- David Troy
2022 NBA Southwest Division Sports Betting Preview
There are very few leagues that cause as much of a stir as the NBA. If someone brings up the NFL, almost no one makes a comment about how much they hate it, or how the players don’t compete, etc. With the NBA it seems like the popular opinion is the games suck and players are always taking time off. I didn’t feel like that was the case last year. And, now, it is almost back for us! Last year was beautiful – we were profitable on the preseason futures, we were profitable on the regular season, and we were profitable in the postseason. Someone that took the full-year plays was up over 40u last year. I’ve learned more and am looking to do even better this season. Be sure to get your package when posted on the site!
Memphis Grizzlies – 56 – 26 Last year, 1st in Division
One of my absolute favorite bets from last season was Ja Morant-related. So, not the MVP one that I gave out when he was 40:1 and it dropped all the way to I think as low as 6:1. No, instead it was the bet on his scoring average. He cruised easily to cover that number and he didn’t even play that much last year. I love the Grizzlies, and I love their coach, but I don’t think this year will be as successful for them. The loss of Kyle Anderson, despite him being a role player, is probably a bigger deal than you’d think. I also am not sure what to expect from Dillon Brooks. In the playoffs, he was very inconsistent. They have an interesting team total because it looks like the books are daring you to take them at the over. I personally am not sure they hit 50 wins this year.
Dallas Mavericks – 52 – 30, 2nd
Dallas made a surprise appearance in the Western Conference Finals last year. Don’t expect that again this year. Last season, they had one of the better defenses in the league, and they still will cause some problems for teams. They are heavily reliant on three-point shooting, and have arguably the best young asset in the game, Luka Doncic. I liked the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie during the middle of last season, and like that they added Christian Wood – if he responds to being out of the losing Houston culture, look out, he is very talented. Still, there will be nights this team really struggles to score if they don’t shoot well. Losing Jalen Brunson is a big deal, and I’d expect the team to grab someone during the course of the year, I think it will be a challenge for them to win as many games as last year. I’ll give this out officially – Dallas under 48.5 wins at -105 (1u)
New Orleans Pelicans – 36 – 46, 3rd
It is PeliCAN, not PeliCANT. The Pelicans had a strange year last year – no Zion the entire season, a stretch where they lost nine straight games, and 16 out of 20 to start the year. They traded for CJ McCollum and ended up making the playoffs. They got very lucky that Paul George had COVID for the play-in game and they win with a beautiful speech from their head coach during the game. They put up a good fight against the Suns but ultimately that was too much. Zion is now back in the fold, and after that rough start last year, they went 32-30 the rest of the way. I think they should be back in the playoff conversation, maybe as high as the eighth seed.
San Antonio Spurs – 34 – 48, 4th
San Antonio made news in the offseason, but mostly because they decided to go away from their star point guard, Dejounte Murray. After making the “playoffs” as the 10th best team in the league, they were quickly ousted and the season was done. It isn’t as though the Spurs have no one left on their team, but don’t expect them to compete in many games. That seems like it is kind of the goal and I wouldn’t be surprised to see with Keldon Johnson or Jakob Poeltl traded at some point.
Houston Rockets – 20 – 62, 5th
The Rockets might be pretty good… in a couple of years. If everyone can develop and not get used to losing and that dysfunctional culture, they have some talented pieces that could make them relevant in a few years. Eric Gordon is likely to be traded, but I said that last year too. Jabari Smith Jr. has a chance to be the Rookie of the Year. Alperen Sengun showed enough last season that it made the decision to move on from Christian Wood even easier. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. will be a good scoring backcourt, but they likely will guard no one and probably still have turnover issues. Still, a four-game improvement isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, even with how much better some other teams were. I’d lay off the over and under on them, but if pressed, I’d take the over.