NBA Southeast betting preview and odds: Nobody beats the Wiz

Oct 14, 2017 |
NBA Southeast betting preview and odds: Nobody beats the Wiz

There might not be a better collection of mismanaged teams in the Association than four of the five teams residing in the Southeast Division. Covers Expert Power Sports gives a rundown of each team in our NBA betting preview of the Southeast Division. 

Atlanta Hawks (2016-17: 43-39 SU, 39-43 ATS)

Odds to Win the Division: +1200
Season Win Total: 25.5

Why to bet the Hawks: Well, they are going to be underdogs - at least. No team is projected to take a bigger step back than the Hawks this season. This team won 43 games a year ago, fifth most in the Eastern Conference and it was just three seasons ago when it won 60 games and finished with the best regular season record in the East.
This team has made the playoffs for 10 consecutive years. There probably is a bit of value in betting the Over on the season win total simply due to the size of the projected decline.

Why not to bet the Hawks: Dennis Schroder is their best player - by a wide margin. The playoff streak is a virtual lock to end as the team is significantly weaker on paper and every other team in the division is improved. Keep in mind that last year's team was actually outscored and this year's group will not match the 5-0 overtime record from a year ago. Atlanta isn't the worst team in the East, but the team is closer to the bottom than the playoffs.

Season Win Total Pick: Over 25.5

Charlotte Hornets (2016-17: 36-46 SU, 35-44-3 ATS)

Odds to Win the Division: +650
Season Win Total: 42.5

Why to bet the Hornets: This team is on my short list for most improved. Last year's record fails to reflect a lot of poor luck, namely a horrendous 0-9 straight up record in games decided by three points or fewer (were also 0-6 in OT!).

They actually outscored opponents over the course of the season and ranked in the top 10 defensively most of the way. A simple progression to the mean would have probably been enough to push the Hornets into the playoffs. But the roster looks to be improved as well. Well, that's if Dwight Howard has his head on straight. Nic Batum and Cody Zeller also need to be healthy.

Why not to bet the Hornets: Reportedly, Atlanta Hawks' players openly cheered upon learning of Howard's trade here. Batum got injured in the preseason and will be out 6-8 weeks, though the team got good news when it was learned surgery would not be required to repair the elbow ligament.

The Hornets were terrible with Zeller off the floor last year. Their net rating fell from +5.5 to -3.6 and he missed 20 games due to injury. It was a similar story when Kemba Walker didn't play or was on the bench. This is not a deep team.

Season Win Total Pick: Over 42.5

Miami Heat (2016-17: 41-41 SU, 48-33-1 ATS)

Odds to Win the Division: +600
Season Win Total: 43.5

Why to bet the Heat: Like Charlotte, this was a non-playoff team that was actually better than some of the actual playoff teams. The Heat's points per game differential (+1.1) was fifth best in the East. They appeared to be dead in the water after starting the season 11-30, but they finished 30-11 over the second half.

Why not to bet the Heat: Can Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and James Johnson all repeat career years? Probably not. A better question would be will any of them repeat the career years? That's not guaranteed. On a game by game basis, you're unlikely to get the Heat as well-priced as they were last year, which enabled them to finish near the top of the league's ATS (48-33-1) standings.

Season Win Total Pick: Over 43.5

Orlando Magic (2016-17: 29-53 SU, 39-42-1 ATS)

Odds To Win the Division: +1000
Season Win Total: 33.5

Why to bet the Magic: This moribund franchise has to make some sort of leap sooner or later, right? Right?

In all seriousness, this should be the best Magic team in years. With all the lottery picks in recent years, there's some decent talent on hand, even if it's all young. Frank Vogel is a good coach that preaches defense and if the Magic improve in that area, they'll be able to stay in a lot of games and cash routinely as underdogs.

Why not to bet the Magic: When Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon are your best players, there are still question marks. This team was outscored last year by a number similar to 20-game winner Brooklyn. There's a new front office, so that means some of the players they inherited could be dealt. Last year, the Magic ranked 24th in points per possession and 29th in points allowed.

Washington Wizards (2016-17: 49-33 SU, 42-39-1 ATS)

Odds to Win The Division: -125
Season Win Total: 47.5

Why to bet the Wizards: As indicated by the odds, this is a heavy favorite to repeat at Southeast Division champs. The nucleus from last year's 49-win team is back. Bradley Beal and John Wall form one of the league's best backcourts. Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat make it a strong starting five overall. They look like a 50-win team on paper.

Odds to Win The Division: -125
Season Win Total: 47.5

Why to bet the Wizards: As indicated by the odds, this is a heavy favorite to repeat at Southeast Division champs. The nucleus from last year's 49-win team is back. Bradley Beal and John Wall form one of the league's best backcourts. Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat make it a strong starting five overall. They look like a 50-win team on paper.

Why not to bet the Wizards: Can they improve again after jumping from 41 to 49 wins a year ago? An injury to Wall or Beal, particularly the former, would be devastating. While the Wiz did clean up against losing teams (27-9 SU record), they went just 22-24 SU against foes that were .500 or better. They had one of the worst bench units in the league a year ago and haven’t done anything to address the problem.

Season Win Total: Over 47.5


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