The NBA's win total predictions were released yesterday. This is always a great day. It means I get to waste some money and that real NBA games are getting closer.
Atlanta Hawks OVER 49.5 Wins
Someone in the East has to win around 55 games. Why not the Hawks? They won 60 last season and they return their core guys. Losing DeMarre Carrol isn't ideal, but I think they can survive it. Coach Bud's system is still awesome and again they return four all-stars.
Boston Celtics OVER 42.5 Wins
Watching Brad Stevens work voodoo magic with a team full of mismatched talent and Evan Turner is one of the most enjoyable parts of the NBA season.
Brooklyn Nets UNDER 28.5 Wins
If Brook Lopez drags this team to the over here he should be allowed to pick whatever team he wants to play for next season.
Charlotte Hornets UNDER 32.5 Wins
Well they could be a solid defensive team if they find anyone that can protect the rim. Nicolas Batum and MKG will hound people, but they have nobody behind them that isn't Al Jefferson. I could see them getting the over, but I don't think it's going to happen. I suggest not putting your money on the Hornets. Ever.
Chicago Bulls OVER 49.5 Wins
I'm sipping on all of the Fred Hoiberg kool-aid. I think the Bulls are going to thrive in his system. The new Bulls coach seems to know that his players need to rest and aren't Terminators. Derrick Rose breaking his face is a speed bump, but that seems like a freak accident he'll be able to rebound from.
Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 56.5 Wins
LeBron James gets to play with two of the best players at their positions against a bunch of people who won under 40 games last year. The only way they don't get here is if LeBron rests, Irving and Love miss time, and a key role player goes down with an injury. I'm taking the under and feel like an idiot for it.
Dallas Mavericks UNDER 38.5 Wins
Two easy ones in a row! I realized this was the year the Mavs would finally disappear when they
scraped the bottom of the barrel signed Javale McGee. DIrk can't carry a team with a banged up Chandler Parsons, no point guard, and no bench. Not anymore, unfortunately. This team is going to be all of the sad this season.
Denver Nuggets OVER 26.5 Wins
This is ridiculously low. When you're done shaking your head you should go hop on Emmanual Mudiay's +350 Rookie of the Year odds. He's going to get enough minutes and usage and he's the right position to win rookie of the year. The difference maker here is a healthy Danillo Gallinari. He could really bring a team that was in shambles last year together. Also, Jusuf Nurkic is a monster and leader in the clubhouse to start a fight in Memphis.
Detroit Pistons OVER 33.5 Wins
Stan Van Gundy found some three point shooters to surround Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond this off season. Greg Monroe leaving should open up some more much needed space. This is rounding into a true Van Gundy team. I like Stanley Johnson's ROY odds at +600, especially if you're not in love with some of the top guys.
Golden State Warriors OVER 60.5 Wins
I made a bet with writer extraordinaire Matt Hrdlicka that the Warriors are winning over 64 games. The Warriors won 67 games and the championship last season. They returned the exact same team. They'll go over 60.5, but will need a little luck to get over 64. Fortunately, they're pretty lucky. If you like easy money, Sportsbook has their championship odds at +300 at the moment.
Houston Rockets OVER 54.5 Wins
I think the team that won 56 games without a full year from healthy Dwight Howard or a real point guard should feel disrespected by this. Now, on top of Patrick Beverly and Howard being healthy, they added an All-Star caliber point guard. GImme the over. I think they could get to 60 wins.
Indiana Pacers UNDER 42.5 Wins
I don't know what to do with this team. Paul George is playing the four, they don't have any good non-rookie centers, and George Hill dyed his hair blonde, but kept his beard black.
Los Angeles Clippers OVER 56.5 Wins
The biggest knock on the Clippers last season was that their bench wasn't good. It was what led to their massive collapse against Houston. Now they have some depth and versatility with Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Wesley Johnson, and Josh Smith. That amazing starting lineup may finally get rest.
Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 29.5 Wins
They are not going to be very good. Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert won't be able to overcome bad coaching or aging, nor will they be able to speed up the development of young talent.
Memphis Grizzlies OVER 50.5
I'll flip-flop on this 100 times before the season starts. As of right now I'm going over by just a few games. I don't think they'll be as good as last year, but the over should be doable. The top of the Western Conference has all gotten better while the Grizzlies haven't addressed their three point shooting woes or aging roster. If Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol take a step back or get hurt for a period of time, the Grizzlies are in trouble.
