ASA’s NBA Future Bets 2018

ASA’s 2018 NBA Future Wagers – Oct 15th 

We’re in a minority here but we like UNDER 48.5 win LA Lakers and here’s why. A case can be made that the current Lakers roster is not drastically better than the Cavs lineup last year. If we compare PER or player efficiency ratings from last season we see some similarities. PER’s for each team starting with the Cavaliers top 7: K Love 22.44, Hood 14.38, Thompson 13.66, Hill 13.35, Nance 20.18, Clarkson 16.50 and Korver 13.41.  Now the Lakers top 8: James 28.65, Ingram 13.9, Ball 12.53, Pope 13.22, McGee 22.39 (but played less than 10 minutes per game), Stevenson 12.47, Beasley 17.89, Rondo 15.28 and Kuzma 14.22. LeBron has surrounded himself with a cast of non-shooters and we don’t  see that working well for him. Not to mention this train is sure to derail at some point with the ego’s of LBJ, Rondo, Stevenson, McGee and Beasley. The Lakers benefitted from a few wins last year when teams rested stars or took them lightly. With James on the team and the media following that won’t happen this and they’ll get teams best every night. The biggest factor in our bet is the loaded West and the fact that nine teams won 46 or more games. That group of teams does not include a Memphis team that was decimated by injuries a year ago and should be much better this season. A distracted LeBron won’t get this Lakers team to 49 wins.

Let’s double up on this wager and play OVER 30 WINS Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, LeBron is one of the best players in the NBA but there are also rumors among NBA circles that he’s really not the ideal teammate. We certainly don’t mean he’s a bad guy, that isn’t the case, but with LBJ comes a huge ego and plenty of distractions,. His greatness on the court is undeniable but he also was a ‘ball stopper’ on the offensive end of the court and wasn’t always engaged defensively. When you watch a Warriors game you repeatedly hear coach Kerr yelling “keep it moving” and that’s what makes them so great offensively. With the Cavs the ball stopped in LeBron’s hands and everyone stood and watched. When Rodney Hood came over from Utah he was having an All-Star type season but his numbers dropped dramatically in Cleveland. We expect a resurgence from him along with guard George Hill who can be one of the better point guards in the East. Despite the bashing he takes, Kevin Love put up great numbers last season with 17.6PPG, 9.3RPG and 1.7APG. The Cavaliers have heard how bad they’re going to be without LeBron and will at least start the season very motivated. We’re not sure they can sustain that the entire season but let’s not forget they play in the watered down East where there are three dominate teams (Celtics, Raptors and 76ers) but after that it’s anyone’s game. There is still enough talent on the roster to remain ‘relevant’ in the East for awhile and we bet that propels the Cavs to 35 + wins.

Odds as of Oct 15th

Atlanta Hawks 23.5
Boston Celtics 57.5
Brooklyn Nets 32.5
Charlotte Hornets 35.5
Chicago Bulls 27.5
Cleveland Cavaliers 30.5
Dallas Mavericks 34.5
Denver Nuggets 47.5
Detroit Pistons 37.5
Golden State Warriors 62.5
Houston Rockets 54.5
Indiana Pacers 47.5
Los Angeles Clippers 35.5
Los Angeles Lakers 48.5
Memphis Grizzlies 34.5
Miami Heat 41.5
Milwaukee Bucks 46.5
Minnesota Timberwolves 44.5
New Orleans Pelicans 45.5
New York Knicks 29.5
Oklahoma City Thunder 50.5
Orlando Magic 31.5
Philadelphia 76ers 54.5
Phoenix Suns 28.5
Portland Trail Blazers 41.5
Sacramento Kings 25.5
San Antonio Spurs 43.5
Toronto Raptors 54.5
Utah Jazz 48.5
Washington Wizards 44.5