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Playing the Market: The NBA Over/Under, Memphis Grizzlies are a steal

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It's the third best time of the year (Christmas and the Playoffs), training camp is starting up, my birthday is close, and NBA over/unders just came out. This is one of the most interesting parts of the NBA pre-season and now I get to dissect it.

This is all assuming gambling is legal, of course.

Take the Over:

Cleveland Cavaliers - 58.5 Wins

Playing in the East and having Lebron James makes this an easy bet. Add Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and an intriguing cast of old guys, and this becomes a sure thing. The only way that this team doesn't approach 60 wins is if Lebron rests for an extended period and Loce and Irving can't carry the team.

Miami was carried by Lebron last year and they still won 54 games. This supporting cast is so much better than what Lebron had last year. Sure there will be some growing pains, but Lebron is a different player than he was when he left Cleveland.

Oklahoma City Thunder - 57.5 Wins

The Thunder are going to be the best team in the Western Conference. A seemingly pissed off Kevin Durant and a healthy Russell Westbrook are going to have one of their best seasons together. They pulled 59 wins in last year and got marginally better this offseason. The team hasn't changed besides upgrading Thabo Sefolosha with Anthony Morrow and drafting a mini Nick Collison in Mitch McGary.

If they slip up and don't win the conference and the West, Scott Brooks should be fired. He most likely would have been fired if not for Zach Randolph "punching" Steven Adams and getting suspended for Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs last season. As Brooks loves playing Kendrick Perkins so much, it should be a package deal: ship both out after this season.

Los Angeles Clippers - 55.5 Wins

This one hurts. The Clippers are coming off a hugely successful offseason. They look like the team they have been trying to be for the last few years, but just haven't been able to figure it out. Adding Spencer Hawes is one of the most underrated moves of this summer. Blake Griffin now has the first serviceable backup of his career.

Blake Griffin is being severely underrated in the MVP chase, especially if he has mastered the corner 3. I'm of firm belief that this year's MVP winner will be whoever would normally be third behind Lebron and KD due to Lebron and KD fatigue.

Memphis Grizzlies - 48.5 Wins

THIS IS FREE MONEY!!! Do it. Do it as fast you can before someone realizes they have made a mistake. The Grizzlies won 50 games last year after a year of injuries and a glacier-like start.

The Grizzlies had one of the best records in the league with a semi-healthy Marc Gasol, so this line makes little to no sense to me. Picking up Vince Carter as an upgrade to Mike Miller and shedding the stick figure-like dead weight that was Ed Davis were what made this Grizzlies offseason a success. This team is going to be better than last year's team. Take the money.

Phoenix Suns - 42.5 Wins

The Phoenix Suns have the deepest back court in the league with Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic's little brother. This team is going to be similar to last season's team, but they won't be catching anyone by surprise this year. They are going to run you to death and space the floor so someone who can hit threes is ALWAYS open. Jeff Hornacek is pretty great at this coaching stuff.

Brooklyn Nets - 41.5 Wins

Lionel Hollins is going to whip this team into shape. I'm confident that this Nets team is going to be better than last year. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams are more pins and plates now than humans, but they are finally healthy. Losing Paul Pierce is going to hurt, but the Russian Swiss Army knife Andrei Kirilenko is going to be a Lionel Hollins' favorite player. On the flip side, he is going to absolutely hate Jarrett Jack.

New York Knicks - 40.5 Wins

The New York Knicks are a conundrum. Jose Calderon and Carmelo Anthony are going to be a great tandem in the triangle offense together. The problem is that Derek Fisher is going to be coaching and he is somewhat of an unknown commodity. The Knicks are still my sleeper pick for the Eastern Conference. The East is so bad that it won't matter that Amar'e Stoudamire may play 30 minutes a night.

Atlanta Hawks - 40.5 Wins

Atlanta should feel disrespected. They won 38 games without Al Horford for most of the season. Horford and Paul Millsap haven't even gotten to impose their will on the Eastern Conference; it's criminal. The Hawks figured their playing style out in the playoffs last year and it's going to be amazing to watch with Al Horford back at the Center position.This could be a League Pass team for me. They were actually fun to watch at times last year.

Sacramento Kings - 30.5 Wins

I'm going all in on Demarcus Cousins this season. This is going to be the season where he breaks into the MVP conversation. Like the edge of it or the middle, but not near the top. They are going to improve upon their 28 wins from last season. Cousins and Rudy Gay cannot possibly go a full season without winning over 30 games. This is my sleeper team this season. I could easily see them sneaking into the playoffs, even without Isaiah Thomas.

Orlando Magic - 28.5 Wins

I'm a big believer of everything the Orlando Magic have going on. Their young core has to get to 30 wins eventually and this is the season.

Milwaukee Bucks - 24.5 Wins

The Bucks were awful last year and only won 15 games. They had a worse record than the 76ers, who were just mind numbingly bad. Jabari Parker, a bounce back Larry Sanders year and a maybe not fat OJ Mayo are worth 10 wins.

Take the Under:

San Antonio Spurs - 56.5 Wins

I'm going to be in the minority with this one, but hear me out. I know they won the championship and were the best team last season, but I expect the Spurs to have a down regular season. They aren't winning 62 games again this season.

The Spurs have been incredibly fortunate when it comes to injuries over the last few seasons. if an important player goes down they had the depth to compensate for it. Now if Tony Parker goes down Cory Joseph will be the only point guard due to Patty Mills being out until May. The Spurs will still find a way to be a three or four seed and be awesome in the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors - 50.5 Wins

Andre Iquodola is on the decline, Andrew Bogut is never healthy and David Lee had ANOTHER surgery this offseason. This is the same team that won 51 games and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs last season, they just got older.

