NBA

NBA Southwest Division Odds: Will the Pelicans Stay Ahead of the Mavericks?

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
NBA Southwest Division Odds: Will the Pelicans Stay Ahead of the Mavericks?

The NBA just wrapped up its All-Star weekend festivities, inching us closer to the end of the 2023-2024 regular season. Teams across the league are hoping to make strong pushes in the final months of the season to secure division titles and better seeding for the playoffs.

One division that could have a back-and-forth battle until the very end is the Southwest Division. Of the teams within the division, the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks are the heavy favorites to have the best record when the regular season comes to a close.

Before the regular season gets underway again, let's take a look at the NBA Southwest Division odds via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

NBA Southwest Division Odds

These are the three teams who have available odds to win the Southwest Division, followed by a breakdown for each squad.

Team
Southwest Division Winner Odds
New Orleans Pelicans-180
Dallas Mavericks+130
Houston Rockets+21000

New Orleans Pelicans (-180)

The Pelicans were one of the hottest teams entering the All-Star break, producing a 7-1 record in their last eight games, and they are currently on a three-game winning streak. New Orleans deploys an extremely talented lineup, one that features Zion Williamson (22.4 PPG), Brandon Ingram (21.4 PPG), and C.J. McCollum (19.0 PPG).

With their talented trio leading the charge, the Pelicans have the 12th-best offensive rating (117.2) and the seventh-best defensive rating (112.7) in the league. Not many teams are more efficient than New Orleans as the Pels own the 10th-best true-shooting percentage (59.1%).

Assuming the Pelicans can stay on their current trajectory, they have a chance to finish with their best record since the 2017-18 season -- when they went 48-34. Currently, New Orleans is 33-22 and is slotted in as the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

The last time the Pelicans won the Southwest Division was in the 2007-08 campaign (when Chris Paul was still the team's starting point guard). Given the fact that New Orleans is one game ahead of Dallas in the standings -- and has a better division record -- the Pelicans are a worthy favorite to win the division title.

Dallas Mavericks (+130)

After some shaky moments earlier in the season, the Mavericks seemed to have found their stride heading into the All-Star break. Dallas is amid a six-game winning streak and has narrowed the gap behind New Orleans to just one game.

The Mavericks are the owners of a 32-23 record and are sitting in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. While Dallas relies heavily on its All-Star guard duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, it added frontcourt help at the trade deadline in the form of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford.

Doncic is having another spectacular season, logging career-best marks in points (34.2) and assists (9.5) per game while shooting a career-high 37.5% from three-point range. In large part due to Doncic and Irving, the Mavericks own the 11th-best offensive rating (117.5) in the Association.

Despite it being a small sample size, Dallas has the best defensive rating (100.7) in its last four games since landing Washington and Gafford via trade. With the Mavericks posting the third-lowest turnover rate (12.4%) and the ninth-best true-shooting percentage (59.3%), they can certainly make a push for the division crown.

Houston Rockets (+21000)

In all likelihood, the Houston Rockets aren't going to be able to make an improbable late-season push to win the division. Following a 6-3 start to the season, the Rockets have gone 18-27 in their last 45 contests -- including a 3-7 record in their previous 10 games.

Under new head coach Ime Udoka, Houston has become a defensive-centric team, one that has the sixth-best defensive rating (112.7) in the NBA. At the same time, the offense could use some work as the Rockets boast the eighth-worst offensive rating (113.2).

Even with the offense being woeful at times, the growth that Alperen Sengun (21.2 PPG) and Jalen Green (18.0 PPG) have shown is a positive development for the Rockets. It would help Houston tremendously if veteran guard Fred VanVleet could make a return soon after missing each of the team's last five games before the All-Star break due to an adductor injury.

While the Rockets have their sights on trying to make a late-season run for the playoffs, they are 8.5 games back of the Mavericks in the Southwest. Despite some of their young pieces showing signs of improvement, the Rockets are rightfully considered a long shot to surpass the Pelicans and Mavericks down the stretch.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.