The San Antonio Spurs, who nearly won another NBA title last season, own the top seed in the Western Conference heading into this year's playoff tournament, after winning a league-high 62 games during the just-completed regular season.
San Antonio begins its quest for another Western Conference title when it meets the Dallas Mavericks in an all-Texas best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series, starting Sunday.
San Antonio is lined as a 3-2 favorite to win the West, yet again. Oklahoma City is the second choice at 2-1, followed by the Clippers at 9-2, Houston at 9-1, Golden State at 14-1, Portland at 18-1 and Dallas and Memphis both at 33-1.
The Oklahoma City Thunder came up three games short of the Spurs in the battle for the top spot in the West this season, so OKC begins these playoffs as the No. 2 seed with a first-round series against the team that knocked it out of the playoffs last year, the Memphis Grizzlies, starting Saturday. The Thunder are favored by seven points.
The Los Angeles Clippers, champions of the Pacific Division for the second season in a row, just set a new franchise record for victories with 57. As the No. 3 seed, they're headed for a first-round matchup with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, starting Saturday.
Finally, in a battle between teams with the exact same records, the No. 4 Houston Rockets and the No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers begin their first-round series Sunday. The Rockets were favored by five points in early wagering.
San Antonio swept four games from Dallas during the regular season, going 3-1 against the spread in the process. In fact, the Spurs have beaten the rival Mavs nine times in a row, covering the spread in seven of those games.
The Spurs were favored by nine points as of Friday.
Oklahoma City took three of four games from Memphis during the regular season, and now looks for revenge after the Grizzlies beat the Thunder in five games in a conference semifinal series last spring.
The Clippers and Warriors split four games during the regular season, but Los Angeles covered the spread in three of those games.
And Houston took three of four games from Portland this season, but the Blazers managed to split those four games ATS. Also, all four of those games played OVER on the totals.
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