Prospective NBA First-Round Western Conference Playoff Series Prices

We’re getting some whispers that the NBA season might get back in business at some point in the summer and if that’s the case, we’re likely going straight to the playoffs. BetOnline has lookahead series prices on all of the potential matchups, so let’s examine the Western Conference and see what those series would look like.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

LAKERS SERIES ODDS: -2000

GRIZZLIES SERIES ODDS: +750

The Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Moreover, the Lakers would have a fresh, rested LeBron and AD. Remember that Anthony Davis was battling injuries for much of the season. Getting him fully healthy, or at least a lot closer to full health, only helps the Lakers in any series against a team other than the Clippers. The Lakers would mow down the young, untested Grizzlies. Ja Morant is a special player headed for stardom, but he would be outgunned and outmanned in a best-of-seven series. It would be a shocker if the series went beyond five games in favor of the Lakers.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS

CLIPPERS ODDS: -275

MAVERICKS ODDS: +230

The presence of Luka Doncic – who had also been injured for much of the regular season and would welcome the chance to come back with improved health – would make this series legitimately interesting. The Clippers’ defense was not especially strong during the regular season. Dallas might be able to score on the Clippers. However, Kawhi Leonard was feeling the physical strain of dragging his body through the regular season after leading Toronto to the NBA title the previous season. Kawhi getting a physical breather and being able to build back his strength and fitness means more to the Clippers than any other team in the NBA, with the exception of the Lakers relative to Anthony Davis. Getting a full-strength Kawhi after the interruption of the season would be more than enough for the Clippers to win this series, probably in six games.

DENVER NUGGETS VS. HOUSTON ROCKETS

NUGGETS ODDS: +105

ROCKETS ODDS: -125

The Denver Nuggets played with fear and uncertainty in last year’s playoffs. They have talent, but not proven playoff experience. One cannot say the same for the Rockets, who have been through the wars and know how to respond against any team other than the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets should be able to score at will against Denver in this series. James Harden and Russell Westbrook would be able to get to the basket and create good shots for their teammates.

UTAH JAZZ VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

JAZZ ODDS: -165

THUNDER ODDS: +145

The Jazz represent a fascinating case, because Rudy Gobert did not value the safety of his teammates at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. It is hard to know how cohesive and happy the Jazz would be. There might be a lot of internal conflicts on the team, but it is ultimately a mystery. This is a series you really shouldn’t bet on, given the uncertainties surrounding the Jazz. If Utah plays reasonably well, the Jazz ought to win the series, but who knows which version of the Jazz will show up and play?

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