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Rockets Offering Value in Southwest Division Futures

The San Antonio Spurs are the undisputed favorites to win the NBA Southwest Division this season. In other news, the sky is blue and grass is green.

The NBA's model franchise is once again ahead of the pack in odds lists, as BetOnline has tabbed the Spurs as heavy -600 chalk to earn the bragging rights. The Houston Rockets (+400) and Memphis Grizzlies (+8000) were the only other available options at the shop since New Orleans and Dallas are toiling in the basement of the Western Conference.

As of January 24, the Spurs were only three games above the Rockets at 35-9. San Antonio has won the Southwest in five of the last six years.

If the Spurs stumble down the stretch, a wager on Houston at +400 would be extremely lucrative. Under Mike D'Antoni's offense, the Rockets have once again risen up the Western Conference standings this season and look like legitimate championship contenders.

While Houston's defense can be lax at times, it's the offense that puts the Rockets in a league of their own. The Rockets currently rank second behind only the Warriors in points per game (114.5) and fire the 3-pointer at a ridiculous rate. James Harden has emerged as an MVP front-runner, and it wouldn't be much of a shock to see his Rockets dethrone the mighty Spurs when all is said and done.

2016-17 NBA Southwest Division Odds
San Antonio Spurs-600
Houston Rockets+400
Memphis Grizzlies+8000

Odds as of January 24 at BetOnline

Archived Articles

The San Antonio Spurs have owned the Southwest Division for seemingly forever, and the NBA’s model franchise is once again in the driver’s seat this season.

The Spurs, who sat atop the Southwest with a 14-4 record as of November 30, are heavy -1500 chalk to win the division at BetOnline. The Houston Rockets (+800), Memphis Grizzlies (+1800), Dallas Mavericks (+25000) and New Orleans Pelicans (+25000) round out the rest of the list.

San Antonio has quietly been going about its business while other teams like the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers hog the spotlight. That’s exactly how Gregg Popovich’s club likes it. Paced by two-way superstar Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs rank sixth in the NBA in points allowed (98.4). Simply put, the Spurs aren’t going away any time soon.

The Rockets (11-7) have been a pleasant surprise, and their odds have improved since the start of the campaign when they were listed at +1200. Houston has been getting it done with offense, having failed to eclipse the 100-point mark just three times through 18 games.

James Harden and company aren’t going to light the world on fire defensively, but they are averaging 109.3 points per game (fourth-best in the NBA) while shooting 46.5 percent from the field (third-best). The Rockets look like a playoff contender again, but it’s going to be a tall order for them to dethrone the mighty Spurs.

Memphis is a team that seems to get bit by the injury bug year in and year out, and it’s struck again in the 2016-17 campaign. The Grizzlies are technically second in the Southwest at 11-7, but losing Mike Conley for an extended period of time is going to greatly hurt their chances going forward.

2016-17 NBA Southwest Division Odds
San Antonio Spurs-750
Memphis Grizzlies+1200
Houston Rockets+1200
New Orleans Pelicans+2500
Dallas Mavericks+4000

Odds as of November 30 at BetOnline

Archived Articles

The NBA’s Southwest Division used to be known for its competitiveness, but those days appear to be gone.

The San Antonio Spurs, who have made the playoffs for an amazing 19 straight seasons, are hefty -750 chalk at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to win the Southwest this year. The Spurs never seem to go away; they simply retool and come back stronger than before.

That’s the case with the current bunch. Future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan rode off into the sunset in the offseason, but San Antonio won’t be hurting without him. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best power forwards in the Association, Kawhi Leonard has blossomed into the league’s top two-way player and veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili still have some magic left in the tank. If anyone other than the Spurs wins the banner, it would be a major shock.

The Memphis Grizzlies (+1200), Houston Rockets (+1200), New Orleans Pelicans (+2500) and Dallas Mavericks (+4000) are well back. Considering the drop-off in talent and the fact that the Spurs have won the division in five of the last six years, I’m not sure if there’s any value in backing any of these clubs to win the divisional bragging rights.

People have been waiting for years for the Grizzlies to fall off, and the end might be coming sooner than most expect. Memphis has always been a solid regular season team that just can’t get it done in the playoffs, and Father Time is catching up to them. Point guard Mike Conley signed the biggest contract in NBA history this summer – a whopping five-year, $153-million deal – but his supporting cast leaves something to be desired.

Houston, Dallas and New Orleans are all tough teams to figure out. The Rockets let Dwight Howard walk in the offseason, which was a foregone conclusion due to his declining skills and his inability to co-exist with superstar James Harden. Houston has some serious opposition in the brutal Western Conference, but they’re only two years removed from a conference finals appearance and they should shoot the lights out this year with Harden running the point.

Dirk Nowitzki is 38, and the Mavericks aren’t about to let the German spend the twilight of his career on a rebuilding team. Dallas always seems to rise above expectations no matter how poor their preseason odds are, so I’m not going to count them out again.

The Pelicans have the league’s top young superstar in Anthony Davis and a roster that leaves a lot to be desired. Alvin Gentry’s first year as head coach in the Bayou State was one to forget, as the Pels skidded to an ugly 30-52 record. They won’t be that bad again, but they aren’t prepared to challenge for the division any time soon either.

