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NBA Southwest Division Betting Update for January 2021 – Can the Houston Rockets Mount a Charge?

| January 17, 2021 7:19 am PDT
NBA Southwest Division Betting Update 2021

The James Harden era in Houston is officially over. The out-of-shape and disgruntled superstar is headed to Brooklyn, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

After Harden’s behavior left the Rockets front office virtually no leverage in the situation, Houston was still able to receive an intriguing package in return. Along getting with Caris LeVert – who they then swapped for Victor Oladipo – Houston is loaded with draft picks and draft swaps for several years to come.

Are Rafael Stone and the rest of the front office simply looking ahead to the future, or can the Rockets be competitive in the 2021 season?

To answer that question, let’s inspect the Southwest Division odds.

Latest NBA Southwest Division Odds

Team Odds
Dallas Mavericks -190
New Orleans Pelicans +400
Houston Rockets +425
Memphis Grizzlies +1200
San Antonio Spurs +2000

DeMar DeRozan is playing fantastic basketball. Dejounte Murray is a star-in-the-making. The Spurs lack sufficient depth in their frontcourt, but nobody is better than maximizing his talent than Gregg Popovich.

What I’m getting at is the Spurs +2000 price tag is at least worth a look.

The Mavericks still have question marks regarding the pieces surrounding Luka Doncic, and the Rockets appear headed for a full-on rebuild. The Pelicans are still too young to be trusted, and we won’t know more about the Grizzlies ceiling until Ja Morant settles back in from his ankle injury.

Dallas should be able to claim this division, but we’re still waiting to see Luka kick things into high gear.

When Will Dallas Take Flight?

Of course, just when I call out Luka for not firing on all cylinders, he goes off for 34-13-9 with five triples, four blocks, and two steals. The 6’7,” 230-pound point guard is atop the NBA MVP odds sheet for a reason, and now he’s got his partner in crime back in the lineup.

Wednesday night’s game against Charlotte marked the much-anticipated season debut for Kristaps Porzingis and it looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat. The versatile big man will be on a minutes restriction for the foreseeable future (Rick Carlisle is calling it a “range of minutes”), but it’s good to see Porzingis in the mix.

Considering the 7’3” Latvian stud scored 16 points in 21 minutes in his season debut and was already hitting step-back threes, it’s safe to say the Mavericks are in good hands.

Dejounte Murray is Evolving in San Antonio

Gregg Popovich is getting great contributions from Patty Mills (15.2 ppg) and Lonnie Walker (14.1 ppg). DeMar DeRozan looks as good as he ever has. Toss in the emergence of Dejounte Murray and the Spurs have a legitimate shot of winning this division.

Dejounte Murray – Career Numbers
Season Minutes Points Assists Rebounds
2016-17 8.5 3.4 1.3 1.1
2017-18 21.5 8.1 2.9 5.7
2019-20 25.6 10.9 4.1 5.8
2020-21 32.5 16.2 5.3 7.0

*missed the entire 2018-19 campaign after suffering a torn ACL in the preseason

Career-highs across the board he’s only going to continue to ascend the ranks. Murray recorded his first career triple-double in the Spurs home opener against Toronto. Perhaps still a year away from being recognized as an All-Star, “Pop” certainly appreciates the strides he has taken.

Will the Pelicans Factor In?

As much as the NBA would love to showcase Zion Williamson in the Western Conference Playoffs, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

Steven Adams is doing a nice job in the paint, and we’ve seen Nickeil Alexander-Walker shine when given an opportunity. Unfortunately, Lonzo Ball is shooting under 40% from the floor and seems to be headed in the opposite direction of his younger brother in Charlotte.

Eric Bledsoe’s fit seems questionable at best, and as talented as Brandon Ingram is, I’m not convinced he’s enough to lead the way in crunch time. A healthy Zion would go along way for their chances, but there seem to be too many holes for even a man of his magnitude to cover up.

New Orleans ranks 25th in points per game and dead last in the 3P%.

Ready to Bet on the Southwest Division?

Before you lock in the Mavericks, don’t discount the Grizz from Southwest Division betting. +1200 is a favorable price given how dangerous Memphis can be, and they’re right in the thick of the race.

Dillon Brooks and company held the fort down, and now Ja Morant is reentering the fray.

A flier on the Spurs might be warranted, but I wouldn’t trust the Pels or the Rockets. When you’re ready to fire additional NBA Division bets, the following posts will be right here waiting.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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