Do we know if Harrison Barnes is a bust yet? He seems to disappear a good deal on both sides of the ball. That's not what you want from someone who was labeled as the next Kobe Bryant in high school. Don't get me wrong, I love it when Barnes shows up for a game or two minutes in a row, but he seems incapable of doing it.

Dallas Mavericks - 49.5 Wins

It's not good when I'm sitting in the Daily Helmsman office with fellow writer Austin Reynolds and I see on Twitter that the Mavericks introduced Jameer Nelson. I say "I didn't know the Mavs signed Jameer Nelson" and NOBODY ELSE DID EITHER. We had to look it up to make sure I wasn't going crazy. Jameer Nelson is their backup Point Guard or possibly starting Point Guard depending on if Raymond Felton has eaten his way through Texas yet. This is insanity. You have to have a serviceable point guard in the West to compete and the Mavericks are severely lacking in that department.

Houston Rockets - 49.5 Wins

The Houston Rockets had the worst offseason out of any team in the NBA. They missed out on every free agent that they went after Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. Signing Trevor Ariza as a substitute for Chandler Parson was not that much of an upgrade. Going under because they have changed too much and don't have a backup Point Guard. The question also remains as to whether or not Patrick Beverley can be a serviceable starter in the NBA.

There are way to many questions to take the over in this situation. Is Beverley a starting point guard? I say no. Is Trevor Ariza better than Chandler Parson? Jury is still out. Can Dwight Howard ever return to the level that made me fall in love with Dwight Howard? Sadly no. That's just three I pulled off the top of my head. That's not a good look Daryl Morey.

Miami Heat - 43.5 Wins

It's time for Dwyane Wade to retire. His knees can't keep up with the way he wants to play and he refuses to try and change. Not adding a three point shot or attempting any kind of evolution at all is going to make him obsolete for extended periods of time.

Luol Deng and Chris Bosh can cary the load, but the Heat no longer have an elite ball handler or shot blocker. Bosh has become better on the defensive years, but his increased role on offense could take away from his defensive effort. Going under is the way to go.

New Orleans Pelicans - 41.5 Wins

The season hasn't started yet and Tyreke Evans is hurt. The injury bug has permanently infected this team. I am in no way comfortable going over for a team that made no major move and is so injury prone.

Indiana Pacers - 32.5 Wins

I hate this team with or without Paul George losing Lance Stephenson just makes it worse. I would be taking the under whether George was hurt or not. Roy Hibbert should want to get traded if he doesn't already. They will most likely be in the lottery this season.

Boston Celtics - 26.5 Wins

This makes the over if Rondo plays the whole season, but I seriously doubt he makes it pass the trade deadline. The Celtics don't want his trade value to diminish so holding onto him seems unlikely. Wherever he goes the Celtics will be recieving draft picks and not many impact players so it would only affect the win total in a negative manner.

Minnesota Timberwolves - 25.5 Wins

Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach Lavine and Gorgui Dieng could be one of the most exciting young cores in the league. It's going to be alley-oops galore. but unfortunately for the Timberwolves that doesn't win games.

Philadelphia 76ers - 15.5 Wins

Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are the only two people who should be on the team after this season. This is going to be a historically bad team.

The Untouchables:

Chicago Bulls - 55.5 Wins

Derrick Rose is even close to the level  he was before his first injury the Bulls should win 60 games. The rest of the Bulls, not named Joakim Noah, are in question. Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol have health problems. Nobody knows how Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott are going to be. They could win anywhere from 45 to 60 games..

Toronto Raptors - 49.5 Wins

This Toronto team just feels like a solid 49 win team. They are the same team as last year in an ever worsening conference so they could break 50.

Washington Wizards - 49.5 Wins

This Wizards team is bound to be better, but I trust no Washington sports team to do anything they are supposed to do.

Portland Trail Blazers - 48.5 Wins

I'm feeling a Damian Lillard down year coming on like a bad cold. I can't imagine that this team is going to get off to the same blistering start as last year. The still don't have a rim protector either so I'm going under.

Charlotte Hornets - 45.5 Wins

It all depends on if Al Jefferson is hurt or not and I'm not willing to bet on his health. If he's healthy and himself the Hornets could go over, if he's hurt they could be a lottery team.

Denver Nuggets - 40.5 Wins

That roster is full of assets so they could make a trade at any point to get better or worse. The Nuggets could become that team that runs up and down and bombs threes or they can't find a rotation and end up in the lottery.

Detroit Pistons - 36.5 Wins

Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith and their incessant and inefficient shooting make me want to put the under so badly. Stan Van Gundy's coaching makes me want to put the over so I'm not touching this with a ten foot pole. NOT TOUCHING IT.

Los Angeles Lakers - 31.5 Wins

They won 27 games last season without a healthy Kobe Bryant. He is worth much more than 4.5 wins even if he is 36 years old. If he gets hurt they'll be in the same range as last year. I'm not trusting Kobe's health, Byron Scott's coaching, SWAGGY P or any of the frontcourt players not named Julius Randle.

Utah Jazz - 25.5 Wins

i want Utah to be good, but it's not happening. They won 25 games last season and only added a few rookies. Dante Exum may not be as NBA ready as everyone hoped so I'm going ahead and labeling him my most likely to be a bust this year.Unfortunately for Utah fans you will be watching in the lottery again next year.