NBA Southeast Division Preview
The defending NBA champs are huge favorites to top the Southeast Division, big chalk to win the Eastern Conference and the oddsmakers’ choice to repeat their NBA title. But while all eyes are on the Heat, there could be hidden value below them in the standings.
Atlanta Hawks (2011-12: 40-26 SU, 36-28-2 ATS)
Odds to win division: +1,400
Season win total: 43.5
Why bet the Hawks: Atlanta has overhauled its roster and we see that as a good thing. The Hawks were getting too complacent with the guys they had and they just got stagnant. Atlanta went as Joe Johnson went, but he is now gone and the Hawks will be more of a team this season.
Why not bet the Hawks: Defense. The Hawks ranked sixth in overall defensive efficiency last season, but they will decline this year. Atlanta is a small team and, with a wealth of scorers, the Hawks will likely need to outscore opponents to win. The Hawks will play at a faster pace, so transition defense will be a key.
Season win total pick: Over 43.5
Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12: 7-59 SU, 23-43-0 ATS)
Odds to win division: +15,000
Season win total: 21.5
Why bet the Bobcats: There’s nowhere to go but up for Charlotte. The Bobcats won just seven of 66 games last season - that’s no misprint. Charlotte went 7-59. The Bobcats overhauled the coaching staff and they’ve added five new players to the roster. They have a fresh start and they will be catching a lot of points on most nights this season.
Why not bet the Bobcats: Bad. A simple adjective is all that is needed to describe Charlotte. With a new system plugged with recycled players, there’s going to be a lot of losing once again. New head coach Mike Dunlap is a defensive strategist, but he’s going to need a couple of years to get the right players in place.
Season win total pick: Under 21.5
Miami Heat (2011-12: 46-20 SU, 32-34-0 ATS)
Odds to win division: -2,500
Season win total: 60.5
Why bet the Heat: The defending NBA champs should be even better this season. Miami is a loaded team and when it plays small, it’s virtually impossible to beat. The Heat added Ray Allen and he brings two major upgrades with his 3-point shooting and his free-throw shooting.
Why not bet the Heat: Health. Teams were able to attack Miami inside last season, especially when Chris Bosh was out with injury. He’s a fragile guy and if he misses time, the Heat could slip up a bit. Dwyane Wade will also be playing on an unstable knee and Ray Allen is coming off ankle surgery.
Season win total pick: Over 60.5
Orlando Magic (2011-12: 37-29 SU, 34-32-0 ATS)
Odds to win division: +7,000
Season win total: 24.5
Why bet the Magic: Orlando won’t have the Dwight Howard drama to deal with anymore and without that distraction, the Magic will be able to focus on basketball. Their offense should be more dynamic and the team, as a whole, will be unselfish. New head coach Jacque Vaughn also brings new life to Orlando.
Why not bet the Magic: Losses. Despite the negative attention he brought, Dwight Howard was still a dominant player. And you just can’t replace that type of talent. Orlando’s defense will be easy to score upon and since it’ll be playing with youth in a rebuilding year, the Magic will struggle.
Season win total pick: Under 24.5
Washington Wizards (2011-12: 20-46 SU, 26-36-1 ATS)
Odds to win division: +5,500
Season win total: 31.5
Why bet the Wizards: Washington has low expectations once again this season. The Wizards do
have plenty of talent on hand and they got rid of the headache known as Andray Blatche. Washington will have a much-improved defense which will keep it competitive in a lot games this season.
Why not bet the Wizards: Offense. Washington’s offense will struggle to score points as it simply doesn’t have enough high-powered offensive players. That weakness will be glaring without John Wall on the court. He will miss about six weeks with a stress injury in his left knee. If he has a setback, the Wizards are in the danger zone.
Season win total pick: Over 31.5
- Power Sports
- August 27, 2016 - 7:10 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ -161 Boston
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1* Boston (7:10 ET): I'm just not sure that I buy into this late season Royals' resurgence. A 6-3 win last night at Fenway Park does make it 11 wins in the 12 last games for the two-time defending AL pennant winners. But they were outhit 15-9 in the victory. Then there's the matter that despite being six games over .500 for the year, they've actually been outscored by 19 runs. That's a win expectancy of 62, a five-game difference from their actual record. Their road record is still 27-40, which is third worst among AL teams. I'm taking Boston to bounce back Saturday night.
The Red Sox have the best run differential in the entire American League at +116. No other team has outscored its opponents by more than 100 runs. This is largely due to having the #1 offense in the game (692 runs scored). For the sake of comparison, the Royals have scored only 507 runs this year, which is actually the fewest among AL clubs.
The price has come way down on Boston since the line opened. Speaking of "price," it will be David going for the Sox tonight. He's won his L3 starts w/ a 1.64 ERA and 0.864 WHIP. On Monday, he shut Tampa Bay out for eight innings, allowing only two hits. He's opposed by Danny Duffy, who I suspect is the driving force behind the line move. The Royals have won each of his last 11 starts. But he hasn't faced an offense quite like this one (Red Sox average 6.0 rpg at home). Off three consecutive losses (as they are here), the Red Sox are 7-1 this season. 1* Boston