Just a few days ago, LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas released their NBA odds for the season win totals and the odds to win each respective division. Right now I have identified four teams that are either under or overvalued this fall. The number in parenthesis is the team’s projected win total by the sportsbook.
Memphis Grizzlies (49)
Memphis won 56 games last season, so this number would represent a series regression from what was one of the better teams in the West. The biggest loss for this team was their coach Lionel Hollins, whose contract ran out and John Hollinger and the Grizzlies people decided not to resign him to a new deal. As much as I respect Hollins as a coach, I respect Hollinger and that front office in Memphis just as much.
I don’t think the improvements in the West and the change from Hollins to Dave Joerger on the bench is going to keep Memphis from winning 50 games with the talent they have on their roster. Some think they will trade Zach Randolph this season if they can get top dollar for him, just like they did a season ago with Rudy Gay. However I think the Grizzlies have a great shot at being a home court team in the first round if they hang onto Z-Bo. While their schedule is tough, their team is tougher, and I think the over might have good sports betting value here.
New Orleans Pelicans (40)
The Pelicans get my early prediction for the most improved team in the NBA. They added Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday to an already great young core. If Anthony Davis can stay healthy and progress, along with a healthy Eric Gordon, this team is a Western Conference playoff team. Surely they can get to a .500 record this season if everyone on that team is healthy and gelling.
Monty Williams is becoming one of the better young coaches in NBA, and at only 41 years old, his team is poised for the playoffs. Just last season, they were already one of the sneaky good defensive teams in the league, and when you add Evans, Holiday and a healthy Gordon back onto this team, you’re looking at four or more steals per game. A .500 record should be no problem.
Houston Rockets (54.5)
I can sense I’m going to get creamed for this from some people, but I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think the Dwight Howard signing makes this team as good as some are projecting. At +1000 to win the NBA Championship, I think they are overvalued, and you guessed it, I think they are overvalued in their season win total.
This team won 45 games last season, which means Howard would have to add ten wins onto their total from a season ago. I don’t think that’s the case in a much-improved Western Conference. The Rockets are easily a 50-win team, but so are about five other teams, and I can’t say I think the Rockets are in the top half of those teams.
Orlando Magic (24.5)
As you can probably guess, the Magic are one of my 'Over' leans for this season. While it’s a stretch, especially if they trade Jameer Nelson and/or Glen Davis, I think the Magic could get to 25 wins. Victor Oladipo reminds me of a slightly more polished, but less touted, Russell Westbrook, and along with the other young guys like Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris, this team could win almost half of their home games, and that would put them close with some road wins against bad teams. I think the over is a good NBA pick.Join the discussion on the upcoming 2013-14 NBA season on SBRForum's basketball message boards!