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  • David Troy

2022 NBA Southeast Division Sports Betting Preview

Last year we had a really easy winner in the MAX category here with the Heat being basically even money to win the Southeast division. I was happy to get that number and threw that down as my first MAX of the season. I’ll have at least one MAX on my future card this year and look to move that forward as we keep pushing along with these NBA previews.

Miami Heat 53 – 29 last year, 1st in division

If you look at their starting lineup, you won’t really think that the Heat lost anyone significant from their team. You’d be wrong though. For the lack of offense PJ Tucker brought to the squad, he also brought a toughness that helped shape this Miami team. Is he the biggest loss for a team of the off-season? No, certainly not, but he was a good player that makes a difference. The Heat still have a really solid team with Jimmy Butler leading the way. What I like the best about their team is their depth. It showed last year with all of the injuries, but Tyler Herro (Sixth Man of The Year last year) and Victor Oladipo probably could start on most teams. Caleb Martin is solid and Gabe Vincent is a good backup point guard. I think the price is a big high for the division winner bet at -165, but I wouldn’t play it any other way.

Atlanta Hawks 43 – 39, 2nd

The Hawks were good last year, but not great. After making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Championship series, they couldn’t get past the Heat in the opening round. This offseason saw them make one of the bigger splashes when they obtained Dejounte Murray from the Spurs. Murray is a decent defender but gets a little too much credit for steals. His on-ball defense is not as spectacular. Trae Young still will be a liability there, but he more than makes up for it with his offense. I actually think Murray would be better-suited running point here as he seems to do more penetration which could open up a little more space for Young with a drive and kick. Still, the Hawks will lack a little depth and probably struggle on defense as they did a year ago. It is reasonable to expect them to be better than last year and at 45.5 wins, the expectation isn’t that high.

Charlotte Hornets 43 – 39, 3rd

They made the play in game last year and that’s probably what they have to hope for this year. The problem is, they are getting older while other teams are getting better. A big question is what happens with that scumbag Miles Bridges after his domestic violence case was brought into public. I’m not here to talk about it, but he doesn’t deserve to play in the league. Anyway, I hope to see another step forward from LaMelo Ball this year. Terry Rozier will still be a streaky shooter that can keep the Hornets in… and out of games. Can you count on Gordon Hayward to be there all season? Probably not, when he is there, he never quite has reached “superstar” level and seems like more of a role player now. The books are expecting a major regression, and I can’t say I disagree, but I do think 37 wins is reasonable for them. I’d only play the over, but likely will lay off.

Washington Wizards 35 – 47, 4th

Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis headline the team, but the additions from Denver could make the Wizards have a shot at taking the eighth seed this season. Monte Morris is a good point guard that doesn’t make too many bad decisions. He also doesn’t need the ball a ton. Will Barton can score and should see a bit of help from Beal being on the floor. The Wizards bench really needs some help though and that is definitely an area where they will lose advantages to other teams. I’d also say you can’t count on Beal or Porzingis to play the full season right now. Beal is better, and more reliable, than Porzingis, but still not someone I want to rely on for money. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them finish 3rd in the division, but I also wouldn’t be shocked to see them finish fourth. Anything higher would be a surprise.

Orlando Magic 22 – 60, 5th

Look out for the Magic. Maybe it won’t be this year, but soon they should be good. Jalen Suggs was one of the better defensive players on the squad last year and without him, the Magic definitely suffered. This year we will see Paolo Banchero on the squad after being selected first overall in the draft. He isn’t quite listed at 2:1 for Rookie of the Year, but I really doubt I’d play too many other people to win the award. This is a young team with a ton of talent and potential. Will they make the playoffs? No. Can they compete for the 10th spot? Maybe. We see these teams as clearly better than them (injuries, of course, can change any of this) Philly, Miami, Boston, Milwaukee, Chicago, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Toronto. Detroit is probably better, Charlotte and Washington too, but it isn’t inconceivable to think they could at least make a run against the rest of these teams.


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