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2020 NBA Southwest Division Predictions, Odds, and Win Totals

Quinn Allen

by Quinn Allen in NBA Basketball

Dec 20, 2020 · 6:33 AM PST

Luka Doncic dribbling by defender
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks should compete with Houston for the Southwest Division title this season. (Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)
  • After winning the Southwest Division last season, the Houston Rockets enter 2020/21 with the second-best odds
  • Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are the current favorites after an impressive 2019/20
  • Get our full odds, preview, and predictions for the Southwest Division below

With the constant drama surrounding James Harden and the Houston Rockets, their Texas counterparts in the Dallas Mavericks head into the season with the best NBA Divisional odds at -195. Houston won the Southwest last year, finishing just 2.5 games ahead of the Mavs.

Southwest Division Odds and Win Totals

Team Odds to Win Division Odds to Win Conference Championship Odds to Win NBA Championship Win Total
Dallas Mavericks -195 +1000 +2200 42.5
Houston Rockets +480 +3600 +7000 35.5
New Orleans Pelicans +500 +4300 +8500 34.5
Memphis Grizzlies +950 +6500 +10000 31.5
San Antonio Spurs +2800 +10000 +13000 29.5

Odds taken Dec 19 at Fanduel

Dallas Mavericks

  • 2019/20 record: 43-32
  • 2019/20 points per game: 117 (3rd)
  • 2019/20 points allowed per game: 112.1 (16th)
  • 2019/20 offensive rating: 116.7 (1st)
  • 2019/20 defensive rating: 111.7 (18th)

The Dallas Mavericks enjoyed a productive season last year, making the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Dallas locked up the #7 seed in the West, much in part to Luka Doncic’s utter dominance on a nightly basis.

The offseason saw them address their defensive issues while racking up three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Key Offseason Moves

Key Additions Key Losses
Josh Richardson Delon Wright
James Johnson Seth Curry
Josh Green Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Dallas had the most electric offense in the NBA in 2019/20, which almost led them to a first-round upset over the Los Angeles Clippers. Doncic continues to prove why he’s one of the league’s brightest up-and-coming superstars, averaging 28.8 points, 9.1 boards, and 8.8 assists.

The loss of Seth Curry will hurt from a shooting standpoint, as he sunk 45% of his attempts from downtown last season. Delon Wright was a sparkplug off the bench who possessed impressive playmaking abilities, but with three draft picks coming in, they should be able to make up for his absence.

Defense was an issue last year and the Mavs quickly improved in that category with the additions of veterans James Johnson and Josh Richardson. Both offer a versatile skill set on both ends of the floor, while Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the table.

Although the Mavs have the best odds in the Southwest, I actually think they’ll finish in second behind Houston. Rick Carlisle’s team will finish just under their predicted win total but still make the playoffs.

Pick: 41-31 (2nd)

Houston Rockets

  • 2019/20 record: 44-28
  • 2019/20 points per game: 117.8 (2nd)
  • 2019/20 points allowed per game: 114.8 (23rd)
  • 2019/20 offensive rating: 112.9 (6th)
  • 2019/20 defensive rating: 110.1 (14th)

Houston comes into this season with many questions to answer. Will James Harden stay put despite voicing his displeasure with the organization? Will John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins find their best again after bad injuries?

Russell Westbrook was shipped out after one season for Wall and so far, it looks to have been a smart decision by the Rockets. Cousins and Christian Wood are nice additions as well and with a new head coach in Stephen Silas, there’s some optimism surrounding this team despite the Harden issues.

Key Offseason Moves

Key Additions Key Losses
John Wall Russell Westbrook
DeMarcus Cousins Robert Covington
Christian Wood Jeff Green
Sterling Brown Austin Rivers

John Wall has looked really good in preseason, showing flashes of the type of player he was before an Achilles injury. Harden clearly doesn’t want to be in Houston anymore, but his superstar treatment isn’t attractive to many organizations. Personally, I see him forming a very effective duo with Wall this season. Harden is the most electric scorer in the league and will continue to light it up on a nightly basis.

Cousins is destined to break out after recovering from an ACL tear. Wood showed potential in Detroit and will get a bigger role in H-town. With both of these big men, I think this team is going to be a lot better in the paint.

I think Houston will have one of the best backcourts in the league with Harden and Wall. They’ll finish in the top five in the West while winning this division.

