Wide open West: NBA odds, picks and predictions for 2020 Western Conference

NBA: Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and forward Kristaps Porzingis give the Mavs optimism for this season and beyond Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is here, so if you are looking for over/unders, odds, picks and predictions for the 2020 basketball season, you’ve come to the right place. The West is as loaded as ever, so this is not an easy conference to assess over/unders picks for.

All NBA odds are courtesy of BetMGM. Odds are subject to change so lock in your picks quickly.

Dallas Mavericks: 40.5 – (over -106, under -121)

2018-19 record: 33-49

The Dallas Mavericks were able to steal All-Star Kristaps Porzingis away from the New York Knicks last season. Porzingis is finally healthy, and has put on serious muscle, hoping his new body will help him better handle the rigors of a long NBA season.

The 24-year-old Porzingis will be paired with Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic for many years to come. The two European players should complement each other’s games quite well. With Luka just 20 years old, the sky's the limit for where he can take his game. Doncic’s improvement with the addition of Porzingis should allow the Mavericks to win at least eight more games here.


Denver Nuggets: 52.5 – (over -134, under +105)

2018-19 record: 54-28

So much went well for the Nuggets last year, and while they are a legit playoff team, you have to wonder if 54 wins was this team’s ceiling in a very deep Western Conference.

It’s very possible the Nuggets rest players down the stretch to gear up for the playoffs instead of going for the No. 1 overall seed like they did a year ago.

The X-factor for this club is rookie Michael Porter Jr., who is finally healthy and competing in camp to be the starting small forward for the Nuggets.

If Porter performs well, he can be a huge difference for this club, either on the court or as part of a trade package for a star such as shooting guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.

While the Nuggets have a very good team, 52.5 wins in a loaded West is a lot to ask for. Also, with close decisions like this, take the better odds.


Golden State Warriors: 47.5 – (over -134, under +105)

2018-19 record: 57-25

After being the NBA favorites for the last half-decade, the Warriors have seen forward Kevin Durant depart via free agency to the Brooklyn Nets and shooting guard Klay Thompson tear his ACL.

2020 NBA odds and picks: Eastern Conference

Having said that, key pieces are still in place for the Warriors to win games. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry averaged 27.3 points per game last season with Durant and Thompson taking lots of shots.

Curry could easily average over 30 points a game this season and win another MVP.

Forward Draymond Green lost 25 pounds near the end of the regular season and looked like his old self in the playoffs.

The team also received a gift from the Brooklyn Nets, who agreed to send back All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade for Durant.

If the Nets decided to just sign Durant outright, the Warriors wouldn’t have had the cap space for Russell.

Russell signed a long-term deal with the Warriors and can either help replace the scoring void left by Durant and Thompson or be used in a trade for a player that fits the team’s needs better when Thompson is healthy.

Thompson is expected to be back and contribute sometime after the All-Star break, so while the Warriors are not the automatic favorite they once were and their depth is totally gone, they should still be a top team out west that could exceed 50 wins.


Houston Rockets: 53.5 – (over -112, under -115)

2018-19 record: 53-29

How former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook play together on the court for the Houston Rockets is going to be one of the more fascinating storylines of the 2019-20 NBA season.

While Harden and Westbrook are good friends going back to their Oklahoma City Thunder days, on the court they both need the ball in their hands. Harden has thrived in Houston as a facilitator who can pass the ball to open shooters, something Westbrook is not.

With that said, these two want to make this work together and there’s just too much talent on this club not to be a threat to win at least as many games as they did a season ago. Center Clint Capela, who has gotten a little better each of his five NBA seasons, should thrive in pick-and-rolls with Westbrook.


Los Angeles Clippers: 54.5 – (over -115, under -112)

2018-19 record: 48-34

The Los Angeles Clippers had the biggest summer of any team out West, adding forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

While the team had to sacrifice promising guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the Thunder to acquire George, the team remarkably kept a lot of important pieces around their two stars.

Lou Williams won Sixth Man of the Year once again a season ago, guard Landry Shamet should be even better as a second-year player, and power forward Montrezl Harrell enjoyed a breakout season with the Clippers last season.

The Clippers were even able to fend off interested suitors in guard Patrick Beverley over the summer, bringing him back on a three-year deal.

The team is loaded and while Leonard will be load managed for the second straight season, and George won’t begin his season until November, the Clippers are good enough to be the best in the West, which would mean high 50’s wins at minimum.


Los Angeles Lakers: 51.5 – (over – 100, under -125)

2018-19 record: 37-45

The Lakers finally got their man when they traded a majority of their assets for six-time All-Star Anthony Davis in July, but this seems like an awfully high win total for a team without much around Davis and forwards LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma. Davis has been injury-prone in his career and James played in a career-low 55 games a season ago.

Davis has already survived an injury scare after having an MRI on his right thumb come back clean on Oct. 14. Kuzma has been sidelined due to a stress fracture in his left foot he suffered playing with Team USA over the summer.

James will be 35 in December and likely won’t be playing a full 82-game season again in his career. If one of James or Davis gets hurt, it’s going to be like the 37-win Lakers of last season although without Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

The Lakers could hit the over here if Davis and LeBron play an effective 70 games each but with the goal of winning a championship, new head coach Frank Vogel will likely give them plenty of rest days.


NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
The Los Angeles Lakers need MVP seasons from Anthony Davis and LeBron James to achieve expectations this season. Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies: 27.5 – (over +100, under – 125)

2018-19 record: 33-49

The Grizzlies have overhauled their roster over the last few months as veterans Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are out.

The team drafted point guard Ja Morant out of Murray State with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft and also selected forward Brandon Clarke out of Gonzaga with the No. 21 pick.

