2017-18 NBA Eastern Conference Win-Loss Predictions

(Last Updated On: October 19, 2017)

Well here it is people. You have waited all summer for it, and now finally fans can rejoice, as we are only five nights away from opening night tipoff in the NBA. And while it might seem like we are destined for a fourth straight rematch in the epic saga between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, I promise you there is a lot more to this season then just that. For those fans who think they can go on cruise control this season, tune it out, and jump right back on in time for the finals, we at Spleaze have given you a little monetary incentive to tune in for the entire season. Yes, it’s over/under season people.. our 2017-18 NBA Eastern Conference Win-Loss Predictions.

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How it works?

These 2017-18 NBA Eastern Conference Win-Loss predictions based on the total number of wins each NBA team will have this season per the Sportsbooks. It’s pretty straightforward, as every year Sportsbooks everywhere place a number on how many games a team will win that season.

Your job as the degenerate – errr gambler – is to decide weather that team will win more or less then that number this season. We are going to be going in reverse order from lowest projected amount of wins to highest, so put your money where your mouth is, and let’s make some picks. Over/under lines are brought to you by our friends at Bovada and the projected wins are in parentheses next to the team name.

 

Part I: Eastern Conference

 
Chicago Bulls (22): A year ago at this time Chicago was a curious case study. They had a budding star on a cheapish contract in Jimmy Butler, solid pieces that had won for the Bulls before, and two incoming alpha-personality stars in Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. The case study went kind of how most expected — the three most important pieces did not fit together, the supporting cast regressed and many metrics suggested that this team just was not that good.

However, after pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink in Round One, some in Chicago felt that this team had potential. Well, the front office clearly did not agree, and in typical Bulls fashion they blew shit up fast. The Bulls traded Jimmy Butler for the pupu-platter deluxe supreme of Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen, and then paid Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo twenty million dollars combined to go away. The results? It is going to be really ugly this season in Chicago. Get ready for a tank-a-palooza.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Atlanta Hawks (25.5): The Hawks have been an Eastern Conference playoff mainstay for quite some time now. However, after yet another early exit from the playoffs, the Spurs of the East decided it was time to hit the reset button. The Hawks let Paul Millsap walk (getting nothing in return) and then foisted Dwight Howard on the Charlotte Hornets.

Josh Smith the Game meme.
Josh Smith plays The Game.

While betting against Coach Budenholzer and his beautifully run offense seems to be a bad idea, I might point out that whenever Dennis Schroder is the person leading that offense maybe we just need to take things as they are. The Hawks are devoid of talent, so coaching can only do so much. As the old saying goes, “you can only be led to water, but you cannot be forced to drink it.” Coach Bud is going to put the Hawks in a position to be competitive on most nights, but I do not think they have the talent to drink the winning water just yet.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Brooklyn Nets (27.5): Let’s give my dude Mikhail Prokhorov some credit, the man is good at adapting. After years of having a win now mentality, spending a lot of money, and making brash comments such as “I will get married if the Nets have not won a championship within five years of my ownership,” the Nets owner finally seems to get it. Basketball championships cannot be bought. Building a winning team does not happen overnight; it takes patience, good development, and a lot of time.

The Nets, absent of any possible resource to improve the state of their team, have gotten innovative recently in their attempt to put a better product on the court. They have become a wasteland for teams to abandon their dumpster-fire contracts on, as long as they attached some sort of other juicy asset along with it. The Nets picked up a D’Angelo Russell after taking on Timofey Mozgov, and a first round pick after taking on DeMarre Carrol. The Nets front office has a clear plan.

Prokhorov has become the owner many Knicks fans salivate over while James Dolan is in his seat. Prokhorov has hired an immaculate front office and they appear to have the team going in the right direction. This team has some good young talent, a great coach, and no incentive to tank because they still are paying the price from the ill-fated Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett trade.

Prediction: Bet the over.

 

New York Knicks (30.5): Everything seems to be unraveling quickly for the Knicks lately. Kristaps Porzingis has either been hurt or fucking terrible this preseason, Frankie Smokes Ntilikina only played in one preseason/summer game in the offseason leading up to his rookie year, and the Knicks have been getting routinely blown out all preseason. Fun Stuff. 

