The NBA season is just about to officially begin which means its the perfect time to learn how to bet on NBA futures. While a lot of contenders come from the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions, the Southwest Division is low-key full of quality, too. The Memphis Grizzlies were the runner-up in the West last season, while the Dallas Mavericks shockingly made it all the way to the conference finals after knocking off the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. The New Orleans Pelicans are also no pushover, making it to the postseason in 2022 and they get Zion Williamson back. So, who will take the crown? Read on for our NBA Southwest Division picks.
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NBA Southwest Division Odds
|New Orleans Pelicans||+325|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
Memphis is one of the most exciting teams in the league with Ja Morant at the forefront. He led the Grizzlies to their first Southwest Division title ever last season as the team went 56-26 and ultimately lost in the conference semifinals to the Golden State Warriors, who won it all. There is no question Taylor Jenkins' squad will be a force again with their core all intact. Ja is on the doorstep of complete stardom after averaging over 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per night in 2021-22, also making his first All-Star appearance.
The players around him are tough as nails like Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Dillon Brooke. Bane is one of the best three-point shooters around and is expected to take a significant leap in Year 3. He could definitely be the Grizzlies' second-best player behind Ja. A Southwest Division crown is the least of Memphis' goals, but there is a good chance they win it again.
How can you ignore a team with Luka Doncic? The Slovenian Sniper is a top-five player in the Association and is already well on his way to the Hall of Fame. His IQ and sheer talent are a treat to watch every night and there is no question he will be showing out in 2022-23.
Dallas made some interesting moves in the summer, some for the better and some potentially for the worst. They brought in Christian Wood to strengthen their frontcourt, a versatile big who can also shoot it. The Mavs also signed JaVale McGee, a proven vet that gives them depth inside. However, the team did lose Jalen Brunson, who played an integral part in their playoff run earlier this year. He signed a massive deal with the New York Knicks.
That leaves a question mark around their backcourt. Spencer Dinwiddie will need to really step up and be a whole lot more consistent without Brunson around. The return of Tim Hardaway Jr from injury is going to be huge, too. The Mavericks were on the doorstep of the Finals and definitely want more. Their last Southwest Division title was in 2020-21, too.
If there is one team who can be a legitimate dark horse in the NBA this season, it's the Pelicans. Yes, they made the postseason via the play-in despite having a record below .500, but New Orleans showed serious promise after CJ McCollum arrived from Portland at the trade deadline. Most importantly, Zion is in the mix again after recovering from a foot injury and he's looking fitter than ever. Put him alongside CJ, Brandon Ingram, Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy, and Jose Alvarado, among others, and the Pelicans are potentially a top-six team in the West, depending on health.
The last Williamson we saw was 27 points per night. Add that to the mix and it's a scary sight for opponents. The Pelicans have never won the Southwest Division and it'll be a tall task to do so this time around. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean New Orleans can't make noise in the conference.
NBA Southwest Division Picks
If Dallas keeps Brunson, I give them a chance to win this division. However, Memphis is the clear pick here. The Pelicans will be good as mentioned, but I don't think their record will be better than the Grizzlies. New Orleans will battle it out with the Mavs for second spot, with Ja Morant and Co. winning a second consecutive divisional crown.
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