The Grizzlies are hoping those two can combine with last year’s standout rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and veteran center Jonas Valanciunas to be the Grizzlies’ new core. While there will be some ups and downs with a group as young as this, 27.5 seems more like the floor of this talented, young group.


Minnesota Timberwolves: 35.5 – (over +105, under -134)

2018-19 record: 36-46

With all the Jimmy Butler turmoil finally behind this team, perhaps the Timberwolves can take a step forward this season. All eyes are on their two max salary players, center Karl-Anthony Towns and shooting guard Andrew Wiggins.

Towns is coming off another excellent campaign where he was durable and effective. In Towns’ four NBA seasons, he’s missed a total of five games, although his presence on the court hasn’t led to wins just yet.

Then there’s Wiggins, who shot a career-low 41.2 percent from the field last season. Wiggins doesn’t do much else, with just 2.2 assists per game over his career. Like Towns, he’s also been extremely durable, missing just 10 games over his five NBA seasons. If Towns and Wiggins even take the slightest step forward, the over can be had here. We’re taking the over here strictly for the better odds.


New Orleans Pelicans: 39.5 – (over -115, under -112)

2018-19 record: 33-49

The New Orleans Pelicans made some massive changes over the summer, trading franchise center Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers and winning the NBA draft lottery and the rights to draft Duke superstar Zion Williamson.

Williamson has looked as good as advertised in the preseason, but this isn’t a one-man show in New Orleans. All-Star guard Jrue Holiday averaged a career-best 21.2 points per game last season to go with 7.7 assists per game on 47.2 percent shooting.

The team also added Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and J.J. Redick between the Davis trade and free agency. The Pelicans also drafted guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker with the No. 17 overall pick in the NBA draft. Walker impressed in summer league and looks like an early draft-day steal.

This team has two stars in Williamson and Holiday and way too much depth to be near the bottom of a loaded Western Conference.


Oklahoma City Thunder: 31.5 – (over -115, under -112)

2018-19 record: 49-33

The Oklahoma City Thunder lost their two stars Russell Westbrook and George via trades this summer. While the hope of a championship this season isn't present, the team still has some interesting talent. If point guard Chris Paul and forward Danilo Gallinari can each play 60+ games this season, the Thunder should be able to compete for a playoff spot.

The team also still has center Steven Adams, who is somehow only 26-years-old.

Lastly look for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to take a step forward in his second pro season, even if he has to play more off the ball with Paul's presence. T

his win total is likely lower than it should be because at any point the Thunder could trade off veterans like Paul, Adams and Gallinari for additional draft picks but if they don't, 31.5 seems very attainable.


Phoenix Suns: 28.5 – (over -121, under -106)

2018-19 record: 19-63

The Phoenix Suns have been the doormat of the Western Conference for most of the decade now. Over the last four seasons, the Suns have combined for just 87 wins.

The team already had Devin Booker averaging 26.6 points per game a year ago on 46.7% shooting. How much more can they ask of him?

Center Deandre Ayton had a solid rookie season offensively but left a lot to be desired as a rim protector. As a 21-year-old, it’s reasonable to think he’ll improve on that end of the floor, but will it translate to wins for the Suns this season?  

The team also acquired forward Dario Saric from the Timberwolves but then gave away forward T.J. Warren to the Indiana Pacers.

A 10-win swing when the team didn’t improve much this summer seems to be asking a lot.


Portland Trail Blazers: 46.5 – (over -121, under -106)

2018-19 record: 53-29

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off their best season in the Damian Lillard-CJ McCollum era. The Blazers won 53 regular season games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

Portland didn’t lose any key pieces and added heralded forward Nassir Little out of North Carolina in the draft. What would be the reason for this team to regress seven games?

The Blazers have won more than 46.5 games in four of the last six seasons.

With center Jusuf Nurkic likely to miss a big chunk of the season, the team added Hassan Whiteside to give them minutes at the position.

Lillard and McCollum have been very durable over the last few years, so thinking the Blazers can repeat their previous success is a safe bet.


Sacramento Kings: 37.5 – (over -134, under +105)

2018-19 record: 39-43

The Sacramento Kings took major steps forward a season ago for the first time in a decade, thanks to their dynamic backcourt of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Fox is just 21-years-old and looks poised to make the leap to elite point guard status in his third NBA season. Will it be enough to get the Kings into the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season?


San Antonio Spurs: 46.5 – (over +105, under -134)

2018-19 record: 48-34

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t finished with less than 46.5 wins since the 1998-99 season, and that was because the season was only 50 games long. That Spurs team was led by a 22-year-old named Tim Duncan.

It’s safe to say that the Spurs have been a model franchise but in a loaded Western Conference, Father Time may finally catch up to the Spurs. The Spurs’ top two players, forward LaMarcus Aldridge (34) and guard DeMar DeRozan (30), are now in their 30’s.

The Spurs as a whole regressed as a defensive unit, allowing 110 points per game, middle of the pack in the NBA. This could be another playoff year for the Spurs but 46.5 is asking a lot of this group.


Utah Jazz: 54.5 – (over 100, under -125)

2018-19 record: 50-32

The Utah Jazz improved this summer with the acquisition of point guard Mike Conley from the Grizzlies in a trade and the signing of forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who had a breakout second half with the Indiana Pacers last season.

Third-year guard Donovan Mitchell could take another step forward as he aims to be a first-time All-Star and All-NBA player after averaging 23.8 points per game last season as a 22-year-old.

This team is loaded and while 54.5 is a big number, they have as good of a chance as any team out West to achieve this target.


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