2021-22 NBA Southwest Division Over/Under picks: Doncic pushes Mavericks to the over; Spurs to come up short

The Southwest division was as soon as probably the most fearsome in all of basketball. Again when the Texas Triangle was at its peak and Memphis was nonetheless grit and grinding its manner deep into the playoffs, there have been years by which the division produced 4 50-win groups. They won’t get to at least one this yr as all 5 groups are in one thing of a retooling interval. 

That will not be the case for lengthy. Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and Jalen Inexperienced are going to be duking it out for the Southwest crown for years to return. However for now? This is without doubt one of the more durable NBA divisions to peg. There are justifiable circumstances for all 5 groups falling beneath their projected win whole. I settled on two overs out of the 5 primarily based largely on particular person star energy, however for now? Pessimism is warranted on this nook of the Western Convention. As all the time, the next caveats apply to those over/beneath picks. 

  • You are usually going to get good worth on one of the best groups in the event that they keep wholesome. The very best line this season belongs to Brooklyn at 54.5 wins. Three groups beat that determine within the 2018-19 season (the final 82-game season the NBA has performed), and that quantity is a bit low in comparison with most years. Vegas is aware of {that a} sure variety of groups are going to beat the best line. They hold it low anyway hoping to attract in bettors that ignore the potential of accidents. Consider the Lakers final season. Most bettors seemingly took the over, so when LeBron James and Anthony Davis obtained damage, Vegas most likely made a fortune. Nonetheless, such outcomes are on the rarer facet. In case you assume you possibly can establish the three or 4 finest groups within the NBA, take their overs. Accidents will most likely value you at the very least one guess, however when you’re proper in regards to the different groups, they are going to hit their over simply. Unsurprisingly, you may see loads of overs on the prime of the standings amongst these picks. 
  • Bear in mind, groups performed solely 72 video games final season. We’re again as much as 82 this season. For that motive, I’ve not solely listed each group’s report, however how that report would have translated to an 82-game schedule. 
  • Level differential is much extra predictive of future efficiency than report. There are a selection of causes for this starting from taking pictures luck to report in shut video games, and lest you imagine that the latter is one thing star gamers can management over a sufficiently big pattern, the Cavaliers (six wins above expectation), Magic (seven) and Thunder (10) all gained considerably extra video games final season than their internet ranking means that they need to have. ESPN makes use of a modified model of Invoice James’ Pythagorean wins system from baseball to estimate what a group’s report ought to have been primarily based on their internet ranking, in order that determine (together with an 82-game adjustment) will probably be listed under as effectively.
  • There is no such thing as a set system for regular-season successful, however two traits are inclined to result in successful over bets: protection and depth. The common season is lengthy and by no means goes as deliberate. Gamers get damage. They get drained. They are not all the time dedicated to successful that random Tuesday night time in Charlotte that could be meaningless to them, however vital to you as a bettor. Fewer issues can go mistaken for deep groups. Protection tends to be much less reliant on particular person gamers (with a number of exceptions). Deep, defensive-minded groups can nonetheless underperform, however they have a tendency to have increased flooring. That is what you need for these bets. You are attempting to beat the road by a half win right here, not blow it away by 10.
  • All strains by way of Caesars Sportsbook.

Line: 47.5

2020-21 report: 42-30

2020-21 EWL: 42-30

2020-21 82-game tempo: 48-34

2020-21 EWL 82-game tempo: 48-34

Choose: Over

There are two important layers of threat in betting the Dallas over. The primary is harm. Luka Doncic is the one ball-handler on this group, and Dallas made a calculated determination to prioritize including function gamers that he may maximize over a extra conventional level guard that might ease his burden. We have seen each the advantages and drawbacks of that technique. Doncic practically knocked out the Clippers with out one other ball-handler as a result of the gamers round him made the entire pictures he created for them. Enhance the protection and Doncic is sufficient to carry a group to 50 wins. But when he misses 15 or 20 video games? Put together for Dallas to lose most of them. 

