What Are the San Antonio Spurs’ Odds of Winning the 2019 NBA Finals?
The NBA playoffs will begin in less than a week. Each of the eight Western Conference spots has been secured. There is also very little chance the seeds will change, except for the last three spots. Ironically, these final three spots might determine the prospects of each team trying to avoid the last one.
Odds to Win NBA Championship as of 4/3/19
The odds improve dramatically when you don’t have to match up in the first round against the Golden State Warriors. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be either sixth, seventh or eighth seed when the playoffs begin. San Antonio will see a dramatic improvement in their odds of winning a title if they can grab that seventh spot.
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Back to business. So, what are some of the factors I think play into the Spurs Odds?
Maybe the most important factor when contemplating the Spurs’ chances of winning a sixth NBA title is their playoff seed. The options are fairly simple. This final seed involves Oklahoma, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. Whichever team falls to the number eight seed, that team will entertain the defending NBA champions in the first round.
Sure, the Spurs took two out of three against the Warriors, but two were in San Antonio, one back with Golden State was getting their legs back under them. The home court advantage will go to Golden State where the Spurs lost by nearly 40 points. The seventh seed will get the surprisingly successful, upstart Denver Nuggets in the first round.
After leading the Western Conference most of the season, Denver has trailed off since late February. But for a six-game streak, the Nuggets have been beaten four times in a week twice down the stretch. San Antonio has won two of the three games thus far, with one meaningful game left in Denver.
The Nuggets struggled to beat the Spurs at home in December, so winning a series against a veteran team will be tough. The advantage goes to the Spurs if they get the seventh seed. While the next round will be a potential Houston/San Antonio Texas-state battle, it poses better odds than an early-round matchup against the Warriors.
If they navigate their way past the first two rounds, San Antonio would be an unwelcome opponent for Golden State in the Western Conference finals. Needless to say, the Spurs are very interesting in avoiding the eighth seed.
The Coach Pop-Effect
When you play against the San Antonio Spurs, there is always the Coach Pop-Effect. They have one of the most adaptive coaches in the history of the NBA, not to mention the longest-tenured head coach in all professional sports.
When the game is on the line when the man holding the clipboard has this amount of game experience he is a huge advantage. Gregg Popovich also has been the coach of all five San Antonio championship teams. He has been NBA coach of the year four times, and for good reason.
When you have one of the winningest coaches in the history of the NBA on your sidelines, you have an advantage. Call it whatever you want, but there have been times when the Spurs weren’t supposed to win, but they did. NBA experts refer to that as the Pop-Effect.
Make and Defend the Three-Pointer
The Spurs have both the highest team shooting percentage behind the arc, and the worst percentage defending it, among the Western Conference playoff teams. If they can defend the three-pointer with more efficiency, yet maintain their own accuracy, the will improve their odds in every game.
These are three factors that determine the San Antonio Spurs’ odds of winning their sixth NBA title. While they are not the best odds on the board, they are still the Spurs. A seventh seed will avoid the Warriors until the Western Conference finals.
After that, a well-seasoned team, bolstered by a tough conference competition will be a worthy opponent for whoever navigates their way out of the Eastern Conference. When you have a coach like Gregg Popovich drawing up the game plan, you always have a chance!
Odds to Win Western Conference