NBA Power Ranking: The Lakers are #3, Ahead of the Nuggets and Rockets

1LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 48-34 | 2020 Projection: 53.9 Wins
Win 68% of Neutral Court Simulations

With their massive move to get Kawhi and PG the Clippers are now #1 in the West with nearly 53 wins per simulation. This assumes Kawhi sits around 15 games as part of load management. If not for load management the Clippers would be a 57+ win team. Our projection recommends not betting on them to win it all. Their 16.5% chance is #1 in the league. Current Odds are 7/2, 22.2%. Our projection is leaning on them to win under 54.5 games. The Clippers are averaging 53.9 wins per sim. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the West. Their 48-34 record last season was way ahead of what was expected of them. Their expected win percentage was just 52%.

2MILWAUKEE BUCKS 60-22 | 2020 Projection: 54.1 Wins
Win 64% of Neutral Court Simulations

Their championship based ranking is better than their #4 ranking based on our neutral court simulations. They are a good bet to win the championship (14.3 percent chance). Current Odds are 6/1, 14.3%. The Bucks are averaging 54.1 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 58 wins. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the East. They went 60-22 last season. They were very good against the spread going 47-32-3 for (+1180 profit).

3LOS ANGELES LAKERS 37-45 | 2020 Projection: 51.7 Wins
Win 66% of Neutral Court Simulations

Oddsmakers give them the 2nd best chance of winning the championship despite not being a Top 5 team in wins. If they are fully healthy they are our Computer Model's #1 team. But with likely load management and injuries for LeBron and Anthony Davis we do not project them to have home court advantage in the West Finals or NBA Finals which hurts their chances of winning it all. Their 13.5% chance is #3 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 4/1, 20%. The Lakers are averaging 51.7 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 50 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #3 in the West. They went 37-45 last season. They were not good against the spread going 35-46-1 (-1560 loss).

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4PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 51-31 | 2020 Projection: 52 Wins
Win 62% of Neutral Court Simulations

Philadelphia was projected to be a 55 win team if they were able to bring back their roster from last season. Without Redick and Jimmy Butler they slip to a 50 win team. By getting Al Horford they move back up to a 52 win team. If futures lines were not heavily juiced, the 76ers would be a good betting value. Their 9.8% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #4 in the league. Current Odds are 8/1, 11.1%. The 76ers are averaging 52 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 55 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #2 in the East. They went 51-31 last season. They were not good against the spread going 38-44 (-1040 loss).

5DENVER NUGGETS 54-28 | 2020 Projection: 52.2 Wins
Win 62% of Neutral Court Simulations

Their championship based ranking is better than their #7 ranking based on our neutral court simulations. Even with the juice, the Nuggets are a good betting value. Their 7.9% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #5 in the league. Current Odds are 16/1, 5.9%. The Nuggets are averaging 52.2 wins per sim which is essentially the same as their futures line of 52.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #2 in the West. They went 54-28 last season. They went 42-40 against the spread (-200 loss).

6BOSTON CELTICS 49-33 | 2020 Projection: 50.6 Wins
Win 60% of Neutral Court Simulations

They are much worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #9 in the league. Without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford their projected win total dropped significantly from 51 down to 44. With Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter and improved chemistry they are back up to a 48 win projection. They are a good bet to win the championship (7.6 percent chance). Current Odds are 25/1, 3.8%. The Celtics are averaging 50.6 wins per sim which makes them a decent bet to win over 49.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #4 in the East. They went 49-33 last season. They were not good against the spread going 38-42-2 (-820 loss).

7GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 57-25 | 2020 Projection: 49.8 Wins
Win 64% of Neutral Court Simulations

The Warriors are only projected to win 50 games with the injury to Klay Thompson, the losses of key veterans and the addition of new pieces like D'Angelo Russell. But come March 2020 they should be back on solid footing. If futures lines were not heavily juiced, the Warriors would be a good betting value. Their 7.2% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #7 in the league. Current Odds are 12/1, 7.7%. The Warriors are averaging 49.8 wins per sim which makes them a decent bet to win over 49 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #6 in the West. Their 57-25 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their game-by-game odds projected record was 60.9-21.1. They are much better in our neutral power ranking. Their sim win percentage vs every other team on a neutral court has them as the #3 team in the league.