Miami Heat UNDER 45.5
The Heat are my late seed that challenges Cleveland in an early playoff matchup. The Chris Bosh/Hassan Whiteside combo is going to wreck things defensively. The two should thrive on offense with Goran Dragic leading the charge. Oh and they have this guy named Dwyane Wade. He'll be good in the 50 games he plays. Everyone on this team is just so injury prone. When you pair that with an old-guys-plus-Justise-Winslow bench, they could struggle in the regular season.
Milwaukee Bucks OVER 43.5
The Bucks went from underrated to overrated, so now I think they may be underrated again? Jason Kidd's defense is going to be nasty for the second year in a row. If the Greek Freak takes the leap and Greg Monroe can put up points, then this team will reach their 2011 Grizzlies potential. I wrote this then realized I forgot about Jabari Parker coming back. This team has so much talent. Under 43 wins would be a disappointment.
Minnesota Timberwolves OVER 25.5
This is risky. If Ricky Rubio gets hurt they won't go over 20 wins. Otherwise, they have a nice mix of young talent and veteran presence. They won't make the playoffs, but Andrew Wiggins and company are going to bother some people.
New Orleans Pelicans UNDER 47.5
Anthony Davis is awesome. His supporting cast being injury prone isn't awesome. No team giving Norris Cole a ton of minutes to actually play point guard should win over 35 games. I think they'll get to around 40, but it's going to be an uphill battle even with a coach as good as Alvin Gentry.
New York Knicks UNDER 31.5
I'm looking for odds on two Knicks related things: Carmelo Anthony being traded and Derek Fisher being the first coach to be fired. I can't wait to catch those Kristaps highlights on SportsCenter, though.
Orlando Magic UNDER 32.5
I'm going over only because they have too much talent to fail in the Eastern Conference. This team winning 33-35 games isn't unreasonable. Getting to the playoffs will be in spite of new Coach Scott Skiles though.
Philadelphia 76ers OVER 21.5
Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are going to kill it together. If you don't like Emmanuel Mudiay for ROY, take Okafor's +400 odds. The Sixers always overachieve and 21.5 seems low. The 76ers are an underrated League Pass team this year.
Phoenix Suns UNDER 36.5
I WILL NOT BOW TO YOUR PEER PRESSURE, AUSTIN REYNOLDS. I want them to be good. They have so many fun players. Their coach is in a weird contract situation, Markieff Morris is still around, and they could trade anyone at any moment. Tyson Chandler will make the defense better and Mirza is going to be Channing Frye lite. No, no, I will not talk myself into the over. (I probably will.)
Portland Trail Blazers UNDER 26.5
Number one pick comin. I feel bad because Blazers Twitter is such a nice place. They don't deserve a down year.
Sacramento Kings OVER 30.5
A much worse Kings roster won 29 games last season. I have a theory here. They're going to go into December struggling. Then someone, probably Matt Barnes, is going to go at Rajon Rondo. Boogie Cousins and George Karl will stand up for him. TEAM UNIFIED. RUN FOR THE SEVENTH OR EIGHTH SEED COMMENCED.
San Antonio Spurs UNDER 58.5
The Spurs are a Tony Parker injury away from Pop being forced to play Jimmer Fredette. Manu Ginoibli isn't very good anymore. You kind of need a somewhat consistent back court to be good in the West. I'm sure they're going to be very good, but not without a month or two of struggling.
Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 57.5
I have no good feel for this one. I want to say they'll win 60 games and challenge the Warriors for the one seed. There are so many questions in my way, though. What if Kevin Durant gets hurt again? What if Billy Donovan is just as bad as Scott Brooks? Can Serge Ibaka stay healthy? Is the bench finally solved? I have no answers to these questions. Taking the safe bet.
Toronto Raptors OVER 45.5
I like a lot of their players. I have no idea if they can actually get here. I don't suggest betting on it.
Utah Jazz OVER 40.5
They put it together after the All-Star break last season. No way they don't go over .500 even if Dante Exum is hurt. Gordon Hayward is going to continue being one of the most underrated players in the league. Gobert is gunning for DPOY and apparently Derrick Favors is shooting jumpers, which is kind of terrifying.
Washington Wizards UNDER 45.5
Vegas just threw their hands up with the Wizards and Raptors picks. I'm going under because I don't think they can stay healthy and their bench is not good, but you could switch Toronto and Washington and it wouldn't shock me one bit.
If you think I'm an idiot or you are in need of more betting help, here's some much smarter people making predictions: