Southwest Division Odds
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 ) 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.