With this being, kind of, the last year for teams to really be incentivized to tank (see new reformed lottery system), I think the Knicks are going to go all in on it. The Knicks might think they have a core brewing now, but they also realize that that core would be a lot better with Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley III, or Luka Doncic. Sure we can still get excited whenever Kristaps channels his inner unicorn, or Tim Hardaway Jr. heat checks the garden, or Michael Beasley unlocks that 11th percent of his brain. But the overall product this season is going to be pretty terrible.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Indiana Pacers (31.5): Kevin Pritchard was trying to give Gar Forman a run for the worst GM move of the offseason award, but unfortunately Oklahoma City did not have enough terrible players to give Kev; sad!

Anyway, another perennial Eastern Conference powerhouse has also appeared to die this summer. And although the power of Lance Stephenson might remain, even he knows he needs his sidekick Paul for things to be clicking in Indy.

It really is going to suck being a Pacers fan this season, plan and simple. For starters it appears the keys have been given to Lance, uuuy. Victor Home Oladipo is grossly overpaid and has played the same type of game for five years. Myles Turner is good, but a year away from being two years away from running his own show. Al Jefferson and Thaddeus Young are veterans probably better suited for a contending team, or a rest-stop Burger King in Ohio if you’re Al. Darren Collison has not played good or meaningful basketball in five seasons. Last but not least, Nate McMillan is an annual candidate for the “basketball coach to most likely to be sleeping with his eyes open on the sideline at any given moment” award, his clogged-toilet offense is truly award winning.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Orlando Magic (33.5): We are officially in Year 6 post Dwight-pocalypse in Orlando, and sadly shit is just as bad as it was on Day 1. The Orlando Magic have been so dysfunctional since Dwight has left that it makes one actually question the purpose of basketball in Orlando. Like what is the point? What the fuck is it going to take for Seattle to get a team? The Magic have spent the past six seasons assembling talent that just does not fit together. They have been trying to build the puzzle with pieces from four different types of puzzles. Aaron Gordon is on roughly his fifth position in four years, Elfrid Payton still cannot shoot, and Bismack Biyombo and Nikola go together like sweet tea and the bird flu. The Magic still have no direction, and it has continued to be a place in which free agents get overpaid to die on the bench. I heard they already started writing obituaries for Arron Afflalo and Marreese Speights.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Detroit Pistons (38.5): Oh poor Stan! Stan! Stan my boy! The legendary Stan Van Gundy is really going to have a tough go of it this season. And I call Stan Van Gundy “legendary” like he actually is one of the all-times. He was/is (maybe) a good coach, and definitely great for comedic relief, but why the fuck he is in charge of his own team’s personnel decisions is beyond me.

We are about to get a third year of data to prove that Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond cannot coexist whatsoever on a basketball court. Additionally, I might add, we are in about the second year of data proving that Reggie Jackson is just a complete cancer on the basketball court. Either way, the Pistons are going to be just what they are, yet again, a sucky overall team with just enough overall talent to eek out 35 disgusting wins.

Already capped out next season and heading into a decision year on Andre Drummond, we might just see Stan blow this shit up in February. I’d encourage him to do so. If Drummond signs on for the max it will only ensure that Detroit will be deprived of meaningful basketball for another 3-5 years. Luckily for us, Stan Van has another three years left on his contract so we should get plenty more of his shenanigans.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Philadelphia 76ers (41.5): If you want to take the over then this is the year you believe that trusting the process will finally start paying some dividends. On paper this Sixers team looks stacked — Joel Embiid is a generational talent, Ben Simmons is a generation passing talent, and Dario Saric looks like another homegrown homerun draft pick. Throw in some of the veteran offseason acquisitions they brought in such as JJ Redick and Amir Johnson, and one can easily see the potential for this team to finish above .500.

