We at ATS are getting you ready for the 2022-2023 NBA season with a preview of each division. The Southwest Division is next up on our list. We will have a synopsis for each team in the division as well as the best season-long betting picks for that division.
Last Season’s Southwest Division Results
The Grizzlies were the team to take the division last year, finishing second in the Western Conference and the league overall, with a 56-26 record. The Mavericks were also high end, finishing just four games back of the Grizz. There were also two low end playoff teams in the Pelicans and Spurs, but both finished at least 20 games back and at least 10 games under .500. The Rockets were an afterthought, finishing a massive 36 games back.
Risk Free Bet
NBA Southwest Division Best Bets
Grizzlies Over 48.5 Wins
Mavericks Over 48.5 Wins
Rockets Over 23.5 Wins
NBA Southwest Division Team Previews
Below is each team’s odds to win the Southwest Division from BetMGM sportsbook with their season win total and a short betting preview for the upcoming season.
|Southwest Team||Division Win Odds||Win Totals|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+350||44.5|
|San Antonio Spurs||+24000||22.5|
The Grizzlies will look to keep what they had last season rolling into this season. The young and high end team put the rest of the league and conference on notice with the impressive 56 win season. They did not get to where they wanted to in the playoffs, but that is quite forgivable as they were not yet an experienced playoff squad.
Ja Morant will return as the Grizzlies top player and as a legitimate MVP candidate. He will be complemented by Desmond Bane in the back court and Dillon Brooks on the wing. High end Jaren Jackson will miss the early portion of the season, but he will be back and is a great option at the four. Steven Adams will once again be the starting center. The Grizzlies also have high end depth in place at all five positions. Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, Ziaire Williams, Xavier Tillman and John Konchar are all capable of giving the Grizz high end minutes. The bigs will be called upon early in the season with Jackson out, but they are up for it. With their team chemistry being right where they left off last season, the expectation should be more of the same for Memphis. Their win total is inexplicably set down at 48.5, making them an easy over wager.
The Mavericks did not take the division last season, but they did make a run all the way to the Western Conference Finals. They of course have an MVP candidate of their own in Luka Doncic, and he will be back and as good as or better than ever. The Mavs lost a big piece in Jalen Brunson who departed for the Knicks, weakening their back court. They did well to acquire Christian Wood from the Rockets, which equally bolsters their front court.
The Mavs will return role players Spencer Dinwiddie, Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Tim Hardaway to complement Doncic. We should expect something quite similar to the 52 win season we saw last year. The Mavs were not a picture of health yet they won 52 games. Oddsmakers see the loss of Brunson as more of a gain than Wood, as their win total is set at 48.5. Much like the Grizzlies, I expect a repeat of last season, making them quite a sound over bet.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are the biggest Wild Card in the Southwest division. Their range of outcomes is perhaps the widest in the entire league. It is fair to think the Pelicans will be ready to take the next step this season with Zion Williamson back in the lineup. The team was able to make a run late last year and seize a back end playoff spot. While they did not make it far, they return the group that did so, with Williamson added.
Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum return to form a low end big three with Williamson. They also return Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy, who were all significant contributors, particularly Jones. Jonas Valanciunas will once again man the center spot for the Pels. With what we saw from the team late last year and the re-addition of Zion, we are going to see an improved team and a playoff team. There are questions as to whether Williamson can stay healthy, moving us to the next question of just how much improved. With a win total set at 44.5, oddsmakers also expect a fairly significant leap from the team, meaning they are best avoided from a betting perspective.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs, 34-48 a year ago, finally came to the realization that a complete rebuild was necessary. Not wanting to let go after so many years of success was understandable, but they had no choice but start this rebuild. They traded away both Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, making draft picks a priority. While they do have a handful of young pieces in place, this will be a lost season for the Spurs in the beginning of the rebuild. The oddsmakers know it, setting their win total at 22.5, making it too low of a figure for us to attack an under.
Last season was the year the Rockets committed to rebuilding, and they should begin to see the fruits of that labor this season. While it might not lead to a vast improvement in wins, they have gotten a young core in place. Improvement upon their league low 20 wins last season seems something of a certainty, but the level of improvement is the large question.
With the roster and contributors almost wholly consisting of first and second year players, the highs will be high and the lows will be low. Kevin Porter and Jalen Green will man the back court, and we could truly see the emergence of Green as a star this season. He has truly dynamic physical ability and we will see at least some level of refinement to his game. High end rookie Jabari Smith and Alperen Sengun will man the front court, bringing high levels of ability but little experience. The Rockets could also see growth from all of or any combination of Jae’Sean Tate, Josh Christopher, Usman Garuba, TyTy Washington and Tari Eason. With any luck they will get true growth from the majority of their key contributors. This would mean a significant enough win spike to take the Rockets over on 23.5 wins.