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NBA Southeast Division Futures: Miami Favored For 14th Title

NBA Southeast Division Odds October 16

Last year, the Orlando Magic were the only Southeast Division team to make the playoffs as the division winner. Unfortunately, they ran into the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the opening round. The Magic were also the lone team in that group to end the season with a winning record (42-40), finishing with a three-game lead over the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets. However, they aren’t the favorite in 2019-20 – it is Miami at -120 leading the charge.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Heat as the favorites at -120 followed by the Orlando Magic at +150, the Atlanta Hawks at +650, the Washington Wizards at +5000 and the Charlotte Hornets at +15000.

Miami Heat -120

The Heat upgraded through the draft and in free agency to clean up some of last season’s weaknesses. Notably, Miami upgraded at the small forward position by bringing in Jimmy Butler from Philadelphia and selecting Kentucky shooting guard Tyler Herro 13th overall to help anchor the backcourt with Goran Dragic. The bench is still a bit of an issue as is the frontcourt with Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo, but allowing Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow to come off the bench provides some versatility. It’s a weak division so these small upgrades could be all that’s needed to win the title.

Orlando Magic +150

After winning their first Southeast Division title in nine years, the Magic essentially stood pat heading into the 2019-20 season. Orlando added some depth by signing Al-Farouq Aminu from Portland and it traded for 2017 first overall pick Markelle Fultz late last season. The Magic are banking on Fultz to take a step forward in his third season, while their starting five remains intact and already has chemistry built. In the draft, they selected Chuma Okeke out of Auburn but he injured his knee in the March Madness last year and will be out for the entire season. I thought the Magic might be tighter to the Heat on the oddsboard, but they didn’t upgrade as much as Miami so it makes sense.

Atlanta Hawks +650

Atlanta is stacked with youth, bringing in new players such as De’Andre Hunter out of Virginia, Cam Reddish from Duke and Bruno Fernando from Maryland. Additionally, the Hawks’ 2018 fifth overall pick, Trae Young, and 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter should continue to develop and get better. However, mixed in with the youth movement is some veteran talent in Evan Turner, Jabari Parker and Allen Crabbe who provide good help off the bench. Hard to bet on such a young team, but if they can transition quickly, the Hawks at +650 are providing the best value to win the Southeast Division.

Washington Wizards +5000

The Wizards will have an entirely different look this season compared to last. Of the top 10 scoring players for Washington last season, only one returns for 2019-20, though fortunately it is top scorer Bradley Beal. Outside of Beal, the expected starting lineup combined for 54 starts last year. Add to that mix Isaiah Thomas, who is injured to start the season and won’t return until late October or early November, has only played in 44 games since 2016-17 and started just 15 games over that span. This could be a rough season for the Wizards, but 2019 ninth overall pick Rui Hachimura out of Gonzaga should get plenty of playing time to adapt to the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets +15000

For several years, it was Kemba Walker and the rest of the Charlotte Hornets, who have not appeared in the playoffs since 2015-16 and have just three playoff wins since 2002 – yikes. Well, in 2019-20, they will be without the face of the franchise, Walker, as he was traded to Boston in exchange for Terry Rozier. The Hornets will need 2018 12th overall pick Miles Bridges to take a big step forward in his sophomore season after he averaged 21.2 minutes and 7.5 points per game last season. Additionally, this year’s 12th overall pick, PJ Washington out of Kentucky, will need to provide a scoring touch off the bench. The odds are set accordingly for what is shaping up to be an ugly season for Charlotte.

2019-20 NBA Southeast Division Odds
TeamOdds
Miami Heat-120
Orlando Magic+150
Atlanta Hawks +650
Washington Wizards+5000
Charlotte Hornets+15000

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada