Ahead of the start of the new NBA season, Max Liu discusses the odds on the Los Angeles Clippers and other teams likely to be competing for top spot...
With just under three weeks to go until the new NBA season gets under way, it's the teams from the City of Angels that look like they have the best chance of glory in 2019/20. The Clippers and the Lakers will be fierce rivals but, as if to underline their strength, Betfair Sportsbook is letting you bet on the LA teams combined in a special Los Angeles v the field market.
Clippers and Lakers aiming for glory
Los Angeles Clippers are 16/5 favourites to go all the way and end Golden State Warriors' run of consecutive championships. The Clippers' game is based on a strong defence to which star signing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are crucial.
Los Angeles Lakers 4/1 could run them close in the Western Conference and in the race for the championship over all. The Lakers are one of the most decorated teams in the game - second only to the Boston Celtics - and have won the championship 16 times. Head coach Frank Vogel would love to steer them to their first title for a decade and in Lebron James they have a man who knows how to win championships.
Bucks and Sixers look to kick on
Next in the betting, the Milwaukee Bucks look set for a big season. Last year, they reached their first conference finals since 2001 and they're determined to kick on this time. They're 6/1 to win the Championship and 7/5 to finish top in the Eastern Conference.
To do that, they'll need to be better than a Philadelphia 76ers roster that's been revamped following last season's play-offs heartbreak. Coach Brett Brown has more options at his disposal for the new campaign and will be able to rotate his squad, using star men like Al Horford and Joel Embiid more sparingly.
Rockets rated stronger than Warriors
Houston Rockets 9/1 are also expected to be in contention and coach Daryl Morey will be more determined than ever to take his team deep into the post-season. Last year, the Rockets lost to eventual winners the Warriors for the second season in a row.
This time, however, the Rockets are rated stronger contenders for the big prize, with the Warriors out to 14/1 following a summer of change that saw star man Kevin Durant leave the San Francisco franchise. Still, a roster that includes players like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green can never be ruled out.
Massive range of NBA markets...
This is just a run down of the teams that bettors are backing to compete for the NBA title ahead of the opening fixtures on 23 October. But there's far more to betting on the 2019/20 season than simply trying to pick the outright winner.
For a start, there's an enormous range of markets - from handicap betting to total points and much more - offered on each match-up.
Across the seasons, there's the conference markets and you can bet on each team's chances of making the play-off with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Then there's individual player awards betting.
The point is that, if there's a bet you want to place on any aspect of the NBA in 2019/20, you'll probably find it offered on Betfair.