However, some things to consider. First, the 76ers and Joel Embiid have been on record saying that Embiid will not play 82 games this season (though who does?), with the Big Man likely to rest for about 15-20 games. Second, Embiid has never made it through a full season healthy, so let’s tack on an additional 5-10 games (and that is being conservative) for actual injuries and not-planned rest. Third, no NBA team has ever improved 10 games in record from one season to the next (the 76ers only won 28 games last season, so betting the over would amount to a historical increase in wins). Fourth, rookies are bad, so when Embiid does not play the 76ers are going to be very bad.

When Embiid is not on the court the 76ers will still suffer many of the growing pains that come with being young in the NBA. The 76ers are going to be much improved as a team that is not just on the rise this season, but for years to come. Embiid’s injury uncertainty, however, leaves me skeptical for this season.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Charlotte Hornets (42.5): Poor Hornets fans. Mired in years of mediocrity, stuck with an owner with a competitive streak that would rather eat moldy shoe leather then even consider tanking for a lottery pick, and capped out after years of irrational, incompetent basketball operations. Sure it will be all gloom for a Hornets fan desperate for a championship, which is not coming for years. But if you just want to kick it on a Tuesday night with some beers, NBATV, and some bros, the Hornets might be just what you need.

Frank the Tank Kaminsky

You see, the Hornets are not going to be that bad. In fact, they might even be solid. There are some fun pieces there; Kemba is exciting, Nicolas Batum is the Jack of all Trades, and Frank the Tank Kaminsky is silky-smooth from three. Additionally, Malik Monk is pissed that the Knicks did not draft him, and Michael Jordan seems to be exploiting this notion and driving the inner rage from within the dude with the most heat check potential out of college since Dion Waiters.

The Eastern Conference is a lot worse this season, the Hornets will probably be better as a result of it, Kemba can still get buckets, the team has a deep rotation, and Steve Clifford is the ultimate Dwight-whisperer, to revive the Dwighthouse as Dwight embarks on his journey for a career revival.

Prediction: Bet the over. (…wait am I betting on Dwight… oh shit.. starting to second guess that)

 

Miami Heat (43.5): Last year’s “Bipolar Team of the Year” award winner seeks to be more consistent this season and there is reason to believe that they will succeed. The nucleus of a good, young team is there, Hassan Whiteside is a legit manbearpig, Dion Waiters showed a professional level of consistency last season, and Justise Winslow still figures to be a hound dog on defense.

Kelly Olynyk meme

Other young, intriguing pieces exist in Heatland as well; Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk, and Rodney McGruder are all under 26 years old and all have room for further development. Additionally, the Heat contain a nice balance of useful veterans to keep the team in check if they start playing out of control. Goran Dragic can still channel his inner wizard, slashing and dancing his way in and out of lanes as he choreographs the offense, while James Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Udonis Haslem provide grit and toughness to the group.

Prediction: Bet the over.

 

Milwaukee Bucks (47.5): They are the darlings of the NBA this season as almost everybody is expecting a breakout for the Bucks. Sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo is what happens when HGH Anabolic Steroids breed with Aliens; unfortunately it takes more then one man to meet an over.

Giannis Antetokounmpo in Apocalypse Now.

Without his sidekick Jabari Parker until at least January, and question marks all over the rest of the Bucks roster, it just looks like they need a little more time to build this thing.
Luckily for the Bucks, Giannis still has four seasons left on his contract, so they have time to make this work. The team has some nice pieces, as Thon Maker is another extraterrestrial being, Khris Middleton is a very solid 3-and-D gunner, and Malcolm Brogdon just won Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately for bachelorette of the year, Mallory Edens, I just do not think that this year is the year. The Bucks will make the playoffs, but I’d guess the under.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Washington Wizards (48): The Wizards are going to be good; if healthy they should easily win this number of games. Last season, even after a putrid start to the season, the Wizards ended up winning 49 games. They have the requisite 50-win talent, but I would be more comfortable in betting on my own abilities to swim from Miami to Cuba then I would in betting the Wizards to hit this over.

Wait, what?

Even though logic and reason point to the Wizards being able to pull this off, I just cannot in good conscious place money on expecting John Wall or Bradley Beal to both stay healthy for an entire season. If one of those guys goes down for more than 10 games, the Wizards are toast for hitting this over.

