The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas revealed its over/under win totals for the 2016-17 NBA season Tuesday, and it's time to start poring over the odds. Remember, these odds are influenced by expected action and designed to get equal money, so it's not a pure reflection of what oddsmakers believe will occur.
First, the numbers:
|Golden State Warriors||66.5|
|Los Angeles Clippers||53.5|
|Los Angeles Lakers||24.5|
|New Orleans Pelicans||36.5|
|New York Knicks||38.5|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||45.5|
|Portland Trail Blazers||46.5|
|San Antonio Spurs||56.5|
Notes and reactions:
- The Warriors at "only" 66.5 seems like easy money for the over. Even with a diminished bench, and having to get used to Kevin Durant, plus a likelihood that they will value rest more than they did last season in pursuing the 73-win mark, this team still took a 73-win core and added Kevin Durant. There's a six game cushion for them to drop from last season and still hit the over. In related news, Warriors to win over 73 games is plus-500 and that's terrific value.
- The Spurs at 56.5 seems high after losing Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw, but it's San Antonio, so you have to stay away as they are immortal warlocks who are not of this realm.
- The Sixers are at 27.5, which is 7.5 wins higher than their over/under mark last year .... and 17.5 more than they won last season. The Sixers should be way better with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but this is still a dreck of a core, who may trade Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Twenty-eight wins seems like Kilimanjaro.
- That Chicago Bulls mark of 38.5 seems tempting to fade the Bulls on. There are a lot of ways that team could go sideways.
- Vegas almost always goes low on the Grizzlies, in part due to the low amount of action on them. Last year was an exception thanks to an unheralded and unprecedented amount of injuries. (Memphis had 25 players on roster throughout the year, an all-time NBA record.) There are injury concerns this year, but for them to go below 43.5, there would have to be season-ending injuries to at least two of Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, and Chandler Parsons. That could certainly happen, but there's also a good possibility of them clicking and rolling to way above that.
- Can you feel the Utah Jazz hype? At 47.5 wins, that's 7.5 over their win total from last season, and puts them in line to scrape 50 wins. The Jazz are a trendy choice, and for good reason. It's probably a stay-away, however, given that 47 is right about where they could land. Too close for comfort.
- The Nets have taken the mantle from the Sixers for the lowest projected win total at just 20.5. Given Brook Lopez's foot injuries, that seems like a safe under bet.
- The Lakers at 24.5 seems like a stay-away. A roster that young shouldn't be able to go for any more, but it's low enough that even a good month could derail it.
- Denver was a steal last year at 27, and even with a seven-win jump year over year, 34.5 feels soft. This is a team with a lot of talent and good coaching. The playoffs are unlikely but 35 wins, if they can just avoid the nasty injury luck they've had the past three years, should be easily obtainable.
- I love the Cleveland under. The defending champions are likely to laze through the regular season even more than they did last year at 57 wins. LeBron James might leave for three months to hang out in Miami. Love this under, as I did last year's 57.5 though that was obviously really close.
- Oklahoma City has a lower over/under than Portland.
- Take the over on the Hawks. Even after losing Al Horford, Vegas always cuts them low. It's easy money. Take the over.
- The Celtics have a higher over/under than the Raptors, which is reflected in their narrow advantage in odds for the division title as well.