Pick: 43-29 (1st)

New Orleans Pelicans

  • 2019/20 record: 30-42
  • 2019/20 points per game: 115.8 (5th)
  • 2019/20 points allowed per game: 117.1 (27th)
  • 2019/20 offensive rating: 110.7 (17th)
  • 2019/20 defensive rating: 111.9 (19th)

The New Orleans Pelicans had a lot of hype surrounding them last season with the selection of Zion Williamson as the number one pick in the 2019 NBA draft. However, he went down with an injury early on and missed most of the season. Once he returned, Zion was a star, but NOLA ultimately missed the playoffs after a disappointing bubble performance.

Key Offseason Moves

Key Additions Key Losses
Steven Adams Jrue Holiday
Eric Bledsoe Derrick Favors

Eric Bledsoe replaces Jrue Holiday, who was shipped off to Milwaukee in a blockbuster deal.  Kira Lewis Jr. is another player to keep an eye on. NOLA grabbed him with the 13th overall pick in the draft and the former Alabama standout should carve out a solid career for himself with this organization. He’s a speedy, fast-twitch athlete who will have no problem finding minutes this season.

Williamson and Brandon Ingram are the heartbeat of this team from a scoring standpoint, but they certainly have some good players around them. Steven Adams will replace Derrick Favors in the paint, which is definitely seen as an upgrade.

With Zion heading into his first full NBA season, barring injuries, I expect this team to make a run at a playoff spot in the West. The Pels will lock up third spot in the Southwest and surpass their predicted win total.

Pick 39-33 (3rd)

Memphis Grizzlies

  • 2019/20 record: 34-39
  • 2019/20 points per game: 112.6 (14th)
  • 2019/20 points allowed per game: 113.7 (21st)
  • 2019/20 offensive rating: 109.2 (20th)
  • 2019/20 defensive rating: 110.3 (15th)

Memphis was clearly heading into a rebuild last season after shipping off Mike Conley and drafting Ja Morant with the second overall pick. But with a bevy of young players in the fold, they actually exceeded expectations, led by Morant, who won Rookie of the Year.

Key Offseason Moves

Key Additions Key Losses
Desmond Bane Josh Jackson
Mario Hezonja Anthony Tolliver

Jaren Jackson went down at the worst possible time last season, hurting his knee in the bubble, which ultimately hurt the Grizzlies chances of making the playoffs. The former Kansas star isn’t quite ready to return yet, but Memphis should still be competitive.

They didn’t lose or gain a ton in the offseason, however. Desmond Bane was a four-year college player out of TCU who should find his role in this young team. Mario Hezonja has failed to live up to expectations throughout his career, but the Croatian does bring a respectable shooting game to Memphis.

With Morant looking to build off a tremendous first year in the association, I expect him to improve even more. With their solid core of Jonas Valanciunas, Brandon Clarke, and Dillon Brooks alongside the former second overall pick, I believe the Grizz will compete for a play-in spot in 2020/21 and just exceed their win total.

Pick: 33-39 (4th)

San Antonio Spurs

  • 2019/20 record: 32-39
  • 2019/20 points per game: 114.1 (8th)
  • 2019/20 points allowed per game: 115.2 (25th)
  • 2019/20 offensive rating: 112.4 (9th)
  • 2019/20 defensive rating: 113.5 (25th)

San Antonio missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 1997 last season and coming off a quiet offseason, it could very well happen again. Their core of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan aren’t in their prime anymore and they honestly didn’t really upgrade in any particular area.

Key Offseason Moves

Key Additions Key Losses
Devin Vassell Bryn Forbes
Tre Jones Marco Belinelli

Gregg Popovich’s squad grabbed two picks in the draft in former Florida State and Duke standouts Devin Vassell and Tre Jones. Vassell should get ample minutes as a rookie thanks to his versatility on the floor, while Jones is a low-key solid defender who could turn out to be a nice talent for a second-round pick.

The big loss for the Spurs was definitely Bryn Forbes. He became a gritty scorer and will definitely thrive with Milwaukee. DeRozan and Aldridge will continue to lead San Antonio offensively, while Popovich will hope that Derrick White and Dejounte Murray can take strides in their games.

To be honest, it’s time for this team to go into a rebuild. It’s surprising that their two veterans are still around. The playoffs seem highly unlikely this season as the Spurs continue to decide what direction they want to head in.

San Antonio will exceed their win total, but finish last in this division and miss the playoffs.

Pick: 31-41 (5th)

Other Division Previews:

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