Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat rode a hot streak to the NBA Finals until injuries to Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo thwarted their miracle season. The Miami Heat are the favorite at -360 odds to win the Southeast Division title in back-to-back seasons, according to the last update at DraftKings.
After the NBA realigned the league before the 2004-05 season and created the new Southeast Division, the Miami Heat secured a division title 10 times. It would be easier to point out the years that they didn’t win it.
|NBA 2021 SOUTHEAST DIVISION ODDS|
- Miami Heat -360
- Atlanta Hawks +700
- Washington Wizards +700
- Orlando Magic +1200
- Charlotte Hornets +3300
Despite Miami’s dominance, there’s been more parity in the Southeast the last six seasons, with four different teams winning the division since 2015. The Charlotte Hornets are the lone team to miss out. They’ve never won a Southeast title, even when they were known as the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats never finished higher than third in the Southeast, while the Hornets finished in second place only once.
Another Boost in South Beach?
During the playoffs inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Heat games were must-see TV. Erik Spoelstra reminded everyone why he’s one of the best coaches in the NBA while Jimmy Butler unleashed a couple of savage performances. Many fans got to witness Bam Adebayo up close, where he demonstrated his skills on both ends of the court. Duncan Robinson got accolades for his sharpshooting, while brash rookie Tyler Herro didn’t back down in crunch time.
If Goran Dragic didn’t rip up his plantar and miss the NBA Finals with a foot injury, the Lakers might not have won the NBA title.
After the deep run last season, there’s no reason why they can’t replicate last year’s feat if everyone can remain healthy — especially Butler and Dragic.
And now that Greek Freak signed a supermax contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, you can expect to hear rumors about James Harden heading to Miami in a trade.
The Heat are +650 odds to win the Eastern Conference title (behind Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Brooklyn Nets) and return to the NBA Finals. The Heat are in fifth place overall on the NBA futures board at +1500 odds to win the 2021 NBA Championship.
Hawks, Wizards, Magic Playing for Second Place
The Washington Wizards have become a popular sleeper pick after acquiring Russell Westbrook. You can now back the Wiz at +700 odds to win the Southeast Division. The Wiz shipped John Wall and a draft pick to Houston for Westbrook. If RWB and All-Star Bradley Beal can get along, then the Wizards could pose a legit threat to the Heat.
The Atlanta Hawks have a roster loaded with young talent, but will this be the season they finally start winning games? In just two seasons, Trae Young (29.6 ppg) emerged as a scoring threat who can drop 40-plus on you if you’re not careful. The Hawks have a strong frontline with John Collins (21.6 and 10.1 rebounds per game) and Clint Capela (13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds). The Hawks also added veterans Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Rajon Rondo in free agency.
The Orlando Magic are +1200 odds to secure their second division title in the last three seasons, but they’re trending downward even though they drafted Cole Anthony in the first round. The Magic have a thin bench, but a good starting five, including Markelle Fultz, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and James Ennis.
Buzz City Basement
Not even the addition of Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball can lift the Charlotte Hornets out of the Southeast basement.
Hayward signed a four-year deal worth $120 million, which seems a bit on the heavy side for a player with chronic health issues. If Hayward can remain healthy, then the Hornets have a bona fide All-Star type player.
In a short sample size, LaMelo Ball has shown amazing court vision, and the kid can definitely pass the rock. His scoring ability has yet to be determined, but the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft will have to get in line behind Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham. That dynamic duo combined for 36-plus points last season. Graham turned heads averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game.
The Hornets finished third in the Southeast last season, but they’re a long shot at +3300 odds to win the division and lack the depth to hang with the big dogs like the Miami Heat. They also lack a 1-2 punch of scorers like Beal and Westbrook in Washington.
Read more updates on NBA preseason divisional odds: Pacific, Northwest, Southwest, and Central.