As the 2018-19 NBA season fast approaches, Las Vegas betting outlet Bovada has released an increasing number of bets to evaluate. The most recent one, division winner odds, features the Nuggets quite prominently. (h/t Sean Highkin on Twitter)

The odds to win the Northwest Division are quite interesting:

  • Oklahoma City Thunder – 2/1
  • Utah Jazz – 12/5
  • Denver Nuggets – 9/2
  • Minnesota Timberwolves – 5/1
  • Portland Trail Blazers – 13/2

It’s important to remember that odds aren’t entirely a prediction of the upcoming season, but they do reflect how the general public feels about the aforementioned teams. The Thunder and the Jazz are the favorites in the division, while many have soured on the Trail Blazers after a dismal playoff performance.

Denver comes in with the third best odds to win the division at 9/2, meaning that if Denver won the division, for every $2 one were to bet, the return on that investment would be $9. 9/2 odds actually represent worse odds for Denver than the 2017-18 season, as the Nuggets had 7-2 odds after signing Paul Millsap. Since then, Donovan Mitchell broke out, the Trail Blazers won the division with the worst odds, and the Northwest became the most competitive group of five teams from game-to-game.

The 9/2 odds represent Denver needing to make a jump to edge out the Thunder and the Jazz this year. While the Nuggets only won two less games than those teams, the Thunder and Jazz figure to improve from within this season. The loss of Carmelo Anthony should mean addition-by-subtraction for Oklahoma City, and the added improvement of Mitchell and health of Rudy Gobert should mean good things for Utah.

As it stands, Denver will need health, improvement from their three young stalwarts in Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray, as well as a bit of luck to claim the Northwest title this year.

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