With all of the NBA Futures odds posted, this professional basketball handicapper shares his advice for some of potentially profitably NBA Picks for the Southwest, one of the league’s toughest divisions.
San Antonio Spurs (-140)
After their impressive drive to an NBA Championship, the Spurs returned all of their core guys from last season to try and make one last run. Truly this might be the last year this team is together. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are all on the final years of their contracts, and even though Parker may not be done playing, the other two may choose to hang it up after this season. Boris Diaw is returning with an impressive new contract, however even though the Spurs re-signed Patty Mills, he will miss most of, if not all of this regular season after offseason surgery. This team may not have the best record in the West this season, but they should control their division as long as they stay relatively healthy.
Houston Rockets (+400)
This is a make or break year for the Rockets. They have assembled the pieces, the band is in place, and all they have to do is play. However even though there are high expectations in Houston, I think their NBA Odds are slightly overvalued. This is a tough division, and in the battle for Texas this season, not only are the Rockets not going to be the best team, they might be the third best team. Going from Chandler Parsons to Trevor Ariza was lateral at best, and unless Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley and Isaiah Canaan can make a big leap forward this team may not be as good as their NBA odds suggest.
Dallas Mavericks (+500)
Speaking of Chandler Parsons, he joins up with Dirk Nowitzki on the Mavs this season, and at +500, they may not be a bad play to win this division. It would take a series of Spurs injuries knocking them down the West ladder, but the Mavs are talented enough, and maybe even better than Houston. They brought back Tyson Chandler, and even though I don’t think he has much left in the tank, it is an upgrade from last season. Parsons is going to give the Mavs another 2nd tier scorer next to Monta Ellis, and they added Jameer Nelson this season, who has been playing well and looks like he might start at point guard. Don’t count out Dallas in your NBA Picks.
Memphis Grizzlies (+800 at Bet365)
The Grizzlies were another team from this division that made the playoffs last season, but this year you can’t really tell how good they’ll be. They still have their core intact and healthy, but in a stacked West, who knows how good they’ll be. Plus, even though Zach Randolph signed an extension to stay in Memphis for the next three seasons, the Grizzlies also have the contract of Marc Gasol coming up. If Memphis takes a turn to the worse, who knows what management in Memphis will do. They may blow it all up and go into full rebuild mode. Memphis has a ton of valuable expiring deals.
New Orleans Pelicans (+2000)
With all of the talent in the Southwest, the Pelicans bring up the rear. Even with talented players like Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik, this team likely won’t make the playoffs. They might not be a bad NBA pick from time to time at home, because with their talented young starting lineup, they’ll be able to score and play solid defense. If they make it to the 8th seed it won’t be surprised, but +2000 to win this division is a waste.