Betting Odds and Picks for Each NBA Division in 2019/20
By Noah Davis
| July 18, 2019
This is easily the craziest NBA offseason in recent memory. The past few years collectively have been truly wild, as so many marquee players in the league have changed teams.
Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving are all now on their third team in the last three years. The turnover in The Association is obscene, but it at least helps to peck away at the longstanding notion that pro basketball is the most predictable sports genre in the world.
It really was for quite some time, but the stars hold the power and continue to drastically shake things up.
With LeBron James and Kevin Durant also changing teams over the last two years and big names like Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul all being traded, it’s anyone’s guess who is the favorite to win the 2020 NBA Finals.
Betting on the final series of the year is still appealing, perhaps because nobody can confidently say they know what will happen. It’s a little more predictable when it comes to betting on who will win each NBA division, but I do think there’s value in that betting genre we haven’t seen in some time.
With that, let’s take a look at the NBA division odds and see what the top pick and best values figure to be for the 2019-20 NBA season.
This was a tight division with three would-be championship contenders, but some serious movement threatens to rattle the cage. Kyrie Irving left Boston, Kawhi Leonard is now in LA, and a rising Nets team landed two superstars.
The key could be the status of Kevin Durant (Achilles), who has not yet been ruled out for 2019. That being said, the 76ers enter the new year as the tentative favorites to take the crown.
Here are the full Atlantic Division odds for next season. These, and other division winner odds, all come from SportsBetting.ag.
Philadelphia 76ers +110
Boston Celtics +275
New York Knicks+10000
Philly does make sense as the winner here. They already have a scary duo in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who are dominant together and only getting better.
The Sixers did lose a clutch closer in Jimmy Butler, but they kept Tobias Harris, acquired Josh Richardson in a trade with Miami, and signed Al Horford.
The 76ers lost some defense and shooting (J.J. Redick also left), but they remain quite loaded in their starting five.
If their bench shooting steps up, they’ll be one of the best teams in the East and quite possibly the top team in the Atlantic, as the top NBA betting sites seem to suggest.
While certainly possible, the Celtics, Nets, and Raptors all offer fantastic value. They’ll also have a say in how this division unfolds, too. In fact, the only team you can truly write off here is the Knicks, who remain completely inept.
That doesn’t mean I fully trust these other teams. Boston lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, while the Raptors said goodbye to Kawhi Leonard.
Brooklyn landed Irving but may not get a single second out of Kevin Durant this year.
There is still merit in betting on any of these three teams, and of the lot, I like the Nets the most. Irving will give Brooklyn a considerable boost, and this was already a rising team that just made the playoffs last year.
I still prefer Philly here, though.
They feel like a very strong bet at this price tag, and they’ve been in the mix to steal the crown in each of the past two years. They responded nicely despite losing two key pieces, and if Simmons can ever learn how to shoot, they could end up being unstoppable.
The Greek Freak remains hungry, and the Milwaukee Bucks returned virtually all of their core players as they give the NBA Finals another go. Losing Malcolm Brogdon could sting, but Milwaukee is otherwise loaded and is coming off the best record in the league.
They’re the likely winners here, as Vegas sees them as massive favorites. Still, this could be an interesting spot for bettors to aim high.
Here are the odds to win the Central Division this year.
Indiana Pacers +350
There’s little doubt that this is Milwaukee’s division. Indy wasn’t a pushover last year, however, and they brought in reinforcements with guys like T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb, and Malcolm Brogdon joining the show.
The Pacers are also pushing the versatile Domantas Sabonis into a bigger role, while they’ll also eventually get stud two-way guard Victor Oladipo back. Indy plays hard, they defend, and they’re now about as balanced as anyone.
If you’re not betting on the Bucks, the Pacers are the pick here.
Chicago will be better, and they’re loaded with young talent, but they aren’t taking down the Bucks just yet. Detroit is in better position to do that, and they’re not even close.
Cleveland is the furthest away in this division and should continue their tank job the second they inevitably trade away Kevin Love.
