Vegas odds are out - Celtics second behind Golden State to take 2018-19 Title
The Vegas odds and win-projections for all of the NBA teams are out, and there are no major surprises. Boston comes in with the second-best odds to take the 2018-19 Championship, with the Celtics at 6/1 - a considerable distance behind Golden State at 2/3.
The Houston Rockets come in third at 7/1, closely followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at 8/1. Philadelphia, Toronto and Oklahoma City take the #5, #6 and #7 spots, respectively.
The Rockets are the wild card here. They are on the brink of signing Carmelo Anthony but lost both Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the off-season. The general feeling among many is that Houston's 2018-19 crew will not be as good as last season's group.
The Lakers spot at #4 is obviously based on the addition of LeBron James. It remains to be seen if both the Rockets and Lakers deserve to be bunched so closely to Boston in the projections. The Celtics are heavy favorites to win the Eastern Conference at 5/6 odds, followed by the 76'ers, Raptors and Pacers.
NBA seas wins
The projected win-totals for the upcoming season predict Boston to go from 55 wins last season to 57.5 for 2018-19. Golden State's wins are projected to rise from 58 to 62.5 wins, while Houston's numbers drop from 65 to 54.5, a significant decrease and an indicator that the predictions don't favor the acquisition of Melo overcoming the loss of Trevor and Luc.
The Lakers garnered 35 wins last season and the prediction is 48.5 for the upcoming campaign. The addition of The King appears to be worth an additional 13 victories. Cleveland's drop from 50 wins to the predicted 30.5 this season, an additional indicator of Lebron's real - or perceived - value to any team he is on.
"There you had it" (familiar quote from the TV series, The Wonder Years). Take it for what it's worth. No major surprises, but they are only predictions. Injuries, trades and luck (both good and bad) will all come into play to determine the final 2018-19 NBA Champ. Boston had more than its share of bad luck last season, and the team is locked and loaded for the upcoming campaign. I am absolutely psyched for the season to get started.