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2017-18 NBA Southeast Division Betting Preview

In the third of a series of NBA previews, we wrap up the Eastern Conference with the Southeast Division, with Washington the clear leader. Other than Atlanta, the other trio of teams in this division could go either way.

Here is our breakdown of what to look for. But before we do, look at my 2017-18 NBA Central Division Betting Preview.

Video: NBA Season Preview | Southwest Division

Washington Wizards (49 O/U win total)

Oddsmakers have set Washington at the same number they finished with last year in the regular season. Before making a wager on the total, ponder this; when John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat all played in the same game, the Wizards were remarkable 43-6. Last year was also coach Scott Brooks first season and with Beal sidelined to begin season, they opened 3-9 before stabilizing. With what should be a much better bench, Washington should win their division and be a threat in the East again.

Miami Heat (44.5 O/U)

Last year Miami started the first half 11-30. In the second half of the season they were 30-11, to finish 41-41, which reasonably is what they should have been. So now what? NBA basketball oddsmakers are calling for modest improvement, but they will need quite a bit more scoring out of the forward position to improve. Opponents will make adjustments, with their main backcourt of Goran Dragic and Dion Walters, and center Hassan Whitehead. Overall, this club has good depth and an excellent game coach in Erik Spolelstra, thus, I give then chance to beat the number with improved frontcourt scoring.

Charlotte Hornets (42 O/U)

Not really sure what Charlotte is looking for out of center Dwight Howard. If they want anything more than an decent rebounder and shot blocker, that is all he's going to be at that this point. If the Hornets are seeking more, they would be better off to hope Nicolas Batum returns to be an effective shot-maker and scorer after last season. Charlotte knows what to expect out of Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams. The Hornets have a rather versatile roster than can matchup versus various opponents, the question is do they have enough late game shooters and tough enough defense be more than a .500 club?

Orlando Magic (33.5 O/U)

The NBA is a players league and Orlando is like many teams in the league are faceless and do not have many reasons to cuddle up to them. Evan Fournier and Elfird Payton are a complimentary backcourt and should be further improved. Nobody is saying that about forward Aaron Gordon or center Nikola Vucvic. The only real excitement about the Magic is top draft pick Jonathan Isaac, who is thought to have a similar skill set as Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee when younger, with same raw athleticism that scouts love about him. If the four players mentioned and rookie all improve, Orlando should surpass the total. If not, pffft!

Atlanta Hawks (23.5 O/U)

Unless you really follow the NBA, it is crazy to think we are just a few years removed from when Atlanta won 60 games and was thought to be a challenger with LeBron back in Cleveland. Now, the Hawks are in complete rebuild mode and if you subtract Dennis Schroder, this is among the least talented rosters in the NBA with no visible upside at the moment. It is hard to believe this team will not lose 60 games this upcoming season.

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