In all fairness, this just isn’t a division to bet on.
I think the Bucks win it and end up being the correct call, but the only great wager is the Pacers at +350. That being said, my goal is to point you to the winners here, not just high-upside bets. Milwaukee is the easy call.
Notorious for being one of the tightest division races on a yearly basis, it’s possible NBA fans are in for another cutthroat affair in 2019.
Teams like Charlotte and Washington could take sizable steps back in this division, but there still isn’t a runaway favorite.
Vegas clearly agrees. Check out the latest Southeast Division odds.
Miami Heat +100
Charlotte Hornets +2500
The Hornets couldn’t even make the NBA playoffs with Kemba Walker going off last year. They did replace him with Terry Rozier, and Miles Bridges could take on a huge role, but there’s not much to get excited about here.
The same goes for the Wizards. John Wall will miss the entire year with a torn Achilles, and Washington has let a lot of talent go via trades and free agency.
It’s Bradley Beal or bust, and that wasn’t a formula that translated into a playoff run a year ago. I don’t see what changes for the better.
Atlanta is a team to watch, and at +600, they’re the value bet worth chasing in this division. Trae Young, John Collins, and Kevin Huerter offer a very nice core to build around, while talented rookies Cam Reddish and D’Andre Hunter offer serious versatility and upside.
If we’re being realistic, though, this division is down to Miami and Orlando. Let the battle of Florida commence, as the edgy Magic defend well and brought back star scorer Nikola Vucevic.
They’ll badly need Markelle Fultz to pan out as their new franchise point guard, however.
Miami feels like the safer bet. They’re pretty deep, well-coached, and just signed Jimmy Butler. If the Chris Paul rumors come to fruition, they might be a lot better than expected.
Even if they don’t, the Heat still look like the best team in this division.
This is possibly the toughest division in The Association to figure out this year. It’s still going to just be a three-team race between the Lakers, Clippers, and Dubs, but good luck figuring out who wins.
Vegas likes the Clippers to win the Finals at the moment, so it should shock nobody that they peg Leonard’s crew as the Pacific Division champs, too.
Los Angeles Clippers -150
Los Angeles Lakers+225
Golden State Warriors+450
Phoenix Suns +25000
I still think the Warriors are going to be a tough team and remain interesting 2020 NBA Finals sleepers just because Klay Thompson could return before the playoffs start. But Golden State is no longer the most talented team in their division.
Golden State ranks third in this race, and their +450 odds feel like fun. If you want a shot in the dark, they’re it. I just wouldn’t go hard at them, as we have no clue how they’ll look without two of their best players.
Otherwise, this division is probably down to the Battle of Los Angeles.
It took forever, but both the Clippers and Lakers have title aspirations, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George make the Clips the early favorites and the pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis gives the Lake Show a real shot.
The gap really isn’t that wide here, assuming all goes well. The Clippers have the better coaching and a really nice supporting cast, but the Lakers aren’t far behind.
Frank Vogel runs the show for the Lakers, while role players like Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, and Kyle Kuzma give the Lakers a solid core around their superstars. If King James avoids steep regression and The Brow is healthy, the Lakers at +225 feels like a steal.
While the Lakers and Warriors are tempting, I’m of the belief that Kawhi Leonard has turned himself into the best player in the league. He’s got an amazing running mate next to him in Paul George, and the Clippers have a slew of helpful role players.
The Clippers are the best team in this division, and at -150, you can still get respectable value for the likely winner.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Rockets stink of desperation these days. The Chris Paul acquisition didn’t lead to a title, so instead of running it back in a suddenly wide-open league, they jumped ship and traded for Russell Westbrook.
That probably gives the initial chemistry a boost and maybe even inflates Houston’s star power. But Westbrook and Harden are two incredibly ball-dominant players, Westbrook has never been a great shooter, and he also isn’t an elite defender.
CP3 was aging and often banged up, though, so the Rockets arguably didn’t have a choice.
I still think they may be one more big move from a title run, but Vegas is probably right to assume they’re still the class of the Southwest Division.
