Lakers to be Challenged?
The Los Angeles Lakers are still the heavy favorite out West for the updated conference odds at BroburySports.com. ‘Previous odds’ listed in the article come from right after the February trading deadline.
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Opening game odds:
No. 1 Los Angeles (-7 ½) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma City
No. 2 Dallas (-4 ½) vs. No. 7 San Antonio
No. 3 Phoenix (-7 ½) vs. No. 6 Portland
No. 4 Denver (-5) vs. No. 5 Utah
Los Angeles Lakers (-190)
Previous Odds: -300. The Lakers have coasted down the stretch even before technically clinching the top seed in the West. Kobe Bryant is trying to get his finger healthy, and who knows if Andrew Bynum will be close to 100 percent in the playoffs.
Dallas Mavericks (+500)
Previous Odds: +800. The trading deadline additions of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood have completely turned around this team. Their odds have dropped significantly and rightly so. They are still great value as the second seed!
Denver Nuggets (+600)
Previous Odds: +350. Denver has gotten Kenyon Martin back, which helps their overall defense and rebounding. This is one of the teams truly capable of beating Los Angeles, and they also provide value at these odds.
Phoenix Suns (+700)
Previous odds: +3000. Phoenix has played very good since the All-Star break, but a lot of those games were either at home or against easy opponents. The Suns have also been relying on offense to win. Defense wins in the playoffs. Overvalued!
San Antonio Spurs (+700)
Previous Odds: +1000. San Antonio is the epitome of a veteran team that becomes more dangerous in the playoffs. That’s just like Boston in the East. San Antonio could make things uncomfortable for Dallas in the first round.
Utah Jazz (+800)
Previous Odds: +800. Utah played great in the second half, but fell to the fifth seed late and now has to open at Denver. This is a solid roster overall, but it seems built more for regular season success.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+2500)
Previous odds: +2000. Oklahoma City has had a great year and no one really wants to face Kevin Durant in the playoffs. That said, look for a quick loss to the Lakers in the first round.
Portland Trail Blazers (+2500)
Previous odds: +2500. Portland survived devastating injuries to centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to make the playoffs. However, now a Brandon Roy injury will keep him out of postseason play. Can you say elimination?
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Posted: 4/16/10 10:24AM ET