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NBA Southwest Division Odds | Preview

NBA Southwest Division Odds/Preview

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If you think World Series betting will be competitive this season, watch out for the NBA’s Southwest Division this season. Depending on how the chips fall, three teams have a chance to finish first.

Let’s try to navigate these choppy waters with our NBA futures analysis.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Odds to win Southwest Division: -250

There are two things we know about the San Antonio Spurs this season: (a) they’re built to win now and (b) they will win now. While Tim Duncan’s best years are behind him and Manu Ginobli can’t seem to stay healthy, the Spurs still give us plenty to like. After they acquired Richard Jefferson and drafted DeJuan Blair in a second-round steal, the Spurs earned their peers’ respect. According to a poll, 72.1 per cent of NBA general managers feel the Spurs made the best offseason transactions.

Adding Jefferson, Blair and underrated Antonio McDyess means the Spurs suddenly aren’t that team that implodes when one or two big stars go down. This is a deep, talented, cohesive group that could challenge the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy.

DALLAS MAVERICKS
Odds to win Southwest Division: +300

Like the Spurs, Mark Cuban’s Mavericks were busy in the offseason. After they added Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas while losing nothing really noteworthy, it’s safe to say the Mavs got “better.” Unfortunately, many other teams in the always-competitive Western Conference improved too, so it’s tough to say if the Mavs gained ground on anyone this offseason.

Thanks to a rejuvenated Dirk Nowitzki and the presence of Marion and Josh Howard, these guys will score. However, it’s tough to imagine this injury-prone group improving much on last year’s ho-hum season. Dallas lovers are better off trying the Cowboys’ NFL odds, for what that’s worth.

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
Odds to win Southwest Division: +900

The Hornets were an online betting bust last season, regressing after seriously contending in 2007-08, but they won’t let you tell them they’re moving backwards. The goal in New Orleans is to push for a championship this year, believe it or not. The Hornets have major talent in Chris Paul, whom most consider the best point guard in the game, and fellow All-Star David West, one of the league’s top power forwards.

A potentially major difference maker this season could be newly acquired Emeka Okafor, who will give the Hornets low-post scoring ability and strength on defense. The Hornets are hoping Okafor will blossom into more of a scorer. If he does, they’ll get the offense they sorely needed last year and climb back up the standings.

HOUSTON ROCKETS
Odds to win Southwest Division: +1000

If you offered most Rockets fans a chance to sleep through the entire 2009-10 season, they’d probably take it. Sure, Shane Battier is a solid defender and Trevor Ariza could blossom as a starter in the backcourt, but let’s get serious: the Rockets are without Yao Ming all season (foot surgery) and Tracy McGrady for at least the first month (microfracture in knee). There’s just no way Houston has the horses to compete with other Western powerhouses.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Odds to win Southwest Division: +8000

Picking the Grizzlies to win this tough division is like hopping on the Blue Jays’ or Orioles’ World Series odds in the American League East: it just ain’t gonna happen. The Grizzlies have some playmakers in Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Zach Randolph but can’t get consistency from any of them. Allen Iverson is no guarantee to help things at all, No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet has no semblance of an offensive game right now (though he’s a wall on defense) and it’s too early to tell what Sam Young can do. Wait until at least next year for the Grizz.

2009 Southwest Division Pick

The more I examine the Spurs roster, the more excited I am about San Antonio’s prospects of joining powerhouses Los Angeles, Cleveland, Orlando and Boston among the NBA’s elite this season. Tim Duncan still has another good year left in him and, even if he gets hurt, the Spurs have lots of talent to back him up – far more than they’ve had in years. Pick San Antonio to win the Southwest.

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