Here are the latest odds for who will take the division in 2019-20.
Houston Rockets -250
San Antonio Spurs +400
Dallas Mavericks +700
New Orleans Pelicans +1400
Memphis Grizzlies +10000
I doubt many will fight me here. Memphis is in a full rebuild. New Orleans added a ton of talent but remains very young and a couple of years from challenging. The Mavs got better but probably aren’t there yet, either.
Experience, one way or another, is going to win out in the Southwest Division.
The Spurs remain one of the best-coached teams in the NBA, while the duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan could be improved in year two.
San Antonio should also look to integrate NBA Summer League sensation Lonnie Walker, while the healthy return of point guard Dejounte Murray could provide this roster with a nice boost.
San Antonio is deep and plays slow to help them grind out wins and play solid defense. That should keep them in play as an interesting bet at +400, but they’re the only dice roll you should be taking in this division.
Houston has more star power than anyone in the Southwest Division, and I doubt they’re done making moves. Even if that’s not true, they’re likely winning again.
Lastly, we have the loaded Northwest Division, where three teams look like viable contenders for the division crown.
OKC can be crossed off that list if they end up dealing Chris Paul, but if bettors catch wind that the Thunder will keep him and spring another big move, perhaps they’d be an interesting flier bet.
As they stand, the Thunder are actually kind of interesting. A core of CP3, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schroder really isn’t half bad.
That being said, I’m not ready to bet on OKC, and Minnesota has a lot of questions to answer, too. Bettors should start their wagers up top, where the Jazz, Nuggets, and Blazers look like the most compelling bets.
Utah Jazz +100
Denver Nuggets +175
Portland Trail Blazers +600
Minnesota Timberwolves +1400
Oklahoma City Thunder +2000
Utah is very interesting here, but Vegas might be overreacting to their offseason moves. A strong defensive team only got nastier with the addition of Mike Conley, though, while Bojan Bogdanovic solidifies a slowly improving offense.
The Jazz are legit dangerous going into next year, but they’re no sure thing, and the price isn’t where I’d like it. Denver had the best record in the West last year and should only be getting better. They’re an elite value at +175, and they could always swing a big move (for Bradley Beal, perhaps) to solidify themselves as the top bet in this division.
All roads lead me to the Blazers, however.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum still form one of the best backcourts in the league, while Portland showed their grit in a run to the Western Conference Finals last season. Maybe that has them being a flash in the pan, but their offseason moves suggest they’re anything but.
Jusuf Nurkic (leg) will eventually return to full strength, but the team went out and traded for Hassan Whiteside in case he doesn’t. Portland also addressed small forward — a longtime trouble spot for them — by signing Mario Hezonja and trading for Kent Bazemore.
In theory, Portland got even better and is equipped to put up points and defend. Their insane +600 price tag seals the deal for me, making them the most appealing NBA division wager going into next year.
Portland Trail Blazers
There are certainly some spots where the top NBA sportsbooks nail it when it comes to setting the price for 2019-20 NBA division winners. However, there is also a lot of room to take some shots that offer nice value.
Stacked divisions particularly offer upside with more than one viable option (looking at you, Northwest and Pacific), while a few divisions seem to be flat-out up for grabs.
The aim here has to be attacking value. I don’t see the point in paying for a weak -400 price to back the Bucks or eating -250 to roll with the Rockets.
Are Milwaukee and Houston going to win their respective divisions? That’s entirely possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay to bet on the favorite — even if they feel like a lock.
It’s like betting on the Patriots in the AFC East each year. It’s just not a wager that will return much. It’s probably right, and it’ll convert, but it’s not really worth a large investment. Oddly enough, the only way you see any money back is if you risk a boatload.
Instead of doing that, it may make sense to hunt for cracks in the foundation and try to attack some value bets that have a chance at delivering.
Whatever you decide to do, of course, we thank you for stopping by and hope this breakdown helps you in some manner. Good luck and happy betting! Remember to keep up to date with all the latest NBA odds and our predictions in our NBA betting guide.