That may not have been the case beneath Rick Carlisle. His prickly persona apart, Carlisle is a strategic genius whose finest trait could be his means to domesticate bench lineups with untraditional ball-handlers. He is the kind of coach that turns Jalen Brunson right into a Sixth Man of the 12 months Candidate. Jason Kidd has by no means proven that very same promise. It is not a coincidence that Milwaukee improved by 16 wins the yr after he left. Possibly he is grown as a Lakers assistant and possibly he hasn’t, however his hyper-aggressive Milwaukee protection was antiquated earlier than he even carried out it, and his Bucks groups had among the many worst shot-selection in basketball. 

Possibly these issues matter extra with Giannis Antetokounmpo, a unicorn that wants hyper-specific circumstances to thrive, than Doncic, a extra conventional ball-handler. Possibly they will not. However Dallas, for all of its faults as a corporation, tends to be pretty analytically inclined. The Mavericks would not have employed Kidd in the event that they did not assume they might steer him away from a few of his worst impulses. If this was purely a relationship-driven rent, Jamahl Mosley would most likely be the coach proper now. 

These are all causes to guess the beneath. So why am I taking the over? Doncic. Solely Doncic. He is that good. Reggie Bullock helps the protection simply sufficient. Kristaps Porzingis virtually definitely will not be worse than he was final yr. After a 9-13 begin, Dallas closed the season with a 31-17 report. That is a 53-win tempo. Having an MVP candidate ball-handler provides you an impossibly excessive flooring, and if Doncic is pretty much as good because the previous two years have steered he could be, it is simply laborious to see him successful under 47 video games on a group with this a lot taking pictures and even a mean protection. 

Line: 25.5

2020-21 report: 17-55

2020-21 EWL: 17-55

2020-21 82-game tempo: 19-63

2020-21 EWL 82-game tempo: 19-63

Choose: Below

Houston might be making the appropriate name in attempting to maneuver John Wall. It could be pricey, however the $91 million he’s owed is not doing them any roster-building favors, and if Jalen Inexperienced and Kevin Porter Jr. are going to develop into the backcourt of the longer term, they are going to want as many developmental pictures and minutes as attainable. Wall obtained in the best way of that, however that does not imply he was hurting the group within the quick time period. It actually helps to have an grownup within the room. 

Younger guards are actually, actually laborious to construct round within the quick time period. The Rockets are most likely beginning a backcourt with solely 76 mixed video games of NBA expertise, and these are the ball-handlers who’re answerable for establishing the complete offense and stopping dribble penetration defensively. Go take a look at how Cleveland has fared in the same state of affairs with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. The long-term upside is tantalizing, however within the quick time period, there are going to be loads of bumps right here. 

We additionally want to debate Houston’s long-term outlook right here. The Rockets do not management their first-round picks between 2024-26. That incentivizes them to lose as a lot as attainable over the following two seasons in order that they’ll guarantee themselves as a lot younger expertise as attainable whereas tanking continues to be a viable choice. If Porter and Inexperienced look able to take a step subsequent season, the Rockets may punt on the tanking plan, however for now, it appears seemingly that the group will attempt for an additional prime draft choose this season. 

Line: 41.5

2020-21 report: 38-34

2020-21 EWL: 39-33

2020-21 82-game tempo: 43-39

2020-21 EWL 82-game tempo: 44-38

Choose: Below

The Grizzlies are going to fall beneath the projected win whole as a result of all the pieces they did this offseason means that they do not thoughts in the event that they fall under their projected win whole. You do not commerce arguably your finest participant and all your cap flexibility for draft capital as Memphis did in case your coronary heart is about on making the playoffs. 

Sure, Memphis has a ton of younger expertise already within the constructing. Ultimately, that expertise goes to make the Grizzlies a dependable playoff group. There are only a lot of kinks that must be labored out earlier than that occurs. Shedding Jonas Valanciunas basically deprives Ja Morant of his safety blanket. Now not can the Grizzlies salvage damaged half-court possessions by dumping the ball inside for a good post-up. Now, the onus is on the younger gamers to generate pictures. 

