As we’ve previewed in our division power rankings, the lowly Southwest Division has been one filled with losing teams and bad bets … except for one, the surprising Memphis Grizzlies. Not only have they asserted themselves as a top-four team in the conference, but they have also become one of the best teams on the NBA betting lines.
All I want for Christmas is … the Memphis Grizzlies to realize their potential. Now with the third seed in the Western Conference, Memphis has gone 14-4 since Christmas thanks to an 11-game winning streak where they also went 10-1 against the spread (ATS).
Thanks to this hot streak, Memphis is up 32-18 on the spread for a 64% cover rate, the third-best spread record in the NBA. And it’s doing it against legitimate competition with wins over Golden State, Cleveland, and Brooklyn.
Take a look at the Grizzlies strength of schedule for the remainder of the season👀😬 pic.twitter.com/fFbM4d4380
— KJ (@kelwright) January 28, 2022
To think this team opened at +450 to win the division … This line is long gone, especially with an easy schedule remaining. But you can still bet online and profit with this team on a game-to-game basis.
The Dallas Mavericks were supposed to be a shoo-in to win the division at -250. But the team has struggled thanks to a combination of injuries and a clunky offense. The Mavericks struggled to a 15-17 record but have since gone 13-4 with several blowouts to boot.
Dallas has turned around and has become a top-five defense in the NBA and has not lost consecutive games since Christmas. In fact, the Mavs are the best team coming off a loss with a 15-6 ATS record. They are also much better on the road going 14-11-0 for a 56% cover rate. They have plenty of ground to cover to catch Memphis despite being 10-2 (7-5 ATS) in divisional games.
San Antonio Spurs
Sitting in the middle of the division are the San Antonio Spurs. They’re behind New Orleans in terms of record but are marginally better on the online sports betting lines. San Antonio is 3.5-games behind Portland for the tenth seed and whispers have started that Dejounte Murray could be on the move.
The Spurs are slowly but surely descending into NBA Draft Lottery territory. The team is 4-13 (6-11 ATS) since December 27 and it has not beaten a team above. 500 since Utah 21 games ago. On the positive, San Antonio is 9-6 ATS as a favorite. It may just be once a month you’ll find them at that range.
New Orleans Pelicans
We have the New Orleans Pelicans below the Spurs here but this team is an appreciating asset versus the Spurs, a depreciating team. New Orleans had to overcome a 1-12 start. They’ve played .500 basketball since at 17-17 though it’s worth noting that when this team loses, it loses big: 19 of their 29 losses are by ten or more points.
New Orleans has, at least, started playing well at home. The Pels have a 61.9% cover rate at home (13-8-1) and are 4-1-1 ATS as a favorite here. This team may still be in the playoff picture, being just 1.5-games back of the final play-in spot. If they could improve on their conference record: 11-16, they could just make it.
Last and definitely least are the Houston Rockets. They have been as bad as everyone expected. The Rockets teased folks with a seven-game winning streak in early December, but have since gone 6-18. And this team is rarely in games with a net rating of -8.2, the worst in the conference.
Houston should be guaranteed to finish in the bottom two of the conference. However, beware of betting against them online. The Rockets have covered 44.7% of their games so far (21-26-1) thanks to some lofty numbers. They are also 5-2-0 ATS when they have a rest advantage and 5-4-0 ATS when they’ve had at least two days off. Fade them, but not too aggressively.