Training camps have begun and tip-off is less than a week away, so it’s time to preview the upcoming NBA season. With all the movement in the offseason it is likely that some new teams will rise to the tops of their divisions. Let’s take a look at the Southwest Division. – All odds according to Pinnacle Sportsbook, although other places like Bodog offer online NBA betting on these props as well.
Dallas Mavericks (+777 to win Western Conference, +2056 to win NBA title) Last Year: 55-27, 1st in division – This could be the last year the Mavericks are taken seriously, as Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Shawn Marion aren’t getting any younger. The Mavericks have a strong starting five in those three players along with Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler/Brendan Haywood. Chandler and Haywood give the Mavericks a good chance to matchup against the Lakers. This team has plenty of scoring threats and a decent bench. Age is definitely a concern so don’t be surprised if one or two players miss extended periods of time. Overall this team is one of the favorite to come out of the Western Conference, so they are worth a look. Prediction: 54-28
San Antonio Spurs (+1268 to win Western Conference, +3158 to win NBA title) Last Year: 50-32, 2nd in division – Another team where health and age is a factor. Tim Duncan, Man Ginoboli and Richard Jefferson are all over 30, and Tony Parker has missed significant time due to injury over the past few seasons. Still, this team has the talent and experience to get back into the playoffs. The Spurs will probably have to do what they did last season- win enough games to get to the postseason and then turning it on come playoff time. The Spurs have had plenty of success over the past decade, so don’t count them out. Prediction: 48-34, 2nd in division.
Houston Rockets (+1900 to win Western Conference, +4787 to win NBA title) Last Year: 40-42, 3rd in division – This team had a solid season last year, and that was without Yao Ming. With Yao back in the lineup, Kevin Martin with some experience with the team, and the newly-acquired Courtney Lee, this is a team to be excited about. Yao’s health is still in question, but when he is healthy, he is one of the top five centers in the league. Martin has also had injury problems in the past. Aaron Brooks has been the spark plug for the team in recent year, but he will have to look to shoot less with more offensive weapons this season. This team will be fighting for a playoff spot and are worth a long shot look. Prediction: 48-34, 3rd in division.
New Orleans Hornets (+4635 to win Western Conference, +12063 to win NBA title) Last Year:37-45, 5th in division – Finished with a decent record last year considering how much time Chris Paul missed. Having Paul back in the lineup will help make up a few games. Trevor Ariza is a nice addition to this team, given his athletic ability. This team is missing one or two pieces to the puzzle. Prediction: 40-42, 4th in division
Memphis Grizzlies (+4635 to win Western Conference, .+12063 to win NBA title) Last Year: 40-42, 4th in division – The Grizzlies had a surprisingly successful season last year. They have a solid starting lineup led by Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, and O.J. Mayo. This team still lacks depth, and if an injury to a starter comes, this team could fall apart. In a few year, this could be a really dangerous team, but for now they at the bottom of the division. Prediction: 38-44, 5th in division.
Overall- This is a very well-rounded division. All of these teams would likely make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Mavericks have title hopes and offer good value, while the Spurs and Rockets have good long shot value, but given the competition in the Western Conference, it is possible that one of them won’t make the playoffs.. The Hornets and Grizzlies will each finish around .500.
Remember that you can get winning NBA picks from the best basketball handicappers out there. Also our NBA odds page will feature live point spreads on all the NBA betting action the entire season, a must have tool for NBA bettors this season.