2020-2021 Northwest Division Winner Odds & Predictions

Northwest Division

  • The Northwest Division is home to some of the league’s most exciting, up and coming teams!
  • The Denver Nuggets, last year’s Western Conference Finalists, lead the way as the odds on favorite to win the division.
  • The Northwest Division had three playoff representatives last season.

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The Northwest Division surprised last season as four of its five members made the NBA Playoffs. While the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz entered the Orlando bubble as NBA title prospects, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers impressed despite their early exits.

There have been some slight changes at the top of the Northwest for 2020, but their position as contenders largely remains the same. One team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, lost star Chris Paul and tumbled down the odds table as they seek a rebuild.

While the Northwest doesn’t own any of the NBA’s strongest teams, it certainly hosts the most competitive pool of teams in the Western Conference.

2020-2021 Northwest Division Winner Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on April 21, 2021.

Team Odds
Utah Jazz -10000
Denver Nuggets +1600
Portland Trail Blazers +20000

Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

WSN’s Pick:

This is probably the toughest division to predict in the NBA. There is a lot of depth amongst the division’s most competitive teams, despite the fact that none really stand out from the pack. The Nuggets are a simple choice, but after the Portland Trail Blazers added some needed depth and defenders, we see Rip City making a key comeback.

Denver Nuggets (+1600)

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
46-27 111.3 (19 of 30) 109.2 (11 of 30) 97.1 (29 of 30) 113.1 (5 of 30) 111.0 (16 of 30)

After an unexpected playoff run last season, the Denver Nuggets were faced with one of their toughest offseasons in franchise history. Looking to build off of the success brought on by the growth of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets took a step backward in failing to retain key contributors Torrey Craig, Jerami Grant, and Mason Plumlee.

The Nuggets will be banking on star performances from Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, while also hoping that potential stars Michael Porter Jr and Bol Bol can fill the shoes of those who left them behind. On the plus side, the Nuggets were able to retain their draft assets as well as add some new talent in rookies RJ Hampton, Zeke Nnaji, while also winning the race to Argentine star Facundo Campazzo.

The race to the top of the Northwester Division will be tight, but the Nuggets are rightly the favorites to win it. How the Nuggets will fare after losing so many key contributors is their biggest issue. But it isn’t as if they are lacking talent.

Utah Jazz (-10000)

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
44-28 111.3 (18 of 30) 108.8 (9 of 30) 98.6 (24 of 30) 112.3 (10 of 30) 109.9 (13 of 30)

The Utah Jazz fell far short from their goal last season, getting eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz tended to rely on their defensive acumen to win last season, but they were exposed in isolation against Denver.

The Jazz enters the 2020-2021 season with a very familiar roster. Other than bringing back Derrick Favors and re-signing Jordan Clarkson, the Jazz remains mostly unchanged.

With so few changes, it is difficult to imagine the Jazz will fare much better than they did last season in the Northwest division. With the fall of the Thunder, the Jazz will likely secure the top three through circumstance alone. Barring a huge step from Donovan Mitchell, we’ll likely see another middling Northwest Division Performance from the Jazz.

Portland Trail Blazers (+20000)

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
35-39 115.0 (6 of 30) 116.1 (26 of 30) 100.7 (13 of 30) 113.7 (3 of 30) 114.8 (28 of 30)

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the league’s most divisive teams. They lacked consistency during their last regular season, only earning a spot in the playoffs through the newly implemented play-in tournament. With one of the NBA’s best in Damian Lillard leading them, the Blazers needed to make some big changes to stay relevant.

General Manager Neil Olshey did not sit on his hands this past summer. Not only did the Trail Blazers improve, but they added some very impressive pieces. While retaining Rodney Hood and Carmelo Anthony, Portland added excellent young players in Derrick Jones Jr and Harry Giles. Most impressively, Olshey acquired center Enes Kanter and defensive ace Robert Covington by trade.

Damian Lillard has debatably never had as deep of a team as has been assembled for him now. While they don’t top the odds due to their performance last season, they are more than worthy of challenging the best in the Northwest.

Minnesota Timberwolves

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
47-35 109.5 (8 of 30) 107.3 (17 of 30) 96.0 (24 of 30) 113.4 (4 of 30) 111.1 (27 of 30)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been living in development hell for a number of years now. Despite high picks and opportunistic trades, they have only made the post-season once since 2005. D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns bear the weight of the franchise on their talented, yet inexperienced backs.

Timberwolves GM Scott Layden didn’t sit on his hands during their extended offseason though. Starting with the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves brought in impact guard Anthony Edwards to help rejuvenate their franchise. Other moves like the re-acquisition of Ricky Rubio, the addition of Ed Davis, and the retention of Juan Hernangomez and Malik Beasley gives them an exciting squad.

Talent-wise, the Timberwolves look like they could run with any number of teams. Their success will depend on how quickly they can put it all together for a winning season.

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Oklahoma City Thunder

19-20 Team Performance

Record PPG Opp PPG Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg
44-28 110.4 (21 of 30) 108.4 (7 of 30) 98.8 (22 of 30) 110.8 (16 of 30) 108.8 (7 of 30)

After one of the most surprising playoffs runs in NBA history, Oklahoma City decided that their path to success doesn’t lie in the present. By shipping off Chris Paul to Phoenix the Thunder have hoarded assets this summer, aiming for future success.

After an eventful offseason, the Thunder will be looking to two young Canadians to spearhead their development. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort will be the pillars that Oklahoma City will build on beginning this season, but it won’t be a glamorous year.

The Thunder are rightly at the bottom of the odds table for the Northwest as well as the Western Conference. Lacking in overall talent, the Thunder will be looking to leverage the assets they acquired to build for future seasons.

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Christian Jope

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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

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