Atlanta Hawks – Over 32.5
Following a 29-53 season, the Hawks have opened up at 32.5 wins. To me, this seems like an easy over. Last year the Hawks got off to a rough start, heading into the All-Star break at 19-39. The Hawks ended the season 10-14 after the break, led by Trae Young’s 24.7 PPG. This already young core has added two promising young players in De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. Not only do I expect them to cover this over, I think you can expect this team to be competing for the 8th seed in the East.
New York Knicks – Under 28.5
The New York Knicks, coming off their league worst 17-65 record, are opening up for a second straight year at 28.5. The Knicks were a complete dumpster fire this last season, and their biggest free agency moves include the acquisitions of Bobby Portis and Julius Randle. The Knicks have made it clear their plan is to build around RJ Barrett for the future, which is destined to have some growing pains. I don’t expect a lot from the Knicks this year and see them falling in the bottom five of the league once again.
Miami Heat – Over 42.5
I’m not really sure what to make of the Heat’s 2018-19 season. Dwyane Wade’s goodbye tour seemed to be more of the focus than actually making the playoffs. Despite this, the Heat still managed to win 39 games. The Heat made a big splash this free agency by adding Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade with the 76ers. This sign-and-trade did come at the expense of Josh Richardson, but Butler is an upgrade at this position and will add leadership and playoff experience to this young Miami team.
Houston Rockets – Over 52.5
The Rockets made a huge deal this offseason by dealing Chris Paul and future picks to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Thunder. The pairing of Harden and Westbrook will be interesting to say the least. The two played together in their early years in Oklahoma City, however, they were much different players at that point in their careers. Harden led the NBA last year in isolation possessions per game, while Westbrook himself was third. The two are both players who need the ball in their hand, which causes concerns for how the two will fit together. With all this being said, the Rockets just upgraded their point guard position. It may take some time for the two to figure out how they want to play with each other, but the Rockets, who finished last season 53-29, got better from this trade and their record should reflect this. To read more on Russ and his new fit with the Rockets, click here.
Orlando Magic – Under 40.5
It was nice to see Orlando return to the playoffs last season, but don’t expect to see it again. The Magic finished their season on an 11-2 run to squeeze their way into the playoffs, a run that consisted of wins against 3 teams with winning records. The Magic also fared well in their division, getting the best of Heat, Wizards and Hawks. But with both the Heat and Hawks getting better this offseason, I see the Magic taking a big step back from their 42-40 season last year.