The much-anticipated 2014-15 NBA season is less than three weeks away! All of the team and individual player props are rolling out daily at sportsbooks. Today we examine the 3 best 'over' and 'under' win total values for you NBA picks this season.
Indiana Pacers: 'Over' 33 Wins
Both options are -115 on NBA odds at sportsbooks. Will Indiana suffer the biggest drop in wins of any team in 2014-15? The Pacers led the East with 56 victories last season and reached the conference finals. They might have been a championship contender this year... until superstar Paul George gruesomely broke his leg during Team USA's training camp for the FIBA World Cup. He won't play this season, even though George says he possibly could if the Pacers make the playoffs. That's hogwash. Indiana also lost arguably its second-best player in Lance Stephenson to free agency. The only big additions were C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey. But Indiana will still play as hard as anyone and sniff .500 simply because it plays such good defense. Expect a big season from Roy Hibbert as well after he disappeared in the playoffs.
New York Knicks: 'Over' 41 Wins
Both options are -115 at sportsbooks. If New York was in the Western Conference, I wouldn't recommend 'over' here. Last year the Knicks vastly underachieved with 37 wins and missed the playoffs, but getting only five more victories shouldn't be that tough. Carmelo Anthony is in his prime and ready to prove he was worth that huge extension. The Knicks also upgraded vastly at point guard in acquiring Jose Calderon from Dallas in the Tyson Chandler/Raymond Felton trade. Also coming over in that deal was center Samuel Dalembert, and he can ably fill Chandler's shoes, at least defensively. Phil Jackson's winning attitude will rub off on this franchise. It won't go 'over' 41 by much but should by a few games as long as Anthony stays healthy.
Denver Nuggets: 'Over' 41.5 Wins
'Over' is the -125 favorite on NBA odds with 'under' at -105. Denver was a disappointment last year in Brian Shaw's first season as coach, slipping to 36 wins. Remember, however, that the team's best offensive player, small forward Danilo Gallinari, missed the entire season after ACL surgery. He averaged 16.2 points in 2012-13 for the Nuggets before going down late in that campaign. The team also made a great trade this offseason in acquiring Arron Afflalo from Orlando for the seemingly low price of Evan Fournier and the right to Roy Devyn Marble, the No. 56 pick in the 2014 draft. Afflalo averaged 18.2 points and 3.4 assists – both career-highs – with the Magic last season. Denver also will always have a huge home-court advantage playing in that altitude.
Washington Wizards: 'Under' 50 Wins
Both options are -115 on NBA odds. Washington is a chic pick as an Eastern Conference dark-horse contender after winning 44 games, upsetting Chicago in the first round of the playoffs and pushing Indiana to six games in the East semifinals last season. The Wizards do have one of the NBA's best backcourts in John Wall and Bradley Beal, and they were able to keep center Marcin Gortat from leaving as a free agent while also adding future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce and a good rebounder in Kris Humphries. The team did lose forward Trevor Ariza to free agency, and he was a good 3-point shooter and great defender. It's not that I'm down on the Wizards, and they should be good. But 50 wins seems a bit optimistic.
Houston Rockets: 'Under' 49.5 Wins
Both options are -115 at sportsbooks. Other than Miami losing LeBron James, did anyone have a worse offseason than Houston? The Rockets were so gung-ho to add a third superstar to James Harden and Dwight Howard that they put all their eggs in one basket: Chris Bosh. And he nearly signed with Houston after James departed south Florida, but Bosh got a huge offer at the last minute from Miami and stayed. Holding out for Bosh essentially cost Houston Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. The team was able to add former Wizard Trevor Ariza to take Parsons' spot, but unquestionably the Rockets are weaker -- and nowhere as deep -- on paper.
Los Angeles Lakers: 'Under' 32.5 Wins
'Over' is a -125 favorite on NBA odds with 'under' at -105. Ah the Lakers. Just two seasons ago, this was supposed to be the next superteam with Dwight Howard joining Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. How'd that work out? Howard and Gasol are gone. Nash has nothing left in the tank, and Kobe is coming off two major injuries, played only six games last year and is 36 years old. Kobe is about 42 in NBA years with all the minutes he has played. L.A.'s big additions? Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer along with rookie first-round pick Julius Randle. The team also recently lost starting small forward Nick Young for about eight weeks following surgery. Sportsbooks are overestimating what Bryant can do. Just look at the roster overall. When chosing your NBA picks keep in mind it might be the least talented roster in the NBA.