Remember how I told you I can make you some easy? Well, that time was has finally arrived.
Fancying myself a crafty investor, it’s time to diversify my portfolio with a new asset class: NBA Team O/U wins.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with these wagers, I’m basically buying “calls” and “puts” on the prospects of each organization’s regular season win total.
While the market supposedly is always right, finding market inefficiencies is my middle name. When my mom used to yell at me, she use to say “You’re dead meat, Steven ‘Finding Market Inefficiencies’ Kerstein.
Similar to my BSH series, we’re about to set off on a new adventure. This one, however, will provide you the means to feed your family. See Sprewell, Latrell.
In all seriousness, I hope you’re ready to live on the wild side. It’s time to put your chips on the table.
Let’s begin with the collection of teams residing in our Nation’s most stuck-up region: the Atlantic Division
New York Knicks: Under 50.5 Wins
2012-2013 Season: 54-28
A couple weeks back, I infuriated a couple of Knick fans with my bold, pessimistic predictions regarding the team’s outlook. While my editors may have kicked a little sense into me, I still say they don’t win over 45 games. I get it, the Eastern Conference sucks. They’ve got some guy named Carmelo Anthony who has scored once or twice in his life. Regardless, I see a poorly-designed model in the Big Apple. Their finances are tied into aging, deteriorating vets with very little help on the way. Any time Iman Shumpert is a team’s source of optimism, you know you’re in trouble. While I might not ever get another NY read again, I’m sticking with my guns.
Brooklyn Nets: Over 53 Wins
2012-2013 Season: 49-33
If you don’t think this collection of veterans isn’t going to give it their all in the upcoming season, you are sorely mistaken. For KG and Paul Pierce, this is really the duo’s last real chance at competing for a title. Throw in a hungry Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and AK 47 in the equation and the Nets have got the experience and depth to make a run through the Eastern Conference. Although it’s anybody’s whether Jason Kidd has got the goods to coach in the NBA, I don’t think this ensemble of characters needs the prototypical coach. Thus, a 56-win season isn’t a pipedream.
Boston Celtics: Over 28 Wins
2012-2013 Season: 41-40
Over the past four months, the Celtics’ franchise has faced the most employee turnover in the entire league. For a team that has seen its Head Coach (Doc Rivers) bolt to L.A, its two marquee names head for Brooklyn (Pierce and Garnett) and its star point guard ailing on the shelf (Rajon Rondo), I still cannot imagine the Celtics truly being one of the league’s worst teams this upcoming season. While New Head Coach Brad Stevens is facing an uphill battle, I’m banking on the likes of Jeff Green and Avery Bradley really making some serious strides. The Eastern Conference is too shitty for Boston to really be that bad. Throw in the fact that the Celtics are becoming a pioneer in basketball analytics and you get my point. I’ll be the contrarian and go against the grain.
Philadelphia 76ers: Under 16.5 Wins
2012-2013 Season: 34-48
Disregard everything I just said about the Celtics and you’ve got my crystal ball reading of the City of Brotherly Love’s future. This team is going to suck. Headliners include Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. Spencer Hawes!!! Night in and night out, it wouldn’t shock me if the Sixers are down by 15 at half. For a team that truly has a shot at “Riggin’ for Wiggins,” Sixers management has certainly set up this current roster to fail. Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the prospects of Michael Carter Williams and Nerlens Noel for the future. Just not in 2013..
Toronto Raptors: Over 36. 5 Wins
2012-2013 Season: 34-48
Before Vegas released its line, the scenario developing north of the border was one that I had my eye on. While the 36.5 level is a bit overvalued, I’m still a buyer at this price. Quietly, the Raptors are in the midst of a renaissance. They’ve accumulated some quality depth in the backcourt by stockpiling the likes of Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan and Terrance Ross. The combination of Rudy Gay, Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson should definitely be able to hold their own against some of the Eastern Conference’s weak frontcourts. With new GM Masai Ujiri in town and Andrei Bargnani sent packing, the Raptors are starting bring the roar back to Canada. I’m thinking 7th or 8th seed…
Similar to the options market, predicting O/U totals is a zero-sum game. In other words, there are winners and there are losers. The beauty (or treachery) behind making these wagers is that one team’s success comes at another’s demise. As long as one’s thought process is well-reasoned, an avid basketball fan can not only be interested in the fate each NBA team but make a little pocket change along the way.
Have a great day,