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Pacific Division futures tabled at many online sportsbooks

Can they really give your Suns the shortest odds?

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you bear similarities to this author, and god almighty for your sake I hope those similarities are few, you read the daily lines at the sportsbook like you read the daily paper. Back when papers were a thing.

If you took a look at the Phoenix Suns’ odds to win the Pacific Division on Monday, you’ll notice an interesting development.

They’re hard to come by.

Following Phoenix’s 111-99 win against the Lakers, a game in which LeBron James was absent with a high-ankle strain, many online books are not accepting bets on who will be crowned Pacific Division champions in 2021.

Obviously the Suns torrid pace in the second half, as well as LeBron’s ‘indefinite’ status make this the most difficult division to call in the NBA.

But that these discussions are even taking place is a testament to the work the Suns have done, in the minds of oddsmakers.

Consider:

  • On Christmas Eve the Suns were tied with the Golden State Warriors with the third best odds to win the Pacific, a considerable distance behind the Lakers and Clippers.
  • A month later, after the Denver losses, Phoenix could still be had at +2500 to win the division.
  • By February 9th that number had ballooned, on average, to +3300. That’s despite playing 6-2 ball during the stretch. The Lakers were also 6-2, while the Clippers won 4 of 8.
  • A little more than two weeks later, the Suns sat at fourth to win the conference, with divisional odds of +1300. At the time of the Anthony Davis injury, the Clippers supplanted the Lakers as favorites to finish atop the Pacific.
  • On March 10th, those odds had whittled all the way down to +315, still narrowly behind the Lakers and Clippers, and before the LeBron injury.

Look hard enough and you can find a bet on the Suns to win their first Pacific Division crown since 2007, but be forewarned, that number is probably going to start with a 2.