Proudly presented by

NBA MIDPOINT: Eastern Conference progress report with over/under win projections

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Led by reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks are on track for 71 victories -- an 11-win jump from last season.

Now that every NBA club has passed the midseason point of 41 games, this seems like a good time to revisit BATSBY Sports’ over/under predictions for the 2019-20 campaign — exclusively based off Westgate Sportsbook’s win projections from mid-October.

The results of this exercise, as of January 20, reveal a mixed bag of unqualified successes … and horribly wrong estimations.

For today’s piece, let’s focus on the hits, misses and 50/50 propositions within the Eastern Conference:

SPOT-ON CALLS

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 58.5

2019-20 PACE: 71 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

TORONTO RAPTORS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 46.5

2019-20 PACE: 55.2 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

INDIANA PACERS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 46.5

2019-20 PACE: 52.2 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

BROOKLYN NETS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 44.5

2019-20 PACE: 35.2 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

NEW YORK KNICKS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 28.5

2019-20 PACE: 22.4 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 55.5

2019-20 PACE: 52.8 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

CHARLOTTE HORNETS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 23.5

2019-20 PACE: 27.3 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

CHICAGO BULLS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 33.5

2019-20 PACE: 29.2 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

BREAKDOWN

a) So far, so good for the explosive Bucks, who rank first overall in scoring (119.4 points per game … 17 blowouts of 17-plus points) and 10th in scoring defense.

What’s more, Milwaukee hasn’t lost back-to-back games all season; and the club owns the NBA’s longest victory streak of the year (18 games).

Put it all together, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (per-game averages: 30 points, 12.9 rebounds. 5.6 assists, 1.1 steals) could be another smooth bet for claiming consecutive NBA MVP awards.

b) Kawhi Leonard might have been the Raptors’ best player during last season’s championship run, but shame on the Vegas experts for giving this year’s Toronto squad the short shift, projections-wise.

Only 46.5 victories? What an absurdly low projection, factoring in how the Raptors had a 17-5 mark last season — without Leonard in the lineup.

c) There might have been some justification for under-selling the Pacers this season (46.6 wins), given the injury-related absence of Victor Oladipo.

But Indiana has responded with a highly versatile club that boasts three 17-plus-point scorers (Damantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren) and seven different players averaging double-digit points.

As such, with Oladipo set to return in a matter of weeks, and the Pacers currently ranking in scoring defense, clearing 50 victories by season’s end should be eminently doable.

d) We knew this would be a tough transition season for the Nets, as they waded through the uber-anticipation of Kevin Durant (recovering from an Achilles tear) and Kyrie Irving joining a young, hungry roster of complementary assets … for the 2020-21 campaign.

And yet, no one could have foreseen a woeful pace of 35.2 victories this year, while primarily encountering middling Eastern Conference competition.

These are the consequences of Irvin and Caris LeVert partaking in only 32 of a combined 84 games to date.

Bottom line: Too many players dressed in street clothes … usually leads to major struggles on the court.

e) Sure, we committed to an UNDER pick back in October, and the Knicks have responded with six different slides of three or more defeats.

But we’re still optimistic about the Knicks’ future — assuming the franchise can stay the course with its presumptive core: Dennis Smith Jr., R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.

The only potential bust of the group: Through 43 games, Knox holds painfully mediocre averages of 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL

WASHINGTON WIZARDS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 27.5

2019-20 PACE: 27.3 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 24.5

2019-20 PACE: 22.4 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

ORLANDO MAGIC
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 41.5

2019-20 PACE: 39.1 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

UGLY CALLS

MIAMI HEAT
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 43.5

2019-20 PACE: 57.2 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: UNDER

DETROIT PISTONS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 37.5

2019-20 PACE: 29.8 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

BOSTON CELTICS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 49.5

2019-20 PACE: 54.7 victories
BATSBYPRESEASON PICK: UNDER

ATLANTA HAWKS
WESTGATE OVER/UNDER: 33.5

2019-20 PACE: 18.6 victories
BATSBY PRESEASON PICK: OVER

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter