The 2021-22 NBA season begins on Oct. 19, 2021; the 2022 NBA Western Conference outright futures betting picks are now available at Basketball Insiders. Referencing odds retrieved from Bovada, the Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites (+170) to win the conference. The Golden State Warriors possess the second-best odds (+400) of making it back to the NBA Finals, followed by the Phoenix Suns (+700), Los Angeles Clippers (+750) and Utah Jazz (+750).
In the 2020-21 NBA season, the Suns finished 51-21 (.708), ranking second overall in the Western Conference, and they advanced to their first finals since the 1992-93 season. Unfortunately for Suns’ fans, the franchise has yet to win its first NBA championship. Now that other teams are improving and becoming healthier in the west, it will make title contention more difficult for Phoenix. Down below are the updated 2022 NBA Western Conference odds from Bovada.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are the frontrunners to win the Western Conference. They’ve had arguably the busiest offseason in the league. On Jul. 29, the Lakers agreed to trade Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook. Last season, Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists in 65 games played. Furthermore, on Aug. 3, the organization signed Carmelo Anthony to a one-year deal.
Three days later, Los Angeles signed Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk and Trevor Ariza. Then, they re-signed Talen Horton-Tucker and signed Kendrick Nunn. To add to the list, Rajon Rondo and DeAndre Jordan signed contracts with the team. Last season, Los Angeles finished 42-30 (.583). They are projected to win at least 46 games. Now that their Big Three consists of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, they might be unstoppable in the west. LeBron is hungry for his fifth ring.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors rank second in conference title odds (+400). They are one of the clear-cut favorites to advance to the 2022 NBA Finals. In the 2021 NBA Draft, the organization selected Johnathan Kuminga seventh overall. On Aug. 3, the 6’7” Congolese was signed to a rookie-scale contract. On the same day, Stephen Curry signed a four-year, $215 million contract extension.
Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr. and Moses Moody were signed to the active roster. Not to mention, Klay Thompson is expected to return by Christmas Day. The 31-year-old tore his ACL in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. However, he tore his ACL again in November 2020. A potential Warriors-Lakers 2022 Western Conference Finals matchup rests on whether or not star players can remain healthy. Even then, everything needs to go right.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers made it to their first Western Conference series appearance in franchise history last season. Though, small forward Kawhi Leonard suffered a right ACL injury in Game 4 of the Conference Semifinals series versus the Utah Jazz. The five-time All-Star is expected to miss at least half of next season. So, why would bettors pick the Clippers to win the west? Currently, the Clippers are the favorites to trade for John Wall from the Houston Rockets. Wall was spotted practicing alongside Paul George two days ago.
In the offseason, during the 2021 NBA Draft, the Clippers selected Jason Preston 33rd overall. Nicolas Batum, Kawhi Leonard and Reggie Jackson were also re-signed. On Aug. 8, Justise Winslow signed as a free agent. Eight days later, Patrick Beverley, Daniel Oturu and Rajon Rondo were traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe—the 11-year veteran—averaged 12.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 71 games played last season. All things considered, the Clippers’ odds could change if they trade for Wall. This is a “wait-and-see” prediction.
The Phoenix Suns are a dark-horse contender because bettors are counting them out. Sure, they lost to the Bucks in six games of the 2021 NBA Finals. However, their starters are still there. Devin Booker has remained loyal to the team. Phoenix re-signed Chris Paul, Frank Kaminsky, Abdel Nader and Cameron Payne in the offseason. In addition to these players, Elfrid Payton, JaVale McGee and Chandler Hutchinson were signed. Although the Suns now have greater competition in the west, they are not necessarily a bad choice for bettors.
Moreover, the Utah Jazz are always in the mix. There is a long list of logical reasons why gamblers refuse to wager any title bets on this team, though. To summarize, they lack the drive and will power to defeat their opponents in the Conference Semifinals. Some teams are also just unlucky. Utah has failed to advance to the Western Conference Finals since the 2006-07 season. Plus, once Utah was there in 2007, they lost in five games against the San Antonio Spurs. Nevertheless, it is a new season. Loads of gamblers did not have the Bucks winning the title last season.
The BitCoin Sports Welcome Bonus helps bettors earn a 75% bonus up to $750 with the Bovada bonus code: BTCSWB750. Unfortunately, Bovada is not available in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Maryland. There are three important steps to claim a bonus code. First, one must create his or her own username. This will require a first name, last name and date of birth.
Second, the users must enter their mobile phone number, email address, password and select a currency. The currency is available through a drop-down option. Lastly, the user is required to verify his or her age and enter a specific zip code. Then, click the red “REGISTER” box. Enter the bonus code when making a deposit. A deposit can be made via Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash. VISA and Mastercard are other payment options.
Source: Basketball Insider