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East vs. West: Which conference will win in the NBA Finals?

Is the Eastern Conference or Western Conference more likely to win the NBA Championship?

Milwaukee Bucks v Orlando Magic Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Currently at DK Sportsbook, the Western Conference is the overwhelming favorite to produce the NBA Championship. The West is listed at -200 odds to win the title, leaving the East as long shots at +165. Are these odds fair?

Which Conference Makes for the Better Bet?

These numbers seem a bit off to me. The reason is that the Milwaukee Bucks are the current favorite to win the title at +240. Since they easily have the best record in the league, they should have the home court advantage locked up throughout the playoffs unless there is a catastrophic collapse or injury in the second half. Miwuakee figures to be the favorites if they make it the finals, so I think the value here is betting on the Eastern Conference. The risk is what would happen if the Bucks get knocked out before the Finals. Of the rest of the teams in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers have the next best title odds at +1400. Milwaukee is currently priced at -139 to win the East, so the odds indicate it is more likely to make it to the NBA Finals than not.

In the Western Conference, it’s up for grabs who will advance to the Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers are the two favorites, but I assume both would be underdogs in a potential matchup against the Bucks. The other thing to consider here, the West teams are going to beat up on each other on the way to the Finals. Playing an easier strength of schedule, the Bucks have a better chance to coast into the Finals. This could mean we have a Championship series where a well rested Bucks’ team plays against a worn down version of the best from the West. While there are certainly merits to thinking a team from the Western Conference wins the title, the odds should lean more towards the Bucks and the East.

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