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[BKL] Oct 12, 2017

NBA Northwest Division Betting Preview: Thunder are the Favourites Among the New Faces

By Gracenote

The Northwest Division received a kind of extreme makeover this NBA offseason. All-Star forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony join MVP Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, SF Jimmy Butler reunites with former head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota and PF Paul Milsap signed with an up and coming Denver squad. We break down the division and why to bet on each team.

Denver Nuggets (2016-17: 40-42 SU, 46-36 ATS)

C Nikola Jokic and PG Jamal Murray are two good pieces to build around. Jokic had several triple-doubles last year, leading Denver with 9.8 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists while Murray may have put up just under 10 points per contest, but he played the role of point guard well. The addition of PF Paul Millsap solidifies the front court with SF Danilo Gallinari gone.

Minnesota Timberwolves (2016-17: 31-51 SU, 37-45 ATS)

It was a great offseason for Minnesota as the team added Jimmy Butler to an already great duo of C Karl-Anthony Towns and SG Andrew Wiggins. Butler brings a scoring mentality as well as someone who is willing to share the basketball. Towns averaged 25.1 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per contest last season, while Wiggins chipped in 23.6 ppg.

Oklahoma City Thunder (2016-17: 47-35 SU, 45-37 ATS)

Not too many teams can roll out a trio of scorers like Oklahoma City can. The late addition of Carmelo Anthony is a big help alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George who is potentially playing for a big contract in free agency. SG Andrew Roberson is a defensive specialist, while C Steven Adams is a banger inside.

Portland Trail Blazers (2016-17: 41-41 SU, 40-42 ATS)

PG Damian Lillard and SG CJ McCollum are an All-Star duo who can beat you driving the line and outside the arc. C Jusuf Nurkic was a nice pickup after the deadline last year and he'll have help inside with rookie C Zach Collins.

Utah Jazz (2016-17: 51-31 SU, 38-44 ATS)

Defence will be this team's calling card now that a lot of their upper-level scoring is gone. C Rudy Gobert continues to improve and he now has a better PG in Ricky Rubio. There is also intriguing talent in SG's Rodney Hood and Donovan Mitchell.
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