Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NBA Betting: Season Over/Unders

by John Huffstetler

Over the past few years in College Football, NFL, and NBA season over/under bets, I've profited in each sport every season. Season bets are basically the best and easiest (and most under-utilized) bets that exist in sports gambling. You don't have to break down every individual matchup, or see what team is in a favorable spot for any game, or hope sweat a -7 in the NBA when your team is up 8 because of late-game fouling. You just need to try and predict which teams will have good/bad seasons based on offseason changes, schedules, injuries, etc, and pull for them to win straight up against their opponents. If you are trying to break into sports gambling without knowing anything and you don't want to lose all of your money, just bet a few solid season bets. You will be entertained all year and have a better chance of winning because of the long-term nature of the bet. For example, I made exactly one MLB bet the entire year last year (because I know nothing about day-to-day baseball): Washington Nationals over 83.5 wins for 3 units of profit. As a result, I was invested in every game they played and had a win wrapped up by August for a profitable season. That being said, I know much more about the NBA. Here are my plays on the NBA this year for season over/unders:

The test case for if you can have a Unibrow and still get buns
Top Play: New Orleans Hornets Over 27.5 Wins- I played this for 3 times a normal bet because I'm completely confident in the result. If you only made one NBA bet this year, this is it. Based on adjusted win totals last year (NOTE: THERE WERE ONLY 66 GAMES LAST YEAR/ ADJUSTING FOR AN 82 GAME SEASON ON EVERY TEAM LAST YEAR), the Hornets had 26 wins with a pathetic roster assembled by David Stern and the league office who took control of the team after bankruptcy of the owners. To start, Gordon was injured a large majority of the season but the team was 6-3 and showing a pulse when he was healthy. He is by far their best returning player, so his health is essentially like adding another big free agent. In addition to Gordon, New Orleans added two other potential all-stars in Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis. Anderson was a fantastic free agent acquisition from salary-dumping Orlando. He had a fantastic year this past year, and in fact, I wrote this article discussing how he should have been a starter in the all-star game for the East because of his play. Not to mention Davis, who proved last year at Kentucky that he is an elite defensive player while  protecting the ball, rebounding effectively, and scoring when needed. Davis will make an immediate impact on the NBA level and could potentially win Rookie of the Year. Look for New Orleans not only to surpass 28 wins but possibly contend for a playoff spot out West.

Going to keep the rest of these short and sweet so I can have this done by Wednesday (Note: I played both Boston and Miami under their totals because of their penchant for not caring about the regular season, but they've both already played their openers).

Atlanta Hawks Over 43 Wins- Few teams have had a more intelligent offseason than the Hawks and new GM Danny Ferry. They get rid of overpaid bums like Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams (thus helping their financial future) while adding more valuable pieces like Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, and Devin Harris, and maintaining their true nucleus of Josh Smith and Al Horford. This team should at least match last year's win pct. because of their savvy acquisitions.

S my D, Philly
Philadelphia 76ers Under 47 wins- If not for the addition of an injured Andrew Bynum, Philly would have had the worst offseason in the NBA. I don't need to give stats to prove how bad Kwame Brown, Nick Young, and Jason Richardson are. Those names say enough. The loss of Lou Williams scoring on the perimeter and the defense of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand, plus the questionable health of Bynum make Philly a team that would be lucky to earn an 8 seed.

Denver Nuggets Over 50 wins- The addition of Andre Iguodala to this already deep roster gives them a terrific starting backcourt of Lawson, Iguodala, Gallinari. Plus, they reached 47.2 adjusted wins last year with several injuries (and players in China). This year, their starting five is stronger and their bench is as deep as ever. Not to mention, they got rid of their worst player who received playing time in Al Harrington in a trade this offseason. Addition by subtraction factor.

Phoenix Suns Under 31.5 Wins- I don't usually like playing teams with low win totals "under" their wins, but this backcourt is abysmal following the loss of Steve Nash. I'm ok with Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley, but Telfair, Beasley, and Wesley Johnson are just dreadful. I can't see anyone here shooting well from the field. Plus, this team only had 42 adjusted wins last year with Nash, and he is one of the more valuable players in the league. Terrible team.

Toronto Raptors Over 34.5 Wins- The Raptors are always a good bet "over" because everyone just assumes they suck (I played them over for a win last year). They actually made some pretty good offseason acquisitions by adding Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields, and they brought in Jonas Valanciunas from Europe. They have talent already on the roster with Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Jose Calderon, and Ed Davis, but their continuing problem is their insistency to play a terribly inefficient Andrea Bargnani significant minutes. I wrote an article last season ranking the most overrated players in the NBA and Bargnani was #1. Hopefully, the additions to the roster will limit his playing time enough to elevate the Raptors to the next level.

I'm grossly overpaid
Brooklyn Nets Under 45 Wins- The hype is absolutely out of control. They added a way-over-the-hill Joe Johnson and a Gerald Wallace late last season who was better in Charlotte than Portland. They also get back a healthy but questionably important (see #4 on my overrated list from above) Brook Lopez from injury last season. To be honest, I don't see where this win total comes from besides the massive hype. Deron Williams is a good (not great) point guard and he is surrounded by old or overrated fringe stars. Reggie Evans, MarShon Brooks, and Josh Childress off the bench are promising, but they won't get enough minutes to make a difference on this likely non-playoff team.

New York Knicks Over 46.5 Wins- I've been criticizing the Knicks moves and the performance of Amare and Melo for years, but they're finally figuring it out. Last year's addition of Tyson Chandler was a fantastic move to combat the defensive failings of "Carmare," and they followed that up this offseason with the additions of Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton at Point Guard. They also added defensive stalwarts Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby to make virtually everyone on the roster besides their two "stars" defensively stout. Helping the Knicks this year is the early season injury to Amare. The team should perform better in his absence without the defensive black hole of "Carmare" in effect.

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