As we are knee deep in the NBA offseason, there just isn’t much news to report. The trades have been made, the rookies signed, and the free agents pilfered. In the past week, the only information worth reporting has been the Houston Rockets signing Carmelo Anthony and a Philadelphia 76er rookie getting injured. Both of which we should have seen coming anyway. Anthony has long been rumored to wind up in Houston and a Sixer’s rookie breaking their foot has been an annual event for nearly a decade. Good luck to both of those players, though.
That said, the oddsmakers don’t like taking days off so this week we’ve been blessed with a new future wager which is actually very insightful as to what to expect from this season. The NBA Team Wins Over/Under is a great wager to play and an important one to consider. NBA oddsmakers have had a busy off-season. They nailed the Lebron to Los Angeles Lakers move when everyone else was saying he was staying put in Cleveland or off to Houston. (Some even said he’d be joining Golden State.) And they correctly foresaw the Leonard for Rosen trade when the rest of us sat back and scratched our heads. These guys are good so even if you would never consider a team wins over/under wager, what they can tell you should inform you wagering come regular season time. We’ve looked over the odds and found a few to remember and maybe even consider the next time you’re in the sportsbook.
Golden State Warriors 62.5
Of course, at the top of the list are the Warriors. The defending champs are coming back in 2019 even better than before. They’ve lost JaVale McGee but no one will ever consider that a step backward. They added Boogie Cousins in the sweetest off-season pick up outside of the Lakers/Lebron deal. It’s hard to imagine this team losing 20 games this season, however, there are some key factors to consider. Firstly, they won’t get a full year out of Boogie. Coming off the worst injury a big man can have, Cousins is going to take his time coming back. The Warriors understood this going into the deal because they’re a team who need only concern themselves with playoff and Finals victories, not regular season wins. Secondly, this team is aging fast. They’ve had four runs to the Finals the last four years, winning three and losing one in seven games. Last year saw just about every starter miss serious time with injuries and it’s only natural to think this year will be the same. They remain the team to beat, obviously, but gone are the days of them giving 16 points and covering every night.
Los Angeles Lakers 48.5
Just how many wins is Lebron worth? Is there a basketball version of baseball’s weirdo WAR statistic? Well, next year we’ll have a pretty good idea as not only has Lebron left the Cavs for the Lakers, he’s joining the team which made a startling midseason trade last year with his Cavs. Now that he is on the Lakers, they’re obviously a playoff team. However, the West, long the better of the two conferences, has only gotten better this offseason as well. How many wins is he worth? Time will tell but it’ll be more than 48.5.
Milwaukee Bucks 46.5
The Bucks made some strides last season even though it ended in a first round loss to the Boston Celtics. In an underrated pick up, they’ve added Brook Lopez to the roster which will give their frontcourt considerable depth. They let Jabari Parker walk which will only improve their defense and free up their offense. And, of course, they have everyone’s favorite greek, Giannis Antetokounmpo. With Lebron’s departure and the Raptors and Wizards grasping at straws, the Bucks are in prime position to make another great leap forward and be mentioned in the same conversation as Boston or Philly. 46.5 wins is only 4.5 games over .500. This team should have no problem eclipsing that mark by April.
Detroit Pistons 37.5
This number stood out with only a quick scan of the list. All you have to do to make the playoffs in the East is finish at or around the .500 mark. 37.5 is still a little below that 41-41 sweet spot but it still seems a bit on the high side. This number could only be calculated figuring Blake Griffin plays every game. But what’s the odds on that happening…
Cleveland Cavaliers 30.5
This team is a mess. Everyone knows that and Lebron was wise to jump ship again. Even in the East, the only thing this team will compete for is next year’s number one pick. They’ve kept Kevin Love who is a good player but one of the least healthy people on the planet. 30 wins is a dream.