The Southwest Division might as well be called the Spurs Division as they have absolutely dominated this division for close to twenty years. There have been years where the Rockets or Mavericks have won the division, but the Spurs have always been right in the thick of things and they always end up taking it. They have 21 division titles in their history and 14 of those have come since 1995. They should add a 22nd this season with only one team truly in their way.
We’ll start at the bottom here and look at the Dallas Mavericks at +30000 who could be coming to the end of the line. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the oldest players in the league and this year time finally caught up with him as he caught an achilles injury. That should be hard to come back from and if he isn’t able to come back soon, their playoff chances may be shot. It might be time to call for the rebuild in Dallas.
The New Orleans Pelicans +30000 have the same odds, but they have way less of a chance than no chance. Anthony Davis is amazing and one of the best young players in the league, but there is no support here and everyone is injured.
For the Memphis Grizzlies +1800, they need a time machine or a change in the NBA to get themselves back in this. The grit and grind style that made them doesn’t quite work as well in today’s NBA with teams shooting threes like never before. The Marc Gasol and Mike Conley duo should always keep them in contention, but they are in a different league compared to a team like the Spurs.
The only team that really offers a challenge to the Spurs and the only potential good value play is the Houston Rockets +700. They don’t have the best team out there, but they should have the first or second best offense in the NBA and run teams off the floor on pretty much every night of the season. The early days of Mike D’Antoni‘s offense have turned James Harden into an absolute monster and this team will pick up quite a few wins. I love Harden for MVP this year and this might be worth a small bet as well.
Still, there’s a reason that the San Antonio Spurs -1429 are this big of a favorite. They are the best coached team in the league with one of the best young superstars in Kawhi Leonard who just so happens to be the league’s best defender. They will always have a great defense and most teams will struggle against them. Plus, you never have to worry about them being motivated as a return to the Finals is the only thing on their mind. This is the only team that one can realistically see beating the Golden State Warriors in the West and it’s hard to pick against that team to win it’s own division.
2017 Southwest Division Betting Odds
- San Antonio Spurs -1429
- Houston Rockets +700
- Memphis Grizzlies +1800
- New Orleans Pelicans +30000
- Dallas Mavericks +30000