Who Will Get the No. 1 Seed in the Western Conference (Playoff Odds, Scenarios)

Breaking down the playoff scenarios for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2).
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2). / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference has gotten WILD entering the final day of the regular season, as the No. 1-3 seeds, the play-in tournament and the No. 6 seed are all still up for grabs.

The defending champion Denver Nuggets put themselves in a tough spot to earn the No. 1 seed after a loss on Friday, sitting at +1600 to win the division (which this season would also win the conference). 

Here’s a look at all of the scenarios for the No. 1 seed, and what each team needs to have happen to earn it: 

Denver Nuggets Path to No. 1 Seed

The Denver Nuggets blew a 23-point lead on Friday night to lose to the San Antonio Spurs, blowing the No. 1 seed in the process.

Denver now needs both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder to lose on Sunday to secure the No. 1 seed, putting the team in a tough spot.

Luckily for Denver, it has a cupcake matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been sitting just about everyone the last few games of the season. 

The Nuggets are still amongst the favorites to win the NBA title, as their seed may not matter much in the eyes of oddsmakers. 

Oklahoma City Thunder Path to No. 1 Seed

Oklahoma City controls its own destiny to the No. 1 seed in the West. 

After beating the Bucks on Friday night, OKC moved into the top spot in the West. The Thunder play the Dallas Mavericks – who are locked into a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round – on Sunday. 

If all three of Denver, OKC and Minnesota lose, the Thunder would remain in the No. 1 spot. 

If OKC loses, it could fall as far as the No. 3 seed, but the team is set up nicely to earn the No. 1 spot in the West. 

Minnesota Timberwolves Path to No. 1 Seed

Minnesota squeaked by the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, pushing the team into the No. 2 seed in the West.

The Wolves would get the No. 1 seed in the West if the Thunder lose and they win, as Denver cannot pass the Wolves if both squads win. The Wolves hold the tiebreaker over the Nuggets due to their better record against the division. 

Minnesota takes on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, who have a ton to play for as they could still earn the No. 6 seed in the West. If the Suns lose, they’ll be in the play-in tournament.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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