NBA Futures: Southeast Division Odds
Following up on their surprising playoff performance last season, knocking off the heavily favored Chicago Bulls in the first round before falling to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Washington Wizards open the season as +125 favorites at Bovada to finish this season atop the Southeast Division.
The Wizards finished fifth in the conference last season with a respectable 44 wins, their highest win total since 2005, and have added veterans Paul Pierce and Kris Humphries to complement a fast-improving young core led by all-star point guard John Wall.
The Wizards are closely trailed by the Miami Heat, who begin life without LeBron James with +300 odds at Bovada to win their fifth straight Southeast Division title. While Luol Deng was added in the off-season, and Dwyane Wade remains in the mix, this team now belongs to Chris Bosh, who must return to the leadership role he held in Toronto if Miami is to remain a championship contender.
The Charlotte Hornets, looking to build on a 43-win campaign, sit alongside the Heat at +300 in Southeast Division betting at Bovada. The Hornets added temperamental star Lance Stephenson from Indiana in the off-season, bolstering a strong defense that was the NBA’s sixth-best last season.
The Atlanta Hawks squeaked into the playoffs last spring with 38 wins and start the new campaign well back of the Southeast Division favorites, with odds of +600 at Bovada. The Orlando Magic, winners of just 23 games a year ago, sit as +5000 longshots.
Odds to Win 2015 NBA Southeast Division at Bovada as of October 15
Atlanta Hawks +600
Charlotte Hornets +300
Miami Heat +300
Orlando Magic +5000
Washington Wizards +125
The Miami Heat ran away with the NBA's Southeast Division title last season, and the sportsbooks have made them massive favorites to claim that crown once again this season.
At Bovada the Heat are huge -10000 favorites on the odds to win the NBA's Southeast Division this season, after they finished 22 games ahead of the second-place Atlanta Hawks in that race last season; Miami also ended up on top of the Eastern Conference standings.
The Washington Wizards, who were 37 games behind the Heat in the Southeast standings last year, are at +1200 to win the division this season, with the Hawks at +1400 on those NBA futures.
The Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic are then both at +20000 on the odds to win the Southeast Division at Bovada. Charlotte was 45 games back of Miami in the division standings last season, with Orlando 46 games behind the Heat.
Odds to Win 2014 NBA Southeast Division at Bovada
Miami Heat -10000
Washington Wizards +1200
Atlanta Hawks +1400
Charlotte Bobcats +20000
Orlando Magic +20000
No division race is more clear-cut than the one in the Southeast Division, home of the Miami Heat.
With two straight Eastern Conference titles under their belt, the defending NBA champion Heat are not only the team to beat in the Southeast Division, but in the entire league as well. The result is one-sided division odds at shops such as Bovada.
The scariest part for opposing teams (including division mates) is that Miami could be even better this season. The Heat kept their entire core together and added even more depth in veteran stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
The new talent makes Miami more dangerous, but so does another year of chemistry; Miami reached the NBA Finals in 2010-11 mostly on talent, but looked like a much more cohesive unit with more defined roles in their championship run last season.
With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh leading a group of perfect-fit role players around them, Miami is deserving of its massive chalk line of -3500 to win the Southeast Division at TopBet. It would take a major collapse and a slew of injuries for this team to not finish on top.
Should that doomsday scenario take place, the Atlanta Hawks (+1500) are the team good enough to pick up the pieces. The Hawks retooled this offseason in shipping out their main offensive weapon Joe Johnson, but brought in Lou Williams to help lessen the offensive blow.
Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jeff Teague make up a core talented enough to make the playoffs again as Atlanta has in each of the last five seasons.
By dishing Dwight Howard for prospects and journeyman veterans, the Magic (+4500) made it clear that they were ready to begin a new chapter in Orlando with a rebuild. They join the Washington Wizards (+5000) and the Charlotte Bobcats (+15000) who are both also in the early stages of full rebuilds.
Both teams hope they drafted their new franchise player in the 2012 NBA Draft, as Charlotte picked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second overall and Washington took Bradley Beal third overall.
Can you blame the rest of the division for looking to the future when the present so clearly belongs to the Miami Heat?