The Southeast Division has a lot of young talent but only a few contenders for a playoff spot. Will the Miami Heat easily win the division, even if Damian Lillard doesn’t get traded to the Heat?
NBA Southeast Division Preview
The Southeast Division is weak heading into the 2024 season. The Miami Heat doesn’t have much competition other than the Atlanta Hawks, but even the Hawks don’t have many people excited. There have already been talks that their star player, Trae Young, won’t be there when his contract concludes.
That doesn’t make anyone excited about Atlanta. Can another team shock the world and get passed the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division? Let’s break down the Southeast Division below and provide the best bets for each win total for Southeast teams this season at the NBA futures market.
- Bucks Over 48½ Wins (-110) at BetOnline
The Miami Heat are desperately trying to add Damian Lillard to their club before the new season begins. It sounds like the Portland Trail Blazers don’t like what Miami is offering. Therefore, Lillard could stay put in Portland for the time being.
However, the Heat will be fine regardless. Miami’s got Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, along with a bunch of other great role players. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are gone, but this allows Miami to develop other young talent overlooked in the NBA Draft.
This is what Miami does. They’ll be at the league’s top if Lillard or without him.
- Hawks Under 42½ Wins (-110) at BetOnline
The Hawks still have a decent roster, but it’s just not a roster that will compete well in the NBA Playoffs.
The Hawks are led by Trae Young, who averaged about 26 points and 10 assists last season. He’s also got Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, and some role players like Saddiq Bey and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Kobe Bufkin could be a key piece for the Hawks this year as a rookie. But overall, this team will likely dwindle. They might need to restart a rebuilding process after this season.
Let’s take the Under for the Hawks with their win total.
- Magic Over 36½ Wins (-110) at BetOnline
The Magic need to take a step forward this year. They’ve got a lot of young talent that needs to start to take over. The team has Paolo Banchero, who added an average of 20 points last season to win the Rookie of the Year. They also have Franz and Moe Wagner, Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr., and Gary Harris.
The depth continues with Jalen Suggs and Goga Bitadze. They’ve also added Jett Howard to the NBA Draft.
The NBA rotation won’t be big enough for all the talent on the roster, but if just a few guys step up and develop, the Magic should reach more than 37 wins.
- Hornets Under 31½ Wins (-110) at BetOnline
It’ll likely be another lousy season for the Hornets this year. The best player on the court is either Gordon Hayward or Terry Rozier. Neither of those two are top-level players that can carry a franchise.
The Hornets added a lot of players from the draft, including Nick Smith Jr., Leaky Black, and Amari Bailey. However, it’ll take time for those guys to gel and develop too. This team has just four players on the roster, including LaMelo Ball, who scored more than ten points per game last season.
Take the Under for the Hornets.
- Wizards Under 24½ Wins (-110) at BetOnline
The Wizards are projected to be the worst team in the NBA this year. They no longer have Bradley Beal or Kristaps Porzingis. Instead, they’re working with Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma.
Those two can get hot for a week or two, but they’ll have to rely on Tyus Jones to keep the entire team together offensively.
I’m not so sure how this will work. The Wizards can at least develop first-round pick Bilal Coulibaly from France.
Take the Under.
Southeast Division Winner
The Miami Heat are the clear favorites to win the division this year. They weren’t incredible last season, only earning a Play-In spot, but the culture has grown since.
After reaching the NBA Finals last season, projections and expectations are slightly higher. They’ll be held to a higher standard and come through with better play than last season. The Heat lost a few players to free agency, but they have a history of developing young players to make them fit with the team.
They’ll be fine. Grab the Heat to win the division at -185 at one of the best sportsbooks. That’s not a terrible price for a division as lousy as this one.
NBA Pick: Heat to Win Division (-185) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.