What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Well, not when it comes to your money. Money and sports are arguably the most exciting couple in the world. I for one do not participate in gambling. Well, with real money that is.
At the beginning of each NBA and NFL season I like to look at Vegas’ expected win totals for each team. Then I make “bets” with imaginary money. I usually pretend I have $500 to gamble. I pick the over/under and put in a fake bet depending on how confident I am with the pick. At the end of the season I look back and see how much money I would have made (or lost). Some of people out there actually have real balls and decide to bet with real money. Go figure.
For this piece I would like to analyze the over/under for the Charlotte Bobcats. Vegas has their expected win total at 27.5. You can find all expected season totals here. Let’s analyze the Bobcats expected win total to decide which way to bet.
Charlotte won 21 games last year, meaning they need to win seven more to hit the over. The first thing we need to look at is if the Bobcats got better. I think the answer to that is obvious, yes. Charlotte has a new head coach in Steve Clifford and added rookie Cody Zeller and veteran big man Al Jefferson. Actually, the biggest addition to this year’s team may be experience. So, the Bobcats are more talented no doubt.
The next thing I like to look at is their strength of schedule. Orlando, Miami, Washington and Atlanta are in their division. Charlotte went 6-10 in the Southeast Division, which is a .375 winning percentage. To hit the over of 28 wins, the Bobcats need to win a .341 clip. With Atlanta getting worse with the loss of Josh Smith, the Southeast Division got a little easier.
The third and last thing I like to look at is the overall strength of the Eastern Conference. In my opinion, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston and Philadelphia got significantly worse. The only teams I see significantly better are the Pistons, with the Bulls, Cavaliers and Wizards if healthy (big ifs). I see all the other teams performing around the same level. So, I see the Eastern Conference weaker than last year.
All the factors I look point toward more wins for the ‘Cats, so I am going to pick the over and say they win 31 games in 2013-14.*
*Not responsible for any lost bets.