With a few teams having already clinched their spots, the question now remains of who is going to place where and how good teams are going to look heading into the postseason.
Breakdown of Western conference odds
As of right now, this is the current odds landscape for the top four heading into the last stretch of the season:
- Denver Nuggets +280
- Phoenix Suns +290
- Memphis Grizzlies +450
- Golden State Warriors +500
It is evident by the odds that current standings aren’t prioritized by AZ sportsbooks as form and overall team quality. While the Denver Nuggets are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of current win percentage, having a current record of 49/24 (.671 pct), the Phoenix Suns remain at near identical odds despite only carrying a 38/34 record (.528 pct).
As for the rest of the field, the odds start to expand dramatically once you get past the first four, indicating that the gap in both talent and record is clear in this conference. The Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunders, and Utah Jazz in particular are more or less out of the race altogether.
- Los Angeles Clippers +1100
- Dallas Mavericks +1300
- Los Angeles Lakers +2100
- Sacramento Kings +2100
- Minnesota Timberwolves +6500
- New Orleans Pelicans +10000
- Oklahoma City Thunder +24000
- Portland Trail Blazers +50000
- Utah Jazz +50000
Why the Suns may be overvalued
Heading into the last few games, the Suns are left with the hardest strength of schedule out of the remaining top four. This could have a drastic impact on seeding, as both the Clippers and Warriors are set to overtake the 4th seed if the Suns aren’t able to remain competitive down the stretch.
In addition, recent performances may be indicative of what is to come for the team. The team is currently on a two-game losing streak and has lost its last four out of five games. While these games have been competitive throughout and come down to the wire, it could be a telling sign of things to come when trying to compete for the Western Conference title.
Box score scouting may not be a thing, but the oddsmakers currently put the Suns on par with the Denver Nuggets, and reading into a team’s consistency throughout the season, the Nuggets have been shown to perform better and be clutch in high-stakes scenarios – a feature that is yet to be shown in the Sun’s games thus far.
Why the Suns may be properly valued
The recent strength of schedule and current standings don’t do much to account for actual talent on the court. The Suns have recently added Kevin Durant just prior to the NBA trade deadline and Devin Booker remains as good as ever, averaging a solid 28.8 ppg. The core of CP3, KD, Booker, and Ayton has all the telling signs of a superteam that just needs to hit their stride when it matters the most.
Experience could also prove to be a crucial factor as a large chunk of the roster already have past experience with deep playoff runs. While the team is now a mix of veteran leadership, new guys trying to prove themselves and established superstars, there’s no denying that veteran leadership plays a huge role heading into the postseason.
In the end, whether you reckon the Suns are overvalued or undervalued by the current betting markets, there is no denying that we are in for an explosive playoffs that are putting the Suns in a better spot to compete than it has been in a long, long time.
Make sure to give us a follow for more news about Arizona online sports betting!