2018-2019 NBA Previews – Southwest Division Odds
Looking for 2018 NBA Southwest Division Predictions? We’ve got your back. The Southwest Division is led by a clear-cut favorite in the Houston Rockets, as Clutch City earned the No. 1 seed a year ago and pushed the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
2018 Southwest Division Season Preview
Division Favorite: Houston Rockets -450
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The catch, of course, is that this team got notably worse this offseason. It won’t be enough to knock them out of top-three status—or even top-two status—this year, but it’s noteworthy when considering the rest of the division.
2018 Houston Rockets NBA Southwest Division Prediction
Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni
2015-16 Record: 65-17
Odds To Win Division: -450
Odds To Win Conference: +550
Odds To Win NBA Championship: +850
The Houston Rockets were the only team last season across the entire Association to eclipse 60 wins. They did it by a long shot, but Vegas has begged their over/under at 54.5 entering 2018-19.
Although 54.5 is an easy “over” pick, you do have to consider the turnover this team experienced. Neither Trevor Ariza nor Luc Mbah a Moute are stars by name, but they provided three-and-D presences on the perimeter. Now, the Rockets need to supplement the star-studded backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul with Carmelo Anthony—a player who was clearly a net negative alongside two stars a year ago in Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
The hope here is that Melo can chill out a bit as far as his own individual role goes and embrace catch-and-shoot situations while provide the occasional mid-range isolation. “Occasional” is the operative word here, as his old-school style doesn’t exactly fit the pace and space that D’Antoni have implemented since arriving in Houston.
2018 San Antonio Spurs NBA Southwest Division Prediction
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
2017-18 Record: 47-35
Odds To Win Division: +600
Odds To Win Conference: +4000
Odds To Win NBA Championship: +800
These are not your father’s San Antonio Spurs. Tony Parker is gone, now a member of the Charlotte Hornets. Manu Ginobili has retired. Kawhi Leonard is the newest member of the Toronto Raptors, and in exchange, the Spurs got their newest perimeter star in DeMar DeRozan.
Simply put: We don’t quite know what to expect from this group.
The good news is that on paper, it should be better than it was last season. Kawhi played fewer than 10 games and DeRozan is a legitimate elite scorer.
The catch, of course, is that chemistry is going to be tough to come across. It doesn’t help that DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are both masters of the mid-range, seemingly duplicating their own on-court super powers.
Basically nothing is guaranteed out West, and yes, that includes the Spurs making the postseason in 2019.
2018 New Orleans Hornets NBA Southwest Division Prediction
Head Coach: Alvin Gentry
2017-18 Record: 48-34
Odds To Win Division: +760
Odds To Win Conference: +6000
Odds To Win NBA Championship: +12500
The New Orleans Pelicans are a popular choice to slip this season. Following a surprising first-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers, NOLA went on to become minced meat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. But that’s obviously not the concern.
Over the summer, New Orleans lost both superstar center DeMarcus Cousins and veteran guard Rajon Rondo. Boogie, when healthy, is one of the the league’s top players at the 5, while Rondo showed he can flip the switch and become “Playoff Rondo” when needed.
With both of those players gone, many are choosing NOLA to take a step backward—some even choosing them to miss the postseason.
But with a full season of Nikola Mirotic and now Julius Randle on board, there’s plenty of room to surprise folks.
2018 Dallas Mavericks NBA Southwest Division Prediction
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
2017-18 Record: 24-58
Odds To Win Division: +6000
Odds To Win Conference: +9000
Odds To Win NBA Championship: +25000
Dallas finally tanked. After years of hearing Mark Cuban talk about how anti-tanking he is, he and the team succumbed to the pressure of the lottery and refused to try and win meaningful games during the second half of the 2017-18 season.
Now, the team has a better core in place after the signing of DeAndre Jordan and drafting of Luka Doncic.
Although the playoffs seem like a bit of a stretch for this iteration of the Mavericks, exceeding 24 wins should be relatively easy. This group will look to send Dirk Nowitzki off into retirement with a positive locker room setting and as many wins as they can get.
Look for 2019-20 to be the first real look at what this team can be capable of.
2018 Memphis Grizzlies NBA Southwest Division Prediction
Head Coach: J.B. Bickerstaff
2017-18 Record: 22-60
Odds To Win Division: +6500
Odds To Win Conference: +17500
Odds To Win NBA Championship: + 50000
The Memphis Grizzlies aren’t on many folks’ postseason projections, but they’re a popular pick to exceed expectations. And it’s easy to see why.
Last year, the Grizz spent much of their season without stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Assuming the two are healthy this season, there will be a boost in production.
Whether or not that’s enough to push them close to 30 wins is what remains to be seen. This group could realistically land anywhere from 25 wins to 35, even a tad higher.
Our money would be on the former at this time considering how tough the Western Conference is, but reasonable minds could disagree here.
2018 NBA Southwest Division Prediction
The Rockets may come back down to Earth a bit this season, but there’s really no reason to assume they don’t win the Southwest.
Houston should finish the season top-three out West, if not higher, and no team in the Southwest Division can make that claim outside of Clutch City.
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What do you think about our 2018 NBA Southwest Division predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in the 2018-2019 NBA Season!
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