Revisiting 2017/18 NBA Over/Under Predictions

Before the 2017/18 NBA season got underway, we polled Hoops Rumors readers on the win totals for each of the league’s 30 teams, using over/unders from major betting sites. From the Warriors (67.5) to the Bulls (22.5), our readers made their picks for whether each team’s win total would land over or under the projected figures.

The results of our polls suggested that the respondents were generally bullish on most NBA teams heading into 2017/18, with the “over” winning the vote for 23 teams, compared to just seven for the “under.” As I noted at the time, that outcome wasn’t technically impossible, but the unbalanced split indicated that we were probably a little too optimistic about some teams.

Nearly six months later, let’s check in on the results, comparing our over/under voting to each club’s actual win-loss record for 2017/18:

Western Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5: ✖️ (58-24)
  2. Houston Rockets: Over 55.5: ✔️ (65-17)
  3. San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5: ✖️ (47-35)
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5: ✖️ (48-34)
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5: ✖️ (47-35)
  6. Denver Nuggets: Under 45.5: ✖️ (46-36)
  7. Los Angeles Clippers: Over 43.5: ✖️ (42-40)
  8. Portland Trail Blazers: Over 42.5: ✔️ (49-33)
  9. Utah Jazz: Over 41.5: ✔️ (48-34)
  10. New Orleans Pelicans: Over 39.5: ✔️ (48-34)
  11. Memphis Grizzlies: Over 37.5: ✖️ (22-60)
  12. Dallas Mavericks: Under 35.5: ✔️ (24-58)
  13. Los Angeles Lakers: Over 33.5: ✔️ (35-47)
  14. Phoenix Suns: Over 28.5: ✖️ (21-61)
  15. Sacramento Kings: Over 27.5: ✖️ (27-55)
    Total record: 6-9

Eastern Conference:

  1. Boston Celtics: Over 55.5: ✖️ (55-27)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5: ✖️ (50-32)
  3. Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5: ✔️ (59-23)
  4. Washington Wizards: Over 47.5: ✖️ (43-39)
  5. Milwaukee Bucks: Over 47.5: ✖️ (44-38)
  6. Miami Heat: Over 43.5: ✔️ (44-38)
  7. Charlotte Hornets: Over 42.5: ✖️ (36-46)
  8. Philadelphia 76ers: Under 41.5: ✖️ (52-30)
  9. Detroit Pistons: Over 38.5: ✔️ (39-43)
  10. Orlando Magic: Under 33.5: ✔️ (25-57)
  11. Indiana Pacers: Under 31.5: ✖️ (48-34)
  12. New York Knicks: Under 30.5: ✔️ (29-53)
  13. Brooklyn Nets: Over 27.5: ✔️ (28-54)
  14. Atlanta Hawks: Over 25.5: ✖️ (24-58)
  15. Chicago Bulls: Under 22.5: ✖️ (27-55)
    Total record: 6-9

The lesson here? As always, don’t bet against Vegas. We made some nice calls, with our “over” picks on the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Jazz, and Pelicans turning out particularly well. But we were way off on several other teams — the Grizzlies missed their “over” projection by 16 games, while the Pacers missed going “under” 31.5 wins by a staggering 17 games. In total, we had a 12-18 record on over/under predictions.

So our overall results weren’t great, but did our “best bets” do any better? Let’s take a look. These were the five predictions that received the largest share of the vote:

  1. Orlando Magic: Under 33.5 (75.24%): ✔️
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%): ✖️
  3. Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%): ✖️
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%): ✖️
  5. San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%): ✖️

Our Magic pick looks good, but our optimism for the Thunder, Wizards, Cavs, and Spurs went unrewarded. Injuries played some part in Washington and San Antonio falling short of their projections, with John Wall and Kawhi Leonard missing significant time. But Cleveland and Oklahoma City were mostly just too inconsistent over the course of the season to reach their projected win totals.

Looking back at the preseason projections, along with our predictions, which team surprised or disappointed you the most? Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

newest oldest

14 thoughts on “Revisiting 2017/18 NBA Over/Under Predictions

  1. IndiansFan15

    The Pacers did way better than anyone would’ve predicted have to give them props

  2. Dionis

    Cleveland will be your 2018 NBA Champions. Lebron has wings now in Hood and Green who can defend,shoot, and rebound. This bench is much more formidable also. Clarkson won’t be scoring 3 points in 5 games like Deron Williams.

    • mcase7187

      Please even if they do make it out of the east there’s no way they a betting any one in the West

        • ohiodevil

          I’m a Cavs fan and I don’t think they have a chance against Houston or Golden State. They don’t play enough defense and won’t be able to keep up with either the Rockets or Warriors.

          • Dionis

            Come on dude the Cavs have a deeper team top to bottom. They can certainly beat those two teams easily. they’ve got the best player in the game that’s an upper hand off the gate. Don’t be so negative.

            • ohiodevil

              Have you watched this team at all this year? It takes more than one player to win and Cavs may have best player but he can only do so much. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were knocked off by Toronto….unlikely but could happen.

  3. x%sure

    10-5!! 67%sure.
    Yes I am vain enough to look through the comment sections of all 30 team articles.

    I wonder if HR could tally up the votes by voter, and see how the voters voted. Probably they did not keep track.

  4. formerlyz

    I was 13-17, one of the worst I’ve ever done…I had some things right that weren’t here, and some things wrong that were correct here…obvious ones that hurt my score were GS, Boston, OKC, Portland, Philly, and New Orleans . I had Utah and Indiana both around 45 wins, so I got those right. There were a couple of almost pushes this year as well

    • x%sure

      The service HR used was pretty accurate. I could not pick a side half the time

Leave a Reply