2016-17 NBA Southwest Division Odds
San Antonio Spurs-750
Memphis Grizzlies+1200
Houston Rockets+1200
New Orleans Pelicans+2500
Dallas Mavericks+4000

Odds as of October 26 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The imbalance in the NBA’s conferences is evident strictly by looking at the differences on paper between the East and West. When examining the Western Conference’s divisions, it doesn’t get any tougher than the Southwest.

That’s what happens when a seemingly ageless, perennially competitive, well-coached and talented team that hasn’t missed the playoffs in 18 seasons is in your division. The San Antonio Spurs, fresh off what’s being deemed as the most successful offseason in the league, are -150 favorites to emerge triumphant in the Southwest at Bovada.

Don’t overlook the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and the up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans, however. James Harden is one of the best basketball players alive right now and could easily lead the Rockets to another deep playoff run. Memphis is consistently solid thanks to a team-first style of ball that features one of the best frontcourts in the league in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Pelicans have the freak of nature Anthony Davis, which is really all you need to know about their future.

Here’s a preview of the prices Bovada is offering on which squad will win the Southwest this season (with apologies to Dallas Mavericks fans).

2015/16 NBA Southwest Division Odds

Odds as of October 25 at Bovada

  • San Antonio Spurs -150
  • Houston Rockets +250
  • Memphis Grizzlies +650
  • New Orleans Pelicans +800
  • Dallas Mavericks +5000

Archived Articles

The defending champion San Antonio Spurs will take the court on opening night as strong -140 favorites to win their sixth Southwest Division title in seven years in NBA futures betting at Bovada.

The Spurs, led by wily veterans Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli, proved the value of experience, winning a league-best 62 games last season before marching to their fourth NBA championship in twelve years, needing just five games to defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

Once again, concerns will be raised about whether Duncan and company have finally gotten too old. But with young stars like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Patty Mills getting tutored by the masters, the Spurs can be expected to silence the doubters.

The Houston Rockets follow the Spurs with +400 odds at Bovada. The Rockets finished strong with 54 wins last season before losing to Portland in the first round. The Dallas Mavericks, led by 12-time all-star Dirk Nowitzki, are pegged at +500. The Mavs won a surprising 49 games last season before bowing out to the Spurs in an exciting seven-game first round series.

The Memphis Grizzlies, winners of 50 games last season, trail the pack with +800 odds at Bovada, followed by the rebuilding New Orleans Pelicans, winners of just 34 games last year, and +2000 longshots in Southwest Division betting.

Odds to Win 2015 NBA Southwest Division at Bovada as of October 15

Dallas Mavericks +500
Houston Rockets +400
Memphis Grizzlies +800
New Orleans Pelicans +2000
San Antonio Spurs -140


The Houston Rockets made a big move by acquiring All-Star center Dwight Howard in the offseason, and now they're listed as the favorites at the sportsbooks on the odds to win the NBA's Southwest Division in 2013/14.

Houston finished 13 games back of San Antonio in the Southwest standings last year, but with Howard on board they're the +130 favorites - ahead of the +140 Spurs.

The Memphis Grizzlies, who ended up just two games back of the Spurs in the Southwest standings last year, are at +400 on the odds to claim that crown at Bovada this time around.

The Dallas Mavericks are then at +1600 on that NBA futures list, with the New Orleans Pelicans at +2500. Dallas finished 17 games behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division standings last year, with New Orleans 31 games behind the Spurs.

Odds to Win 2014 NBA Southwest Division at Bovada

Houston Rockets +130
San Antonio Spurs +140
Memphis Grizzlies +400
Dallas Mavericks +1600
New Orleans Pelicans +2500


With the Oklahoma City Thunder entering the season as the defending Western Conference Champions and the Los Angeles Lakers making a huge splash bringing in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, everyone seems to be forgetting about the San Antonio Spurs.

The same Spurs that have finished each of the last two regular seasons with the Western Conference’s best record.

San Antonio (-150 to win the Southwest Division at Bovada) should once again be right near the top of the conference when all is said and done.  [ See today's NBA point spreads and totals ]

Known as an older team due to their veteran core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs also have a talented group of young players in Danny Green, Patty Mills and Kawhi Leonard that could all take steps forward in development this year.

A model of consistency with one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA, San Antonio is a tough team to bet against.

The Memphis Grizzlies (+250) turned heads last season with a 41-25 straight up record and established themselves as a tenacious and tough team. Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol aren’t the household names that many of the Western Conference’s contenders have, but this team is relentless up and down the court and can out-hustle anyone.

If age finally catches up to San Antonio this year, Memphis could be the beneficiary.

Or perhaps it could be the new-look Dallas Mavericks (+300) that get into the mix. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are out, and a new slew of offensive talent joins big Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter in Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand.

Dallas is one of the biggest question marks coming into the 2012-13 season; the talent is here to be a legitimate contender, but no one knows how well this team will mesh. Time will tell.

The Houston Rockets (+1500) and New Orleans Hornets (+4000) don’t figure to get involved in the division race, but neither will be an easy out this season as the Rockets added Jeremy Lin through free agency and the Hornets added first overall pick Anthony Davis. Both should make an immediate impact on their new teams.