Luckily, I am playing with house money right now, so I can be reckless in my assumption of health for these two. If the Wizards can stay healthy, they will hit the over. Please bet responsibly.

Prediction: Bet a very tentative over.

 

Toronto Raptors (48.5): It seems like this Raptors team might have already hit its apex. The Raptors are officially not just capped out, but capped the fuck out, after giving mega deals to Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. These deals have hindered Toronto’s ability in other areas, as they were only able to resign Norman Powell and give CJ Miles the mid-level exception in a sign–and-trade, thus the Raptors depth has been crushed. Additionally, Jonas Valanciunas did not continue on his upward trajectory, flattening out in production since receiving his hefty contract, and his pairing with Serge Ibaka has been awkward… at best.

The Raptors appear to be destined for NBA purgatory — not good enough to win a championship, but not bad enough to hit the reset button and give up on their fans (those optimists in Canada always preserve a glimmer of hope). Another example of an NBA team that has outlasted its expiration date, this is the year I am picking the Raps to take a step back.

Prediction: Bet the under.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (53.5): Let’s start off by stating the obvious. None of this matters to the Cavs at all. They could sleepwalk their way to 41 wins, grab the eight seed, and then have LeBron put them into a half-incubator, half-portal machine or whatever the fuck he has in his secret lab of manufacturing NBA greatness, and bam holy shit the next thing you know there is Iman Shumpert hounding some sad sack down the baseline during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Anything that happens between now and May does not matter, as LeBron is at the stage of his career where everything is about title preservation. You bet your ass the King will do ANYTHING it takes to make it eight in a row (trips to the finals).

So with that being said and everything else considered, the regular season does not fucking matter to the Cavs; LeBron is a super-organism who cannot be considered a human; Kevin Love might actually remember what it is like to be good again; the Cavs are going to be really good this season.

From Russia with Kevin Love.

In theory if everybody is healthy, they might be in a better position to take on the Warriors this season. So what, if for the first 20-30 games your defensive back court is Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose. YIKES. So what, if JR Smith is pouting about not starting. So what, if LeBron has played more minutes of basketball then anybody at his age ever has, LITERALLY. The Cavs have something to prove this season. They will hibernate until Isaiah comes back, turn it on, and just eek out this over as they ride a hot streak into the playoffs, when it really matters. Bring on Golden State.

Prediction: Bet the over.

 

Boston Celtics (55.5): The Eastern Conference’s best regular season team last season decided to shake up shit up this offseason, with only four players remaining from last year’s team on this current roster. However, the Celtics undoubtedly got better, adding two all-stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Danny Ainge showed us that the NBA is a dog-eat-dog world in trading the Celtics’ most beloved star (Isaiah Thomas), a player who not only played through a damaged hip but also the day after the sudden and tragic death of his sister.

Isaiah Thomas embodied the saying “blood, sweat, and tears” and his absence will be missed. From a talent standpoint, however, one cannot deny that the Celtics got better. They parlayed Jae Clam Chowder Crowder, Isaiah, Avery Bradley, and Kelly Olynyk into Kyrie, Hayward, Jason Tatum and Marcus Morris. They still have Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown, and they still have the Wizard, Brad Stevens, to draw them up a beautifully poetic offense. Stevens is such a master at drawing plays for his players that many expect it to mitigate some of the chemistry issues one might expect from a team with such a high turnover in players. Here are the facts; the Celtics won 53 games last season and many people think that this team is superior to last year’s team. A three-game improvement is definitely feasible, and some might argue that this team really does have 60-win talent.

The Celtics have capped off one of the most successful on-the-fly rebuilds in basketball history. Now they are going to start reaping the benefits, as they have a young nucleus of all-stars, more assets down the pipeline, and an impeccable coach/general manager combination. Things are going to be really good for a really long time if you are a Celtics fan.

Prediction: Bet the over.

 

Part 2, Western Conference Over/Under Odds Coming Soon!

In the meantime, check out @theSpleaze for loose commentary, as well as more 2017-18 NBA Eastern Conference Win-Loss Predictions and reactions.

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