the league. Paul’s time to shine is now as the Suns look to make up for last season’s disappointment.
Chris Paul has been locked in since his return to action, helping lead the @Suns to a franchise record 63 wins!
SUNS/JAZZ – 9:30pm/et, NBA TV pic.twitter.com/47KBUGgsIl
— NBA (@NBA) April 8, 2022
Balanced scoring was an integral part of the Suns’ success this season.
Phoenix had four players average 14.2 or more points per game and six different players average double-digits. Among them was Paul, who finished his 17th season in the NBA averaging a double-double with 14.7 points and 10.8 assists per game.
The betting market has taken notice of the Suns, drawing 34.2% of the tickets and a whopping 55.2% of the handle.
Dallas Mavericks (+1600)
Pulling the trigger on the Spencer Dinwiddie for Kristaps Porzingis deal propelled the Dallas Mavericks on a 20-7 run to end the season, elevating their standing in the futures market.
Entering the postseason, the Mavs are one of just three teams whose handle exceeds ticket count.
Dallas makes their living on the defensive side of the ball, ranking sixth in efficiency and second in points allowed. They’re no slouches on the offensive side either, with the team ranked in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency and scoring margin.
That’s a dangerous combination that bettors have taken notice of with the Mavs representing 6.9% of the handle.
LA Clippers (+1600)
Timing is everything and the LA Clippers could be getting healthy at exactly the right time.
After missing the entire 2021-22 season, there are rumblings that Kawhi Leonard could make a return in the playoffs. Although that won’t come in time for the Clippers’ play-in game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the door isn’t closed on him returning in April.
The Clippers have made the most of their season without their franchise player.
LA is drawing some action, with their 5.5% handle slightly above their 5.3% ticket count. That’s also reflected in their betting price, as they have the seventh-best odds, despite having to fight their way through the Play-In Tournament to be assured of a playoff berth.
Leonard’s return would factor heavily into the Clippers’ betting price. LA’s odds will drop further if that is confirmed.
Memphis Grizzlies (+600)
There’s not one basketball fan that doesn’t love the high-flying antics of Ja Morant but beware of the public trap that is the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis is second in ticket count, representing 21.4% of tickets, but their handle is almost half of that, coming in at 12.9%.
Neutralizing Morant is the key to stopping Memphis, as the All-Star forward has 29.1 points per game in victories, compared to 24.7 in losses. Some adept defensive teams in the West should have no problem containing Morant.
The value has been sucked out of this line, with the Grizzlies going from +5000 at the opening of the season to +600.
Western Conference Tickets & Handle
|Team||Opening Odds||Current Odds||Ticket%||Handle%|
|Golden State Warriors||425||500||8.6%||5.9%|
|Los Angeles Clippers||750||1600||5.3%||5.5%|
|Los Angeles Lakers||170||Off the board||3.7%||1.6%|
|New Orleans Pelicans||5000||12500||2.3%||1.4%|
|Portland Trail Blazers||2500||Off the board||0.4%||0.6%|
|San Antonio Spurs||15000||25000||0.3%||0.0%|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||25000||Off the board||0.2%||0.0%|
|Houston Rockets||25000||Off the board||0.2%||0.1%|
|Sacramento Kings||12500||Off the board||0.2%||0.0%|