Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

October 20, 2009

The Painted Area Looks at Over-Unders

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 12:28 pm

In an annual tradition, M.Haubs of The Painted Area looks at the Vegas lines and uses advanced statistics (including our own SCHOENE projections from Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-10) to pick out the best bets among them (an exercise strictly for academic purposes, naturally). In the end, Haubs makes five picks, including taking the over on the Portland Trail Blazers.

POR OVER 52.5 (54 last season)
Last season, we took Portland over 44.5 after winning 41 in 2007-08, even though (John) Hollinger projected them for just 42. We just felt like this team wasn’t going to end up getting worse, and we make this pick on a similar rationale this season.

52.5 is a high number, but the Blazers won 54 last season as the second-youngest team in the league. Further, Hollinger pointed out in his team forecast that – in terms of point differential plus the bad luck that Portland opponents shot .803 from the foul line, the highest opp. FT% in the 39 years the stat has been tracked – the Blazers actually performed like a 61-win team statistically.

We have concerns about how Andre Miller will fit, but we just can’t imagine a team so young getting worse. We love team depth, which Portland certainly has, in making these regular-season predictions. On top of that, we see Greg Oden making good strides this season. We just can’t imagine them not holding steady with last year’s win total, at the least.

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