The NBA season is less than four weeks away and that means Las Vegas has to get those over/unders published as soon as possible. This week we begin with one of the largest, Las Vegas Superbook, who pegs the New Orleans Pelicans over/under at 47.5 wins. That's good for seventh in the Western Conference and just three games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (50.5) for sixth.
To compare, last year Superbook put the Pelicans over/under at 41.5 and ninth in the Western Conference. Despite injuries to Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Jrue Holiday New Orleans exceeded the win total and clawed their way into the playoffs on the final night of the season against the San Antonio Spurs. It is important, here, to note that these numbers are placed not only how many games Las Vegas expects each team to win but also on breaking even. That involves the betting public and their well-known (to Las Vegas, assuredly) biases.
Now, do I think that number is a good or accurate number? Absolutely. In all honesty I would have no confidence betting on that line either direction despite my increased familiarity with the team and my fandom. Another wave of injuries and the under feels pretty safe. If everything clicks with Alvin Gentry and Darren Erman plus this team gets moderate injury luck? 50+ wins is in the cards, as both Tom Ziller and Paul Flannery wrote on Thursday.