Bookie Beater Academy

NBA Season Preview

The 75th season of the NBA is almost upon us and I have poured over every stat of every player and team to give you the ultimate futures picks for the season. The title will be defended by the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the Final and won their first NBA Championship in 50 years, with Giannis Antetokounmpo deservedly crowned the NBA Finals MVP.

 

After two seasons adapting to coronavirus conditions the old format of 82 matches in regular season is thankfully back. Interestingly, the NBA is switching the official game ball to Wilson for the first time since 1983.

 

 Lebron James will be playing his 19th professional season, this superstar will also be in the team for the first time in his career with another legend Carmelo Anthony, with whom he participated in the 2003 draft. 

 

NBA season 2021/2022 Key Dates

  • Oct. 19: Regular Season begins

 

2022

  • Feb. 18-20: NBA All-Star (Cleveland, OH)
  • Trade Deadline (TBD)
  • April 12-15: Play-In Tournament
  • April 16: Playoffs begin
  • June 2: Finals begin
  • June 19: Game 7 of NBA Finals (if necessary)
  • June 23: NBA draft

 

AWARDS PREDICTIONS

Regular Season MVP – Luka Doncic

Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Davis

Rookie of the Year – Cade Cunningham

6th Man of the Year – Jordan Clarkson

Most Improved Player – Kevin Porter Jr.

Coach of the Year – Steve Nash

 

Team by Team Breakdown with Unders / Overs Predictions

Let’s take a look at a brief overview of the teams along with our prediction of each team’s wins in regular season as well as prediction of individual award winners. 

Note: margins taken from Vegas odds

 

Eastern conference

 

  • Brooklyn Nets 56.5 wins – Over 

When it comes to the Nets, there’s a big question about the likely playing time of Kyrie Irving, who is facing the loss of more than half of the games this season due to his refusal to vaccinate, but I think they will still finish the regular season at the head of the Eastern Conference.

 

  • Milwaukee Bucks 54.5 wins – Under 

Giannis and the team will try to defend the title that the club waited half a century for. There is no doubt that he will be at the top of the East this season as well, but the absence of P.J. Tucker, who made a huge contribution to the Playoffs, will be felt too much in the defense. Unders looks a great bet.

 

  • Atlanta Hawks 47.5 wins – Over

I expect Atlanta to continue their upward trajectory. They have a wide roster and most importantly they have plenty of potential room to progress. In the last shortened season, they achieved 41 victories with a very weak start under coach Lloyd Pierce, and I predict as many as 50 victories, so it’s overs here for me.

 

  • Miami Heat 48.5 wins – Under

Miami did a good job in the free agency. Lowry is an upgrade over Goran Dragic, P.J. Tucker will give a new dimension in defense, but the main impression is that at least one player with safe points in his hands is missing. We will see what kind of season Tyler Herro will have after a very bad previous one and Victor Oladipo who has been struggling with injuries from previous seasons. Not a great deal of confidence in the Heat for the coming season, therefore under 48.5 is a lock. 

 

  • Philadelphia 76ers 50.5 wins – Under

I’m afraid this is going to be another disappointing season for Sixers fans. Ben Simmons persistently refuses to play for this club and the question is whether we will see him once again in the famous jersey. It is not easy to find a trade partner for this specific player and I think that all the ongoing dramas surrounding him will be felt in the results of the Sixers, so unders it is.

 

  • Boston Celtics 45.5 wins – Under

A lot of changes have taken place in the Celtics both in the playing staff and on the bench. Udoka was replaced on the bench by Brad Stevens, and the new players are Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, Bruno Fernando, as well as returnees Enes Kanter and Al Horford. They seem to be slightly stronger than last season, but a lot will depend on the health of the Tatum-Brown-Smart trio who have often been injured in the past. Small bet on unders here.

 

  • New York Knicks 41.5 wins – Over

The Knicks are the most pleasant surprise of the previous season but I don’t expect them to repeat that score and 4th place in the East. However, I believe they are quite underestimated on this projected margin of wins and losses. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournie are definitely an upgrade over Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bulock, and it will also mean a full MSG something they didn’t have until PO last year. Big bet on overs.

 

  • Indiana Pacers 42.5 wins – Under

The Pacers are a team whose results in the upcoming season are very difficult to predict. The play-in should not be missed as a man with a champion pedigree, Rick Carlisle, returned to the team bench after 14 years. For something more they will need an early return on the court of T.J. Warren, who is still out indefinitely, for that reason unders is my pick here.

 

  • Chicago Bulls 42.5 wins – Under

The Bulls did a quality job with their Free agents. The starting line-up Ball, Lavin, DeRozan, Williams, Vucevic, with the help of White and Caruso from the bench, promise good basketball, but it is a big question what kind of defense this team will play. I see them on the cusp of 50% of victories in the season.

 

  •  Charlotte Hornets 38.5 wins – Under

The Hornets were stopped in the Play-In last season, and I expect a similar scenario in the upcoming season. James Borrego does a good job on the bench of this team and draws the maximum from his playing staff. The main problem is poor quality in high positions, which this season will try to replace the experienced Mason Plumlee, but I expect them to play a lot of ‘small ball’ with Miles Bridges in position PF and P.J Washington in position C. Not expecting anything special from these guys under 38.5 seems a certainty.

