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Eastern Conference Preview by Marc Lawrence – Against The Number

Welcome to the 2018-19 NBA season. Listed under is our preview of each group in the Eastern Conference. Observe that each one teams are listed alphabetically with the opening Westgate SuperBook season win totals on 8/5/18 contained in parenthesis. Make sure to be a part of me this season for my prime choices on the NBA card at Against The Number!

Atlanta Hawks (23.5) – Behind a bevy of younger expertise, the Hawks are constructing for the longer term. Rookies Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman will group with last yr’s 1st round decide Taurean Prince for brand spanking new GM Travis Schlenk, who spent his time serving to build the Warriors in Golden State. To no shock, Schlenk is using the Warriors blueprint to rebuild this franchise and it begins with new head coach Lloyd Pierce. Veteran Vince Carter will probably be relied on to temper the youth movement. John Collins and Jeremy Lin may also be contributing pieces. Betting nugget: The Hawks are 5-14 ATS as favorites towards foes coming off consecutive losses, including 1-6 ATS away.

Boston Celtics (57.5) – Largest additions this season are the return to health of All-Star F Gordon Hayward who missed last season with a broken leg, All-Star G Kyrie Irving who was dominated out for the season on March 11 with knee surgery, and G Marcus Sensible who tore ligaments in his thumb on the same day. Hayward performed 5 minutes, Irving only 60 video games, and Sensible 54 video games, with all three sidelined for the playoffs. In addition, Jaylen Brown, Jason Tatum, Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes make this workforce the deepest within the Eastern Conference. So long as they don’t fear about who begins they’re the group to beat within the East. – Betting nugget: The Celtics are 128-95-2 ATS away behind Stevens, including 16-Four ATS as a canine of 11 or more factors (10-0 in non-conference video games), however only 1-7 ATS as a favorite of greater than Eight points.

Brooklyn Nets (32.5) – Mark it down. Within the last season of his rookie contract, Nets PG D’Angelo Russell could possibly be in for giant marketing campaign. If he irons out his inconsistency issues he might be headed for an enormous payday. His backcourt mate, Allen Crabbe, is a 40% shooter from outdoors the arc, whereas F DeMarre Carroll is coming off a career yr. Vegas likes them as their season win complete is up 6 video games from final season. – Betting nugget: The Nets are 22-12 ATS when coming off a win towards foes coming off a win since Russell joined the group in 2015, including 14-Four ATS away.

Charlotte Hornets (35.5) – The season win complete this yr is 7 video games lower than last yr, and for all the best causes. New GM Mitch Kupchak welcomes former Spurs assistant James Borrego as his new head coach and with it a roster overhaul is in the making. Future Hall of Fame PG Tony Parker comes over from San Antonio to back up Kemba Walker. They’ll rely on high-fling rookie Myles Bridges (No. 12 decide on this yr’s draft) to workforce with last yr’s prime rookie Malik Monk to from a brand new younger nucleus. And it’s time for Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky to stand and ship. – Betting nugget: The Hornets are 14-7 ATS in their franchise history as division games towards foes off a SU favourite loss, including 6-Zero ATS when Charlotte is coming off consecutive losses.

Chicago Bulls (27.5) – Regardless of a 9-27 finish to the season last yr, and behind a wholesome Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine, this yr’s season win complete is up 6 games from last season. But then again it had nowhere to go but up. Accused by lots of “tanking” late final yr, the Bulls slipped into the No. 7 spot within the draft the place they selected 19-year-old Wendell Carter Jr. Together with first staff All-Rookie F Laurie Markkenen (15.2 PPG and seven.5 RPG) the Bulls are younger and gifted and will they come together they figure to problem for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Betting nugget: The Bulls are just Three-13 ATS as favorites towards Western Conference opponents the last two seasons.

Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5) – Sure, with the King taking his act to Hollywood, the most important group drop in season wins complete from last yr to this was made by the Cavs (53.5 in 2017-18). So the roller coaster experience for Cleveland continues with F Kevin Love as the brand new anchor. First round draft selection Collin Sexton has the power and the temperament to be within the league Rookie of the Yr speak. With head coach Tyronn Lue now sitting squarely on the recent seat sans James, he’ll need profession years from George Hill, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith to turn down the flames. Betting nugget: The Cavaliers are 9-1 ATS as double-digit residence canine.

Detroit Pistons (37.5) – The Pistons welcomes the NBA Coach of the Yr, two beasts underneath the basket, and the return of an All Star level guard… but they don’t seem to be projected to make the playoffs. Dwane Casey led the Toronto Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs final season, while Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond determine to successfully patrol the paint. And Reggie Jackson returns to distribute the ball after lacking 37 video games last season with an ankle damage (they have been 27-18 in games he played). If Stanley Johnson can finally stay up to his capability, Detroit’s stating five might seat to only Boston within the convention. – Betting nugget: The Pistons are 16-5 ATS as a house dog in division games when coming off a loss.

Indiana Pacers (47.5) – One of the largest moves in win totals from last season to this (Pacers have been 31.5 wins last yr), Indiana did a nice job within the offseason maintaining gamers in place whereas adding key pieces to bolster the assault in Tyreke Evans and Doug McDermott. If G Victor Oladipo retains his All-Star standing, this cohesive crew of unselfish gamers – 7 of which averaged double-digits last season – ought to be again in the playoffs by season’s finish, especially with seven of it’s prime nine salaried players within the ultimate yr of their contracts. – Betting nugget: Indiana is 12-32-1 ATS at house off a loss in double no-rest video games towards Eastern Conference foes.

Miami Warmth (41.5) – Vegas sees comparable outcome for the Heat this season as last when the win complete was 43.5 and Miami gained 41 games in the course of the regular season. Back making his last curtain name, veteran Dywane Wade’s farewell tour will discover him within the company of main scorer Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson who each averaged double-digits. In addition, former first round F Justice Winslow and rugged glassman Bam Adebayo seem poised for a breakout yr. In the event that they improve any at all they might make it one step additional to the second-round of the playoffs this season. – Betting nugget: Miami is Eight-28-1 ATS at house towards division foes coming off a SU underdog win.

Milwaukee Bucks (46.5) – Like Miami, the Bucks season win complete was adjusted only barely from final season to this. Milwaukee’s largest offseason move was the hiring of Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta), because it’s new head coach. Within the course of the Bucks introduced hack Ersan Ilyasova, a former Buck who played with Budenholzer in Atlanta, and veteran C Brook Lopez. However all hopes are pinned on the ‘Greek Freak’ star C Giannis Antekounmpo, a reliable MVP candidate. PG Eric Bledsoe, in has free agent season, will steer the ship while 20 PPG Khris Middleton ought to be extremely productive following a devastating hamstring tear. Colour the Bucks playoff sure this season. – Betting nugget: The Bucks are 11-26-1 ATS at house towards dropping foes the final two seasons.

New York Knicks (29.5) – Not a lot movement from last season’s 30.5 win complete as the Knickerbockers are as soon as once more ranging from ground zero this yr. Or maybe we should always say sub zero with their greatest player Kristaps Porzingis out until February with a torn ACL. New head coach David Fizdale takes over for Jeff Hornacek and he instantly chosen 6-foot-9 F Kevin Knox, solely 19 years previous, with the No. 9 decide on this yr’s NBA draft. Fizdale had the league’s seventh-ranked protection in his one full season at Memphis. They’ll want him to crack the whip, as they’ve been a worse-than-average defensive workforce in 16 of the final 17 seasons. The good news is G Tim Hardaway Jr. noticed his scoring average rise to 17.5 PPG. The dangerous information is he was the worst Three-point shooter in the league of 59 gamers with at the least 350 makes an attempt. – Betting nugget: The Knicks are 3-16 ATS as a home canine without relaxation following a SUATS loss.

