October 30, 2012

2012-2013 NBA Central Division Odds & Prediction

The start of the NBA season is almost here. Over the next few days, BangtheBook will be taking a look at each division and providing a free prediction for the winner of that division. Next up is the Eastern Conference- Central Division. All odds listed are from BetOnline.

Chicago Bulls -

Odds to win Division: -180

Season Win Total:  48

Key Losses: CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer

Key Newcomers: Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague

 

Derrick Rose’s injury casts a major cloud over the Bulls season. No one seems to be certain when Rose will be back and whether he will be 100 percent at any point this year. The Bulls are still a good team without him, but certainly aren’t capable of winning a title without Rose in the lineup. The strength of this team is their depth in the frontcourt. Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Taj Gibson are tough for the opposition to handle. Teague was an interesting pick by the Bulls, and he could prove to be a nice player in the next few years. This team will make the playoffs with or without Rose, but they can’t go far without him healthy.

Indiana Pacers -

Odds to win Division: +115

Season Win Total:  51.5

Key Losses: Darren Collison, Leandro Barbosa

Key Newcomers: Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, D.J. Augustin

 

The Indiana Pacers had a nice run in the postseason last year. I believe that run will give this team quite a bit of confidence heading into this season. Roy Hibbert made a huge jump last year, and I expect him to be an All-Star once again this year. David West should be much healthier this year, and that will make a big difference. Gerald Green will join Paul George as another wing with great athleticism. George Hill will take over the point guard spot, and Augustin could be a very nice acquisition. This team doesn’t have as much star power as many at the top, but they are a well-rounded team that will be a tough out in the playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks -

Odds to win Division: +2,200

Season Win Total:  37.5

Key Losses: Stephen Jackson, Andrew Bogut, Carlos Delfino

Key Newcomers: Marquis Daniels, John Henson, Doron Lamb, Sam Dalembert

 

Scott Skiles decided to turn this team into a transition team last season, and they piled up the points. They nearly made the playoffs, but in the end their poor defense was too much to overcome. Can this team find a nice balance between pushing the tempo and still playing solid defense on the other end? Dalambert was a nice acquisition to shore up the interior defense. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in the backcourt means this team should run and gun with the best of them. They’ll need some contributions down low from John Henson and Ekpe Udoh. This isn’t a bad team, but it’s hard to see them keeping up with the Bulls or Pacers.

Detroit Pistons -

Odds to win Division: +4,800

Season Win Total:  31.5

Key Losses: Ben Gordon, Ben Wallace

Key Newcomers: Andre Drummond, Kyle Singler, Corey Maggette

 

The Detroit Pistons took a high risk/high reward draft pick in Andre Drummond. Drummond is the type of guy who could make or break this franchise over the next few years. He looks great in the preseason, but he will need to keep producing through the season. Detroit has a very nice young nucleus of players. The team has basically got rid of their veteran leaders to rebuild, but they appear to be on the upswing again. Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Brandon Knight, and Rodney Stuckey are the main guys who will drive this team. Maggette should give the team another consistent scoring option. Austin Daye and Kyle Singler are two guys who are wild cards for the team, and the Pistons will need them to be good. Consistency was an issue last year because of their inexperience.

Cleveland Cavaliers -

Odds to win Division: +4,800

Season Win Total:  30.5

Key Losses: Antawn Jamison, Ramon Sessions, Anthony Parker

Key Newcomers: Tyler Zeller, Dion Waiters, CJ Miles

 

The Clevaland Cavaliers surprised a lot of people by taking Dion Waiters instead of Harrison Barnes in this year’s NBA Draft. Waiters will have a lot of pressure on him to perform. Kyrie Irving earned the Rookie of the Year award last year, and he absolutely looks like a guy to build a franchise around. As long as he stays healthy, the Cavs are likely to be quite a bit better than they were last season. Tristan Thompson has a lot of potential, but he is still pretty raw right now. Tyler Zeller and a healthy Andersen Varejao should both be big contributors in the frontcourt as well. Cleveland won’t keep up with the best teams in the division, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see them compete for the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

 

Central Division Prediction: Indiana Pacers (+115)

The Bulls would definitely be my pick to win the division if Rose were healthy, but the Pacers are a team that is getting better by the year. They added some nice pieces in the offseason, and I think Indiana is a nice value in the Central Division this season.

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Kyle Hunter

is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!

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