 

  •  Washington Wizards 33.5 wins – Over

The main impression I have about the Wizards is that this season the defense will be the main problem because they have not done anything about it. This team has got a lot of points in their hands and will play fast-paced basketball so I see them landing at least high 30’s wins so the 33.5 represents exceptional value.

 

  • Toronto Raptors  37.5 wins – Under

In just two seasons, Toronto has passed from a Championship winner to a team that does not even participate in the playoffs. In my opinion, they won’t see them this season either. I think the Raptors could go way below this over/under margin. 

The last 3 places in the Eastern Conference are reserved for teams that I do not give a single chance to find themselves in the Playoffs – Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. The only goal for these teams will be the best possible position in the draft next season, so I would refrain from predicting and picking their number of victories.

 

Western conference

 

  • Los Angeles Lakers  52.5 wins – Over

Although they are on average the oldest team in the league (30.1 years), the depth of the roster will allow the Lakers to play a regular season in fifth gear. A lot will depend on the health condition of Anthony Davis, but I am confident they will beat the 52.5.

 

  • Phoenix Suns 51.5 wins – Over

After an excellent season in which they found themselves in the NBA Finals after 28 years, another good season is expected for the Suns and they will be confident of having a real crack at glory. Elfrid Payton, Landry Shamet and JaVale Mcgee have been brought in at positions of PG, SG and C as backup options. It seems that their bench is slightly stronger than last season. Overs all day

 

  • Utah Jazz 52.5 wins – Over

After a great regular season 2019/2020 and having achieved the best score in the league, Jazz disappointed and failed in the PO where they lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the LA Clippers who played games number 5 and 6 without their best player Kawhi Leonard. By bringing in Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside and Eric Paschall, the Jazz have further strengthened their bench and I look forward to watching them tear up the regular season again.

 

  • Dallas Mavericks 48.5 wins – Over

The main change in the Mavs happened on the team’s bench, where longtime coach Rick Carlisle was replaced by his former player Jason Kidd. A better placement in RS last season cost them a very bad start, but I expect that at the beginning they will play in the rhythm with which they finished the previous one. Everything in the attack will be up to Luka Doncic and I expect that he will be in the narrowest circle of candidates for the MVP award. Overs is a big lock here.

 

  • Golden State Warriors 48.5 wins – Over

Quite a high margin on the Warriors considering that Klay Thompson’s return to the court is scheduled for Christmas, but I think he will have a good season. I expect Curry to continue in the rhythm of last season. During the summer, they further strengthened the roster of proven veterans Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica. Progress is also expected from the 5th pick on the last draft, James Wiseman. I think the number of Warriors wins will be right around this margin, small go at overs.

 

  • Denver Nuggets 48.5 wins – Under

Denver Nuggets had a decent PO last season even though in April they lost their second best player, Jamal Murray, who suffered from a serious injury. Uncertainty about his return to the floor in the upcoming season, as well as the lack of room for maneuver in the free agency due to the arrival of large contracts Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon, lead me to believe that the Nuggets will have a slightly weaker season than we have been accustomed to in previous years. Unders it is.

 

  • LA Clippers 45.5 wins – Under

The Clippers will probably play the whole coming season without their best player Kawhi Leonard. In his absence, reserve players Reggie Jackson and Terance Mann carried a huge burden in the PO, but the question is whether they can repeat such games during the entire season.

 

  •  Portland Trailblazers 44.5 wins – Under

This generation of Trailblazers has already passed its prime and they will have a painful decline in the coming period. Defense is the main problem of this team and I do not believe that the new coach Chauncey Billups can do anything about it. It is possible that one of the Lillard-McCollum duo will be traded during the season.

 

  • Memphis Grizzlies 41.5 wins – Over

The Grizzlies are the second youngest team in the league and I expect their breakthrough this season. Ja Morant has shown that he is a legitimate superstar and that a team can be built around him. He will have great help from Dillion Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. who returned at the finish of the last season. I see them on over 50% of wins in the upcoming season, 41.5 seems very generous.

 

  •   New Orleans Pelicans 39.5 wins – Under

Three starters from last season left the club, Ball, Adams and Bledsoe. The biggest reinforcements are Valanciunas and Graham. The new coach is WIlie Green and the question is whether it will look a bit better than last season which was disappointing, I don’t foresee much progress overall.

 

  •   Sacramento Kings 36.5 wins – Under

The Kings haven’t played in the PO for 15 years, but they finally have a young roster full of potential. It’s hard to see them again this year in that company, but the play-off may not be unattainable. However, I can’t imagine a scenario in which they have 37 or more victories, so in my opinion this pick has great value.

 

  •   Minnesota Timberwolves 34.5 wins – Under

It is very difficult to estimate the range of this team. Towns at his best is an All Star player, but the rest of the team is of very questionable quality. Edwards had a good rookie season but he is still young and inexperienced and it is hard to see Wolves fighting for PO.

There is almost no chance that the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will make the Playoffs.