They will get there, ultimately. We’re simply going to see loads of bumpy minutes given to youthful gamers within the interim. Ziaire Williams was a undertaking at No. 10 total. Jaren Jackson Jr. has struggled to remain on the ground for the previous two seasons, however Memphis would wish him to be wholesome all yr to make an actual playoff push. The listing goes on and on. There are too many questions right here to guess the over. That is kind of the purpose. The Grizzlies knew about these questions. They’re spending this season answering them in order that they do not need to sooner or later. 

Line: 39.5

2020-21 report: 31-41

2020-21 EWL: 35-37

2020-21 82-game tempo: 35-47

2020-21 EWL 82-game tempo: 40-42

Choose: Over

The Pelicans may genuinely have the worst protection within the NBA this season. They already ranked twenty third within the league on the top of the ground final season, then they downgraded considerably by turning Steven Adams into Jonas Valanciunas, Lonzo Ball into Devonte’ Graham and Eric Bledsoe into nothing. That is nonetheless a really younger group, and it is one on its third coach in three years. They will quit loads of factors. 

However I am taking the over as a result of the offensive upside is as excessive as basically any group outdoors of Brooklyn. Take into account the next: B-Ball Index gave Zion Williamson a grade of 100 in ending on the rim final season. Clearly, that is one of the best determine within the NBA. His shot high quality on the rim? Solely a meager 12.2. To place that in perspective, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a grade of 99.9 when it comes to ending… however a grade of 82.6 when it comes to shot high quality. Giannis had an amazing ecosystem and teammates… and Zion was nonetheless a greater finisher final season. 

His help system is not nice by any means, nevertheless it’s gotten considerably higher. The improve from Adams to Valanciunas is night time and day offensively. He is not precisely a gunner, however he is at the very least able to taking pictures outdoors of the paint. Graham is without doubt one of the NBA’s finest high-volume 3-point shooters, and the truth that he is a non-threat to complete within the arc hardly issues on this roster. Brandon Ingram stays a superbly serviceable sidekick. That is probably the most taking pictures Williamson has ever had round him. 

If he will get damage? Pencil the Pelicans in for the lottery, however the threat is not fairly as excessive as you’d assume. He missed solely 11 video games final season and solely 5 at Duke. However Williamson, like Doncic, is such a transcendent offensive participant that when he’s on the ground, New Orleans has one of many highest offensive flooring within the NBA. Now, they’ve a roster that’s really able to enhancing him a bit. 

Line: 29.5

2020-21 report: 33-39

2020-21 EWL: 31-41

2020-21 82-game tempo: 38-44

2020-21 EWL 82-game tempo: 35-47

Choose: Below

San Antonio did the appropriate factor letting DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills stroll. They have been in no man’s land. Now they’ll rebuild correctly. However DeRozan and Mills carried an unlimited ball-handling load for San Antonio. Nobody left on the roster had a utilization price above 24 p.c final yr. The Spurs are hoping one in all their younger guys pop. Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, DeJounte Murray and Derrick White have all proven flashes, however are any of them able to stepping up? How lengthy will it take the Spurs to choose a pecking order?

The Doug McDermott addition will assist. Spacing the ground for younger gamers discovering their footing is vital. However a variety of shooters have left the Spurs lately solely to search out way more success elsewhere with a greener gentle. Davis Bertans by no means took greater than 4.4 3-pointers per recreation with the Spurs. Then he obtained to Washington, took 8.7 per recreation and obtained an unlimited contract. Will the reverse be true for McDermott? And in that case, how a lot worth does he have if his taking pictures quantity dips? 

There are loads of good gamers right here, and ultimately, one may develop into an amazing one. There’s simply no apparent candidate to take action, so till we see it occur, a rebuilding yr by which a brand new organizational hierarchy is established is the likeliest final result. 

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/information/2021-22-nba-southwest-division-overunder-picks-doncic-pushes-mavericks-to-the-over-spurs-to-come-up-short/ | 2021-22 NBA Southwest Division Over/Below picks: Doncic pushes Mavericks to the over; Spurs to return up quick


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