The Western Conference playoff race is an exciting one with all three divisions being separated by five games or less heading into the All-Star Break. One of the closest division races takes place in the Southwest division as the Houston Rockets (34-20) lead the Dallas Mavericks (33-22) by just 1.5 games and the Memphis Grizzlies (28-26) by six games.
Odds to win Southwest Division – odds via Draftkings Sportsbook
- Houston Rockets -200
- Dallas Mavericks +140
- Memphis Grizzlies +10000
- New Orleans Pelicans +25000
- San Antonio Spurs +25000
None of the teams in this division are great, as the Rockets lead the division and are the five seed in the Western Conference playoffs, but each team can be exciting night to night. The Rockets have James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Mavericks have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and the Grizzlies have exciting rookie Ja Morant.
Neither of these teams have great home and road splits as the Rockets are 19-8 at home and 15-12 on the road, the Mavericks are just 15-14 at home, but are 18-8 on the road and the Grizzlies are 16-13 at home and 12-13 on the road. The Mavs have the best point differential at +5.9, the Rockets have a +3.7 points differential and the Grizzlies are being outscored by 1.4 points per game.
The remaining schedules could go a long way in determining this division as one team has a tough rest of season, another is average and the final team has one of the weaker remaining strength of schedules.
You can probably eliminate Memphis from this division race as the Grizzlies have the toughest remaining schedule in the league as their final 28 opponents have a combined winning percentage of .554. The Grizzlies still have to face Milwaukee, Los Angeles Lakers twice, Toronto Raptors twice and the Boston Celtics. I would expect Memphis to fall out of the eighth seed as well.
The Dallas Mavericks have 27 games remaining and their opponents have a combined .495 winning percentage which is good for 18th in the NBA. Dallas still has to face Denver twice, the Clippers, Bucks, Jazz and Heat. The Mavericks do also get Minnesota three times so they could gain some ground in the final stretch of the season.
Finally, the Houston Rockets have 28 games remaining and their opponents have just a .477 winning percentage which is good for the 7th easiest remaining schedule. The Rockets have games remaining against the Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Celtics, Clippers and Jazz, but also have the Warriors twice, the Knicks twice and match-ups with Cleveland and Minnesota.
This division is more of a two team race and I like the Houston Rockets at -200 to win the Southwest division.