Will a California Team Win the 2022 NBA Championship?

California NBA Championship Betting

It’s the middle of March, which means there is only about one month left in the 2021-22 NBA regular season. Time flies, doesn’t it?

While the season is nearing its end, there is still a lot left to play for. The playoff race is coming down to the wire in both conferences. While the Suns look home-free for the No. 1 seed out West, there are still five teams out East with at least a remote chance of grabbing that coveted top spot. With so much still left to be decided, you can find good value in the 2022 NBA championship odds if you know where to look. Some NBA betting sites are offering unique takes on the NBA title race.

For example, one site is giving you the chance to wager on whether any California-based team will win it all later this summer. California is home to four teams, though not all of them are real contenders.

Will a California team win the 2022 NBA title?
Yes!

Sacramento Kings (+100000)

If you know anything about the NBA, you won’t be surprised to see the Sacramento Kings listed among the teams least likely to win a title this season. While the bottom-end of the Western Conference playoff picture is relatively weak, the Kings are still not particularly close to playoff contention. Sacramento is a full 20 games under .500 at 25-45 on the year.

This is despite the fact that the Kings have been desperately trying to build a winning roster for the last few years.

No team was more active than Sacramento was ahead of the trade deadline last month. The Kings pulled the trigger on deals to acquire Domantas Sabonis, Donte DiVincenzo, Jeremy Lamb, Trey Lyles, and Josh Jackson. The moves have gotten them nowhere, of course. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Kings are just 13th in the Western Conference.

In spite of their terrible record, however, the Kings’ playoff hopes aren’t fully dead yet. Sacramento is still only 3.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Pelicans for the last play-in spot. While the Kings are still unlikely to make up that ground and leapfrog the three teams in front of them.

They do still have a puncher’s chance at making the play-in.

Of course, they won’t go any further than that. The Kings are listed at +100000 to win it all for a reason. If a California-based team wins a title later this summer, it certainly won’t be this one. Only the Rockets and Thunder have NBA Western Conference championship odds worse than the Kings’ +100000 mark, as well.

Los Angeles Lakers (+7000)

The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t an odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship at the beginning of the season, but they did have favorable odds. Many believed LA would remain firmly in the championship picture with LeBron James and Anthony Davis returning for a third season together.

Rob Pelinka swung for the fences last summer with the blockbuster move to send Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell to Washington in exchange for former MVP Russell Westbrook. While some NBA betting sites were reluctant to tank the Lakers’ odds after a slow start, their continued dreadful play ultimately gave oddsmakers no choice.

Los Angeles’ 2022 NBA championship odds have dropped considerably from where they were at the beginning of the season. The team’s lopsided loss to the Raptors on Monday night dropped LA 10 games below the .500 mark for the first time all year.

LeBron James is still playing excellent basketball, but it isn’t enough. Westbrook is in the midst of the worst season of his career. Davis, as usual, is injured and watching from the sidelines. The Lakers’ aging, supporting cast has given them almost nothing all year, either.

Please Note:
LA is currently the No. 9 seed and likely to nab a play-in spot, but this team is going nowhere in a hurry. The Lakers’ NBA Western Conference championship odds (+3500) are only as favorable as they are because they’re the Lakers.

This franchise has led a charmed existence over the last 40 years, but nothing will save them this year. The Lakers are the most recent California team to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but they’re unlikely to be the next to do so.

Los Angeles Clippers (+6000)

The Lakers aren’t even the best team to call Crypto.com Arena home. That honor belongs to the Clippers, who have spent the majority of their existence as the Lakers’ picked-on little brother. However, they have flipped the script in a big way over the last decade. Since the 2009-10 season, the Clippers are 36-14 against the Lakers in their head-to-head meetings. Unfortunately for LAC, they haven’t been able to parlay that success into a championship just yet.

The Clips are just 36-35 on the year, but that’s a pretty impressive showing given their injury situation.

Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played a game all year after suffering a torn ACL in last year’s playoffs. Whether he returns this season is still unknown. An elbow injury has kept Paul George on the sidelines since December. Norman Powell, who came over in a blockbuster trade from Portland last month, broke his foot shortly after arriving in Los Angeles.

Of course, there is still an outside chance the Clippers get healthy in time to make a real playoff run. LA made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals a season ago before their injuries caught up with them. The Suns are clear-cut favorites in the latest NBA Western Conference championship odds, but Phoenix’s path to the Finals isn’t an easy one.

If the Clippers get their guys back, LAC has as good of a chance as anybody in the conference to punch a ticket to the Finals. The *other* LA team is at +2800 to win the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history this season.

The +6000 2022 NBA championship odds for the Clippers also look pretty appealing if you think guys like Leonard, George, and Powell could return at some point before the playoffs. Nobody will want to see this team at full strength come playoff time, which makes LAC an intriguing long-shot betting option worth consideration.

Golden State Warriors (+450)

If a California team wins a title this season, it will almost surely be the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors made it to five consecutive NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019 before injuries started to catch up with them. After a few lean years, the Warriors are suddenly back in title contention. Golden State’s +450 2022 NBA championship odds are the second-best of any team in the league, as of now.

Only the reigning Western Conference champion Suns (+350) look like a better bet with about a month left in the season.

Golden State is starting to get healthy, too. Klay Thompson returned after suffering two season-ending injuries in two years back in January. Draymond Green, who has been sidelined for months with a back and calf issue, returned to the Warriors’ lineup on Monday. Golden State is also still holding out hope that James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, will return at some point.

For the first time since their last Finals appearance in 2019, the Warriors look like a very real threat to win it all. Golden State has been the NBA’s best defensive team all season long, and the return of Green will only make them better in that regard moving forward.

Steve Kerr also recently decided to trot out a starting lineup that includes all of Thompson, Steph Curry, and Jordan Poole, which makes the Warriors’ offense all the more formidable. The Warriors’ +450 2022 NBA championship odds still offer plenty of upside.

There isn’t a team in the league more battle-tested than this one come playoff time. If the Dubs get into the postseason at full strength, who’s to say they can’t win their fourth title since 2015 later this summer?

Conclusion

At this point, the Warriors appear to be the only California-based team with a real shot at winning the 2022 NBA title. Of course, you’re also getting potentially profitable +380 odds on any CA-based team to win it all.

I would advise simply taking advantage of the bigger payout that comes with the Warriors’ +450 2022 NBA championship odds, but parlaying the two together makes sense, as well.

If you’re wary of Golden State, perhaps a flier on the Clippers at +6000 could be worth your while. A full-strength version of the Clippers is arguably the NBA’s most talented team. There is a very strong chance the 2022 NBA champion will come from California.

Which makes the +380 odds on the original bet stand out quite a bit.

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

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Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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