Early NBA Betting Predictions

Early NBA Betting Predictions

Written by on August 6, 2015

Now that the NBA’s free agents have just about all signed for the 2015-2016 season, with the notable exception of J.R. Smith, let’s take a look at how standings should shake out. The Win Shares statistic tries to put a number on how many victories each player helps his team to get in an NBA betting season. If you add up each player’s total, you don’t necessarily get the exact team win total, but the outcomes are usually quite close. According to SI.com’s Will Laws, the average error margin since the 1962-1963 season is just 2.74 wins.

A player’s Win Shares from 2014-2015 depends somewhat on the quality of his team. As time goes by, such elements as a team’s defensive and offensive system, playing time, young players improving while old players see their skills diminish all play a role in the outcome. Such superstars as Paul George, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony have returned from injuries, and so their numbers have been expanded to fill a full season rather than simply the percentage of the season they played this year.

Early NBA Betting Predictions


According to the Win Shares model, here are the standings in the East:

  • Toronto (52.9 wins)
  • Cleveland (51.4 wins)
  • Chicago (51.2 wins)
  • Atlanta (50.8 wins)
  • Boston (47.4 wins)
  • Washington (44.3 wins)
  • Charlotte (41.6 wins)
  • Miami (41.4 wins)
  • Milwaukee (40.0 wins)
  • Detroit (39.9 wins)
  • Indiana (39.0 wins)
  • Orlando (31.6 wins)
  • Brooklyn (29.7 wins)
  • New York (28.0 wins)
  • Philadelphia (23.2 wins)

Now, here are the standings in the West:

  • Golden State (63.0 wins)
  • L.A. Clippers (61.9 wins)
  • Oklahoma City (60.0 wins)
  • San Antonio (57.5 wins)
  • Memphis (56.6 wins)
  • Houston (53.2 wins)
  • New Orleans (45.7 wins)
  • Phoenix (41.3 wins)
  • Dallas (41.2 wins)
  • Utah (41.2 wins)
  • Portland (38.6 wins)
  • Sacramento (33.5 wins)
  • L.A. Lakers (29.9 wins)
  • Denver (29.6 wins)
  • Minnesota (23.5 wins)

Obviously, the logjam around the #8 seed in both leagues could break out differently, even with an error margin of around three games, sending different teams to the postseason. But these numbers end up being fairly accurate over time.

So which teams are jumping up the most according to this metric? Charlotte had 34.1 Win Shares and went 33-49 for their actual record. They lost Gerald Henderson (3.6) and Noah Vonleh (0.5), but they also lost Lance Stephenson, who had a -0.9 Win Shares. They picked up Nic Batum (5.2), Jeremy Lin (2.7), Jeremy Lamb (1.6) and Frank Kaminsky (1.4). If you look at the moves that general manager Rich Cho has made, the Hornets are ready to find their way back into the postseason. One particularly shrewd move was to wander into the fallout of the DeAndre Jordan debacle and quietly sign Jeremy Lin, who had been considering going to the Mavericks if Jordan went there. Lin is not going to be the huge superstar that so many people thought he would be, but he is a major upgrade over the collection of backups the Hornets rolled through the point last year.

Which team is headed downward the most? Portland had 51.9 Win Shares and went 51-31 in the season, winning the Northwest Division. They had some huge losses from their roster: LaMarcus Aldridge (8.6), Wesley Matthews (6.2), Nic Batum (5.2) and Robin Lopez (5.1). They did add Gerald Henderson (3.6), Mason Plumlee (4.8) and Ed Davis (6.3), but their projected Win Shares for next season is 38.6, with a projected record of 39-43. Basically, when your team’s core falls apart and you don’t have a pick in the first round of the next season’s draft, then you are headed for big trouble.

NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/playerfile/gerald_henderson/)
Sports.Yahoo.com (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4728/)