Orlando Magic (31.5) – Here we go once more. Since drafting Dwight Howard and seeing him depart eight years later in 2012, Orlando has gained 30 or extra games once in six seasons. Behind emerging star F Aaron Gordon, the Magic hope 7-foot rim protector Mohamed Bamba, their prime decide on this yr’s NBA draft will help erase reminiscences Howard’s fleeting profession in the Magic Kingdom. New head coach Steve Clifford instantly acquired PG Jerian Grant from Chicago and added former first-rounder Jarell Martin from Memphis. Clifford knows the Southeast Division from his days in Charlotte, a group he lead to the playoffs. If Nikola Vucevic effectively anchors the middle and SG Evan Fournier continues to ascend the Magic can be better than the Mickey Mouse popularity that precedes them. – Betting nugget: Orlando is 1-19 ATS in its final twenty video games as a division favourite.

Philadelphia 76ers (54.5) – Is the Sixers’ 12 recreation projected season win complete of 54.5 this yr (up from 42.5 final yr) warranted? Perhaps. But you’ll be able to’t argue with success and Philadelphia has loved unprecedented achievement the previous two seasons. That’s confirmed by the truth that they witnessed the league’s largest improve in profitable proportion, enhancing from 10-72 in 2015-16 to 52-30 last season once they gained their final 16 games of the regular season and blew out the Miami Heat a first-round playoff collection. They paid the worth for fulfillment within the offseason, although, when GM Bryan Colangelo resigned in June and two key reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova have been misplaced in free company. New GM Elton Brand is tasked with replicating last yr’s profitable methods. With a starting lineup that features four players – Robert Covington, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons – which might be 6-foot-9 or taller, the Sixers must be a very good defensive workforce. The query is will they be higher. – Betting nugget: Philadelphia is 10-1 ATS as a house canine towards non-conference opponents.

Toronto Raptors (55.5) – Sure, it was a very good season in Toronto last marketing campaign. The gained a franchise-record 59 regular season games, and have been the only staff to rank within the prime five in each offensive and defensive efficiency. But after a third straight playoff exit at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, sweeping modifications have been made. NBA Coach of the Yr Dwane Casey was proven the door and All-Star G DeMar DeRozan was traded for Kawhi Leonard in a shocking swap of MVP candidates. Former assistant Nick Nurse takes over and with it look for bombs away to be the mantra in Toronto. In Nurse’s two seasons as coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2011-12 and ’12-13), the group took 33 % of its photographs from 3-point range, a fee that was four occasions the G League common. If Leonard is wholesome his addition might be a home run. If not, the Raptors could have swung for the fences and struck out. Keep tune – Betting nugget: The Raptors are 15-3-2 ATS in its final twenty video games as canine of more than Three or more factors in non-conference video games.

Washington Wizards (44.5) – The Wizards have been the category of the Southeast last season. The query is with LeBron James now performing in Los Angles, can they compete for more than a division title this season? The starting guard tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal is arguably the perfect in the league. Strong additions of Dwight Howard, Austin Rivers, and Jeff Green dramatically improve the depth on the roster. Sarcastically, Howard replaces Martin Gortat, who was Howard’s backup in Orlando. In the meantime, Otto Porter Jr. inked an enormous contract two seasons in the past and delivered on his promise when he averaged 14.7 and 6.4 points and rebound per recreation final season. With the Wizards in search of their first 50-win effort and trip to the convention finals within the Wall-Ball period, look for a deeper bench to offer the path. – Betting nugget: The Wizards are 3-11 ATS as double-digit favorites when enjoying with out rest.

Join the NBA Season with Marc Lawrence right HERE and examine back subsequent week for Marc’s 2018-2019 Western Conference Preview.

Writer: Marc Lawrence

Marc started handicapping professionally in 1975. He developed a love for the career as a scholar in high school, where he met his lovely wife and has been happily married with one baby (Marc Jr.) since.

