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DraftKings Sportsbook NBA Betting Preview: Southwest Division Odds and Lines

Matt Meiselman previews the NBA’s Southwest Division with betting odds, insights, and analysis.

Continuing with the division-by-division analysis, the Southwest Division looks to be the weakest of the three in the Western Conference. The Dallas Mavericks were fairly impressive in their first round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in last season’s playoffs, but it doesn’t say much about the division overall that the best team didn’t even make it out of the first round. The Houston Rockets appear to be taking a step back after trading away Russell Westbrook, and while the New Orleans Pelicans have an intriguing roster, the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs are long shots to make the playoffs in 2020-21.


EDITOR’S NOTES:
Place your bets by directly clicking on each set of DraftKings Sportsbook odds. Click on the team names to read more on DK Nation.


Dallas Mavericks

Championship Odds: +2200

Western Conference Odds: +1100

Southwest Division Odds: -225

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 57.5%

MVP Contenders: Luka Doncic +400

The 2020-21 Mavericks roster looks extremely similar to that of 2019-20, with the biggest change coming from a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Mavericks acquired Josh Richardson for Seth Curry, and seemingly filled more of a need with a playmaker and defender in Richardson as opposed to a shooter in Curry. There are still a couple of routes that could elevate the Mavericks to title contenders, as they still appear to be outside of that top tier of teams. Luka Doncic could reach new heights, though he’s already the MVP favorite for this season so it’s hard to know how much better he could get. The other key for the Mavs is the health of Kristaps Porzingis, and if he can at least manage to be at full strength by playoff time, this would become a team with a lot more potential to make a deep playoff run.


Houston Rockets

Championship Odds: +6000

Western Conference Odds: +3000

Southwest Division Odds: +500

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: OTB

MVP Contenders: James Harden +1600

6th Man Contenders: Eric Gordon +2500

The Rockets shook things up this offseason, first by trading Robert Covington, and then later by trading Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal for John Wall. Christian Wood should do just fine in replacing Covington — and might even be a better fit on a team that was lacking size last year — but Wall is obviously a major question mark after missing the entirety of last season with multiple serious injuries. The Rockets’ lack of depth should continue to be a problem — even with DeMarcus Cousins in town — so the downside if things don’t break right looks fairly significant.


New Orleans Pelicans

Championship Odds: +7000

Western Conference Odds: +3500

Southwest Division Odds: +500

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 48.5%

The Pelicans had a frustrating 2019-20 season, never managing to put the pieces together despite a roster that was loaded with talent. Zion Williamson missed a large portion of his rookie season due to injury, and when he did return, he was routinely on a minutes limit. The acquisition of Steven Adams is bound to help the Pelicans on the defensive end, but trading away Jrue Holiday in exchange for Eric Bledsoe is a clear downgrade that will probably make wins harder to come by in 2020-21, despite the fact that most of the roster is still very young and likely to improve this year. Holiday was easily the Pelicans’ best defensive player last year and arguably their best player overall, so it’ll be a tough loss to make up for even with some younger player development.


Memphis Grizzlies

Championship Odds: +15000

Western Conference Odds: +8000

Southwest Division Odds: +1200

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 40.5%

The Grizzlies are another team that did very little this offseason. They nearly made the playoffs last season and they do have a bunch of young talent, but it’s still going to tough for them to contend in any way in 2020-21. The main reason the Grizzlies were in the playoff hunt last season was that the bottom of the Western Conference was relatively subpar, and the Blazers got in despite being four games under .500. Even with 21-year-olds Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. likely to improve, there are still probably just too many good teams ahead of the Grizzlies in the West for them to make the playoffs this year.


San Antonio Spurs

Championship Odds: +15000

Western Conference Odds: +8000

Southwest Division Odds: +3300

Team Win Percentage Over/Under: 41.5%

Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Spurs mirrored the offseason strategy of the Grizzlies by not making any significant changes to their roster. The Spurs actually have the longest odds to win the NBA championship from this division — and among the longest overall in the NBA — which is a pretty stark drop off from where they were just a few years ago. The Spurs’ two leading scorers — LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan — are both into their 30s, and Aldridge in particular figures to enter a decline sooner rather than later. The Spurs still probably have better top-end players than the Grizzlies do, but the upside for this aging roster is severely limited.

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.