The Western Conference playoff talks will be dominated by the No.4 seed and the team that couldn’t even secure a top-six spot and had to work in the fork via the play-in tournament.
Imagine being the Utah Jazz or the Phoenix Suns.
The Jazz and the Suns must be feeling a little despised. These two teams, and not the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers, got the two best seeds in the West. The Jazz went 52-20 and the Suns 51-21. They were great all season.
And yet the punters at BetMGM do not really jostle to get them to win everything, or even to win the West.
Jazz, Suns down in the odds
The ranking of the most popular bets to win the NBA title is predictable. The Nets and Lakers have the most tickets written on it, at 19% and 16.9% respectively. After them come the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Jazz have just 6.8% of the tickets to win the NBA title, and the Suns are well below 3.3%.
You’d never know the Jazz and the Suns are the two best seeds in the West, winning 103 games combined, watching at the odds of BetMGM. The Jazz have +325 to win over the West and the Suns are +700. At the start of the week, the Lakers (with now healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis) were favored at +200 and the Clippers were just behind at +260. To win everything, the Jazz are at +700 and the Suns at +1600.
The odds are certainly good on the West’s top two seeds, but is anyone going to take them?
Suns, Jazz had good seasons
There is general skepticism when an NBA team has a great regular season after low season expectations. We didn’t expect the Suns and Jazz to be great, but they were both really good. And although both teams have great players, there is no LeBron, AD, Kawhi or Luka to convince everyone. They’re fun teams to watch, but neither is an NBA branded team in terms of attention.
We understand why Jazz or the Suns are not the favorites of the West. The Lakers have been injured for much of the season and everyone knows how healthy they are. The Clippers weren’t hunting seeds because they practiced a lot of load management. But the Suns and Jazz are just good teams. They are among the first seven of the two offensive and defensive efficiency among NBA teams. The Suns have one of the greatest leaders and playmakers in NBA history, Chris Paul, and the Jazz have top scorer Donovan Mitchell and elite defenseman Rudy Gobert.
There are good reasons the Suns and Jazz have won as many games as they have. They are good. It’ll just be hard to convince anyone to bet one of the West’s top two seeds to make it into the NBA Finals, whatever the odds.
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