In the return to sports action, we saw a pair of very different approaches. In soccer and the MLB, teams decided to travel to play game in empty stadiums. The plan worked in soccer, but with the coronavirus hitting the Miami Marlins hard after just 2 days, questions are already being asked in the world of baseball. The MLS and NBA both decided to head to Orlando and play in a bubble, a move that seems to be reaping dividends for both. Let’s check out the teams competing in the Western Conference so you can bet against their NBA odds.
Betting Predictions for the 2020 NBA Western Conference
Basketball scrimmage games have been taking place over the last couple of days, with the season set to return on July 30. There are 22 teams in action, all of whom will play and 8-game seeding schedule ahead of the playoffs. 13 of the 22 teams are in the Western Conference, so there are still some things to be decided there. Let’s take a closer look to see how things might play out in the West.
Playing for Rankings
Much like in the Eastern Conference, the #1 seed in the West appears to be totally wrapped up. The LA Lakers will return to action with a 5 ½ game lead at the top of the standings. It’s tough to imagine them gassing that type of lead with just 8 games to play. Whether being the #1 seed translates to a run to the NBA Finals remains to be see, but we will get into that in a minute.
The Clippers are sitting at #2 right now and have a game and a half lead over the Denver Nuggets in 3rd. That is not the widest margin in the world, but I do think that the Clippers will hold off Denver and manage to retain that #2 slot.
Looking at #3 through #6 is where things begin to get rather interesting, as you have those 4 teams separated by just 2 ½ games. In this situation, I look at teams who have played well on the road this season, as home court advantage is out the window. With that in mind, the Oklahoma City Thunder might be poised to make a move.
It also looks like fun down at the bottom, as the race for the final playoff spot is going to go down to the wire. You have 4 teams within 4 games of the Memphis Grizzlies in the #8 seed, so it is more than fair to suggest that one of that group is going to get within 3 games and force a play-in series.
Predicting the Playoffs
The Western Conference is not quite as clear cut as the East, so the next 8 games may be fun to watch as teams jockey for position. This conference would appear to be the Lakers to take, but their road to the finals is going to be tougher, as there are a few teams who might just be strong enough to challenge LeBron and company. Call me crazy, but I think that OKC can make a run here, with the Clippers also well worth a look. I’m going with a bit of an upset and taking the Clippers to advance.