Now that the Thunder is without Kevin Durant and the Spurs without Tim Duncan, oddsmakers have not been shy about setting a decently high number for each team's season win totals, but will they thrive like last season?
Last season Oklahoma City won 55 games making it to the conference finals only to lose to Golden State in seven games. What was really shocking to Oklahoma City fans was the fact that they were up 3-1 in that series but the Warriors found a way by winning the last three games, a rare feat. Now without Kevin Durant oddsmakers have set the expectations for this team at 10 fewer wins than last season at the different sportsbooks, but the makeup of this team will be competitive and Billy Donovan is a very good basketball coach. The Thunder also lost Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic but they picked up two solid veterans in Victor Olaidipo and Ersan Ilyasova who both should be contributors immediately. Along with one of the best point guards in the game and Russell Westbrook and tough interior player in Steven Adams I have no problem in backing this team to sneak over this number. Although they play in the West which will be as competitive as ever this team even without Durant has all the pieces to get back in the playoffs. They have a superstar point guard, are deep, have an underrated head coach, and one of the best home court in the NBA.
Free NBA Pick: Over 45.5
Best Line Offered: at Bet365
San Antonio Spurs
Last season San Antonio won 67 games only to get knocked out of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs begin their post-Tim-Duncan era with a very solid group of players made up of mostly veterans. It seems that Kawhi Leonard has already made the jump to superstardom and I believe Pau Gasol still has a lot left in the gas tank. The lineup also consists of the LaMarcus Alldredge along with the regular core of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and Danny Green. They also have an interesting bench that includes David Lee and Patty Mills. As always though San Antonio is very tough to predict considering head coach Greg Popovich's tendency to rest people and take strategic losses. So essentially what we have in San Antonio is a team of very good basketball players with arguably the best coach in the game and on paper 60 wins seems like a very achievable number. However, the fact that oddsmakers have made this total well under their wins from last season has me curious. This is probably the toughest NBA pick to make out of every team but I'm going to go ahead and back the under because it seems their focus will be on health and just making the playoffs.
Free NBA Pick: Under 57.5
Best Line Offered: at Paddy Power