Achievements in handicapping: By means of numerous hours of onerous work, willpower, and his trusted database, Marc has been lucky sufficient to win more documented Prime 10 Handicapping Achievement Awards than anyone in the nation (over 500). Newer accomplishments embrace Eight profitable seasons in final 9 years combined on the NFL and School Football gridiron (suffered first dropping season in 9 years in 2016). In consequence he additionally had a string of 10 consecutive profitable seasons in the NFL snapped final yr as properly. As well as he established an NFL season-long document going 28-9 in the course of the 2014 common season campaign as documented by the Sports Monitor in Oklahoma. Other prime achievements embrace profitable the 2008 Playbook Football Clever Guys Contest and the No.1 ranking in NFL Win Proportion in 2008 (by SPORTS WATCH in Las Vegas), Playbook Soccer Clever Guys Contest Greatest Guess Champion in 2007, No.1 ranking NFL Win Proportion (by SPORTS MONITOR in Oklahoma City) in 2006, and No. 1 ranking in School Football in 2005 (by SPORTS MONITOR in Oklahoma). Marc was also lucky sufficient to win the distinguished STARDUST INVITATIONAL FOOTBALL CONTEST in 2005. As well as, and was named HANDICAPPER OF THE YEAR in 2005 by FOOTBALL NEWS. He reached the semifinals of the 2006 LEROYS MONEY TALKS CONTEST and the quarterfinals of the 2007 LEROYS MONEY TALKS CONTEST. as well as he also managed to determine a private greatest 16-game win streak in MLB prior to the 2011 All-Star break.

Marc hosted each a weekly tv and radio present referred to as Marc Lawrence Against The Spread for 10 years within the late 1990’s. He at present writes a weekly NFL column for the USA TODAY Sports Weekly and has authored hundreds of articles, whereas illuminating on the truth that three main types of sports handicapping exist. Those are Elementary, Statistical and Technical. He believes that with a purpose to be a profitable handicapper one have to be a well-rounded handicapper, which means it’s critically necessary to blend all three varieties into the handicapping equation. Marc relies heavily on a strong database that permits me to question scores, stat and outcomes of video games performed since 1980 in School and Professional Soccer, along with School and Pro Basketball. By with the ability to determine and recreate similar conditions, and checking them towards the database, he has come to depend on comparable outcomes created by this technical ‘cause and effect’. It’s like Winston Churchill once stated, “The farther back you can look the farther forward you can see.” Applying these findings to statistical and elementary matchups makes for a strong handicap. By making use of ‘value’ to the handicap we study to win in the long term. And profitable, in the long run, is what it’s all about.

Marc additionally believes that fatal errors are made by players who fall in love with a sure staff(s). The bottom line is they are all ‘machines’ and our job as handicappers is to determine these which are properly oiled and hitting on all cylinders, and conversely those who usually are not. His main focus is isolating on profitable groups in underdog situations which have an excellent probability of profitable the sport in straight-up style. If they do, you win. If they don’t, but play properly, you continue to win. If they do neither, you lose. I like these kinds of odds. Therefore, Marc lives by the ‘Woody Hayes’ principle of handicapping. Hayes’ rivalry was that whenever you cross the ball, three things can happen and two of them are dangerous. With regards to handicapping sporting events, three things can happen once you guess on a favourite, and two of them are dangerous. Conversely, three things can happen once you guess on a canine, and two of them are good. Take into consideration that the subsequent time you’re convinced a favourite can’t lose.
He lives his life by the GOLDEN RULE and applies it to his enterprise practices as nicely. Nothing, completely nothing, overcomes dedication, expertise, onerous work and knowledge. Collectively they assist one make knowledgeable selections. In relation to Sports Handicapping Marc is actually one of many hardest working professionals in the business. Due to his want to be the easiest handicapper he can probably be, and his work ethic, he continues to burn the midnight oil working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days every week. The final time he took a trip was on his 25th wedding ceremony anniversary over 25 years ago. Marc has discovered through the years that the more durable he works, the luckier he will get… and he’s an actual fortunate guy.