Everyone is gunning for the Golden State Warriors. After reaching the Finals three straight years and winning two championships, the Warriors are all by themselves atop the 2018 NBA Western Conference odds list – and it’s not even close. Golden State is the –275 favorite at press time, miles ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder at +750.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many superteams the West comes up with. The Warriors are blessed with two MVPs in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, two more All-Stars in Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, and quality depth at every position on the court. They also have one of the brightest minds in basketball in head coach Steve Kerr. Golden State may or may not be a bargain at –275, but however you slice the futures odds, the West is theirs to lose.
 

Oklahoma, OK

The Spurs used to be the team with all the veteran depth, but with players like David West jumping ship for Golden State, it’s been tougher for San Antonio to keep up. While this year’s squad has Rudy Gay on board to give MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard some support, the Spurs’ backcourt could be in trouble with Tony Parker (ruptured left quad) not expected to play until January.

This leaves a hole in the NBA Western Conference odds that the Thunder hope to exploit. Russell Westbrook became an MVP when Durant left town, but his chances of winning a title are much greater now that both Paul George (formerly with Indiana) and Carmelo Anthony (formerly with New York) have arrived in Oklahoma City. Will it be enough? The Thunder don’t have much depth, either, and they have a very small window of opportunity with both George and Anthony nearing the end of their respective contracts.
 

Better Call Paul

There’s another new superteam in the West trying to crash Golden State’s party. The Houston Rockets (+1000) needed some help for MVP candidate James Harden, so they pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in league history, sending seven players, a first-round pick and cash to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Paul. The Rockets still have some depth left over, but will Paul and Harden be able to co-exist in the backcourt?

If not, there’s an emerging superteam that’s dripping with NBA betting value. The Minnesota Timberwolves (+1600) added to their young tandem of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins by acquiring three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in a favorable draft-day deal. But to make this potential Big Three work, they also sent point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz and replaced him with former Atlanta Hawks pivot Jeff Teague. It’s a risky move that could pay dividends as the Wolves try to capture some of the magic that Butler wove for head coach Tom Thibodeau when they were in Chicago. They’ll need all the magic they can get if they want to beat the Warriors this year.

 

*Odds as of October 3, 2017