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Nets now favored over Lakers to win NBA title at Westgate

The Brooklyn Nets have supplanted the Los Angeles Lakers as the favorites at the Westgate sportsbook to win the NBA championship.

The Nets and Lakers were co-favorites before Brooklyn added six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin on Sunday. The Westgate then made the Nets +250 favorites and moved the Lakers to the +275 second choice.

“We made the Nets the favorites just because of the perception standpoint,” Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said. “They keep adding to that team when other teams are stagnant. They added James Harden earlier and Griffin now, and their play lately had been improved without Kevin Durant even playing.

“Griffin is a completely different player at this point in his career than he was earlier, but he still can be effective.”

Brooklyn won 10 of its past 11 games before the NBA All-Star break, and Los Angeles lost six of its last eight without injured center Anthony Davis.

“They’re trending in opposite directions,” Sherman said. “You have this uncertainty with Anthony Davis and when he’ll return and what position the Lakers will be in the Western Conference when he does get back.

“There’s a chance the Lakers could be the fourth seed.”

The Utah Jazz lead the league with a 27-9 record and 25-11 ATS mark (69.4 percent). The Phoenix Suns have the NBA’s second-best record at 24-11 straight up and ATS (68.6). The Lakers are 24-13 (17-20 ATS).

The Los Angeles Clippers are the +550 third choice to win the NBA title, and the Jazz are the +650 fourth pick. The Milwaukee Bucks are 12-1, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers at 16-1 and the Suns at 25-1.

The Sixers lead the Eastern Conference with a 24-12 record (19-16-1 ATS), and the Nets are 24-13 (20-17 ATS).

The Lakers are the money and ticket leaders in NBA title futures at the Westgate. The Nets are second in money and third in tickets. The Golden State Warriors are second in tickets and third in money.

Embiid over LeBron for MVP

Joel Embiid has superseded LeBron James at the Westgate as the favorite to win the NBA MVP award. The Sixers center is +225, and James is the +250 second choice.

“Over the last couple weeks when Davis has been out, the Lakers have been faltering somewhat, while Embiid has just been so consistent,” Sherman said. “And the 76ers have maintained their status atop the Eastern Conference.”

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the +650 third choice, followed by Nets guard Harden at 12-1 and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Warriors guard Stephen Curry at 16-1.

James is the money and ticket leader in MVP futures at the Westgate. Antetokounmpo is second in money and Curry third. Durant is second in tickets, and Doncic is third.

Overs, unders

The New Orleans Pelicans have the NBA’s best over-under record at 26-10 (72.2), followed by the Sacramento Kings (25-11, 69.4), Nets (25-12, 67.6) and Nuggets (23-13, 63.9).

The Lakers and New York Knicks are tied for the league’s best under mark at 23-14 (62.2), followed by the Houston Rockets (20-13-1, 60.6) and the Warriors (22-15, 59.5).

Houston is last in the league ATS with an 11-23 record (32.4).

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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