Odds to Win the 2022/23 Western Conference: Don’t Get Burned by the Suns

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Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Deandre Ayton #22 after scoring against the Sacramento Kings on February 14, 2023. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves (+9000) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Minnesota Timberwolves (+9000)
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They’re the favorites now, but Kevin Durant isn’t enough to make the Phoenix Suns the best NBA pick to win the Western Conference. 

Is Kevin Durant about to break the Western Conference – again? The last time he was on the Left Coast, it was with the Golden State Warriors; that super-team won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 before Durant abandoned ship for the Brooklyn Nets.

Now Durant hopes to do it all again with the Phoenix Suns. This was a decent team before his arrival at the trade deadline, with Chris Paul and Devin Booker in the backcourt, but with Durant making it a true Big Three, the Suns have risen to +225 on the NBA odds board at Bovada to win the West and make it back to the Finals. Behold: 

The thing is, after that trade with Brooklyn, this Suns squad isn’t nearly as deep as the Warriors team Durant joined in free agency. And the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight only project Phoenix (32-28 SU and ATS) to win the West 8% of the time. Obviously, they don’t belong in your NBA picks at +225 if that projection is rooted in reality. 

To show you just how bad a pick the Suns are, we’ve run that 8% through the nutritious BMR Odds Converter; that implied probability translates to +1150 in American odds. None of the online sportsbooks on the above list comes even close to providing that potential payout. 

Who Should I Bet On?

It’s pretty common to see the favorites overvalued anytime you’re surfing the NBA futures market. Usually, the betting value is on someone in the middle of the pack, like the New York Knicks (+6000) and Toronto Raptors (+7000) in the Eastern Conference. 

However, the picture in the Western Conference is a lot fuzzier after what went down at the trade deadline. The Suns are wildly overvalued in the West compared to the Boston Celtics (+110) in the East, and they’re not the only ones, at least when you compare their NBA title odds at Bovada to their equivalent projections at FiveThirtyEight: 

  • Denver Nuggets (+350; +233)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (+450; +1900) 
  • Dallas Mavericks (+700; +614) 
  • Golden State Warriors (+700; +809) 
  • Memphis Grizzlies (+700; +376) 
  • Los Angeles Lakers (+1800; +2400) 
  • New Orleans Pelicans (+1800; +9900) 
  • Sacramento Kings (+3300; +20000) 
  • Portland Trail Blazers (+8000; +50000) 
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (+9000; +1900) 
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (+25000; <+100000) 
  • Utah Jazz (+25000; <+100000) 
  • Houston Rockets (+100000; <+100000) 
  • San Antonio Spurs (+100000; <+100000) 

Right away, you can eliminate those four teams at the bottom of the list, each projected with less than a 0.1% chance of making the Finals – a bit surprising for Oklahoma City perhaps, but there you go. 

And as you already saw above, we’ve selected the Timberwolves (31-30 SU, 29-32 ATS) as our No. 1 pick to win the West. They’re one of those more-or-less middling teams we were talking about, and maybe their chemistry will be better now that Mike Conley is playing alongside Rudy Gobert again, as they did in Utah until this offseason.

But look at all those undervalued teams in the top half. Denver (41-18 SU, 33-26 ATS) jumped out as a worthy pick with some serious designs on the title; Dallas (31-29 SU, 22-36-2 ATS) has some value despite – or because of – the arrival of Kyrie Irving, and Memphis (35-22 SU, 26-30-1 ATS) offer the most betting value of the three. 

So which one should you bet on? All of them, of course. You could even tweak your bet sizes on each team to lock in a profit should one of them win, but if you’re only going to pick one, the Timberwolves are your huckleberry. Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you. 

Our Texan readers interested in the futures market can make their bets at these major Texas betting sites.

NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets (+350) at Bovada

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Denver Nuggets (+350)
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NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+700) at Bovada

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Dallas Mavericks (+700)
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NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+700) at Bovada

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Memphis Grizzlies (+700)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.