The Major League Baseball season is entering the playoffs, the NFL is in week five and the NHL started their season this week. Next in line is the NBA, which has its first preseason games scheduled for this weekend.
Odds makers released their first list of projected regular season wins this week with the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls close to the top and the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knick having lower expectations.
Houston and Chicago moved up the ladder due to the additions of Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose respectively. The two reflected in the regular season win totals for both that were released on Tuesday by odds makers and can be found on sites such as Bovada, topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline.
Both the Rockers and Bulls were winners last season of 45 games and reached the postseason. They have been projected by odds makers of winning in the mid-50s for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, which puts them both close to the top.
To the surprise of no one, the Miami Heat are the top dog on the list, although the opening number for Miami of 60 wins is six less than they tallied a season ago when they won their second consecutive NBA title.
One reason they have just 60 wins this season, is they won 27 in a row during last season and that will be tough to repeat.
Sportsbooks like Bovada and topbet also point out that Dwayne Wade is prone to injury and many criticize the way Chris Bosh plays.
If LeBron James were to miss a week or two due to injury, the Heat numbers would decline as well.
Injuries to players, specifically Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant will have a big impact on the leading teams in the West. Westbrook will miss several weeks to start the season, while Bryant hopes to play from the first game on.
Due to the injury to Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder was given just 50.5 wins to open. That is nearly 10 less than the 60 they won last season.
However, the Lakers are even further down with just a projection of 35.5 wins. The Lakers are loved by the public and there will be a number of bettors on sites like sportsbook.com and betonline that will take the OVER on the Lakers wins.
The Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks both won in the mid 50s last season, but have both been downgraded by odds makers. With the Nets looking to be tougher and the Bulls with Rose back, it is difficult to think the Knicks will win 50-plus games again this season. With Lionel Hollins no longer coaching at Memphis, odds makers believe it will affect the team’s performance at least for the first year.
Here is the top 5
Miami Heat – 60
Los Angeles Clippers – 57
Chicago Bulls – 56.5
San Antonio Spurs – 55.5
Houston Rockets – 54.5