8HOUSTON ROCKETS 53-29 | 2020 Projection: 51.4 Wins
Win 62% of Neutral Court Simulations

The Rockets would have been wise to get over their chemistry issues from last season and just try to win in '19-20 with the same core. But clearly the Harden-Paul relationship was broken. The Rockets had the best record when Paul was healthy for the past 2 seasons. To think that Russell Westbrook would be a better POINT GUARD is crazy. They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 7.2% chance is #8 in the league. Current Odds are 8/1, 11.1%. The Rockets are averaging 51.4 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 54.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #4 in the West. They were expected to win 64% of their games last season so their 53-29 met expectations. If healthy on a neutral court they have a better power ranking (#6 in the league).

9INDIANA PACERS 48-34 | 2020 Projection: 51 Wins
Win 58% of Neutral Court Simulations

It looked like Ricky Rubio was going to go to Indiana immediately after Darren Collison retired. Our projection for the Pacers dropped from 50 to 48 wins because Rubio cannot shoot. By getting Brogden (and Jeremy Lamb) instead they improved to 50+ wins despite losing Thaddeus Young and not retaining Bogdanovic. They are a great long-shot value to win the Championship. Even with the juice, the Pacers are a good betting value. Their 5.5% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #9 in the league. Current Odds are 50/1, 2%. The Pacers are averaging 51 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 47.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #3 in the East. They went 48-34 last season. They were not good against the spread going 40-41-1 (-510 loss).

10UTAH JAZZ 50-32 | 2020 Projection: 50.8 Wins
Win 62% of Neutral Court Simulations

Our projection recommends not betting on them to win it all. Their 5.3% chance is #10 in the league. Current Odds are 14/1, 6.7%. The Jazz are averaging 50.8 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 54.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #5 in the West. They went 50-32 last season. They were very good against the spread going 44-37-1 for (+330 profit). They are better in our neutral power ranking. Their sim win percentage vs every other team on a neutral court has them as the #8 team in the league.

11TORONTO RAPTORS 58-24 | 2020 Projection: 47 Wins
Win 57% of Neutral Court Simulations

Without Kawhi Leonard the Raptors dropped to under 47 wins per simulation and the 4th spot in the East. Their chance of repeating were right around 14 percent with Kawhi Leonard. That dropped by nearly 11 percentage points after Kawhi left. They are a good bet to win the championship (2.2 percent chance). Current Odds are 100/1, 1%. The Raptors are averaging 47 wins per sim which is essentially the same as their futures line of 46.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #5 in the East. They went 58-24 last season. They were not good against the spread going 37-44-1 (-1140 loss).

12BROOKLYN NETS 42-40 | 2020 Projection: 45.4 Wins
Win 54% of Neutral Court Simulations

They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 1.3% chance is #12 in the league. Current Odds are 50/1, 2%. The Nets are averaging 45.4 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 43.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #6 in the East. They went 42-40 last season. They were very good against the spread going 45-37 for (+430 profit).

13SAN ANTONIO SPURS 48-34 | 2020 Projection: 43.3 Wins
Win 54% of Neutral Court Simulations

They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 0.5% chance is #13 in the league. Current Odds are 50/1, 2%. The Spurs are averaging 43.3 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 46.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #8 in the West. Their 48-34 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. Their expected win percentage was 55%.

14PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 53-29 | 2020 Projection: 43.7 Wins
Win 54% of Neutral Court Simulations

Portland has dropped from a projected 4 Seed immediately at the end of the last season to a 7 seed as the Clippers, Lakers, Jazz have leap frogged them. Our projection recommends not betting on them to win it all. Their 0.4% chance is #14 in the league. Current Odds are 40/1, 2.4%. The Trail Blazers are averaging 43.7 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 46.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #7 in the West. Their 53-29 record last season was way ahead of what was expected of them. Their expected win percentage was just 57%.

15MIAMI HEAT 39-43 | 2020 Projection: 41.8 Wins
Win 50% of Neutral Court Simulations

Their 0.3% chance is #15 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 100/1, 1%. The Heat are averaging 41.8 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 43.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #7 in the East. They were expected to win 49% of their games last season so their 39-43 met expectations.

16DETROIT PISTONS 41-41 | 2020 Projection: 40.8 Wins
Win 49% of Neutral Court Simulations

Their simulation based win percentage (0.3%) is not better than their odds implied probability but it would be if not for the juice on the lines. Current Odds are 300/1, 0.3%. The Pistons are averaging 40.8 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 37.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #8 in the East. They were expected to win 50% of their games last season so their 41-41 met expectations.

17ORLANDO MAGIC 42-40 | 2020 Projection: 39.7 Wins
Win 49% of Neutral Court Simulations

Their 0.1% chance is #17 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 200/1, 0.5%. The Magic are averaging 39.7 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 42 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #9 in the East. They went 42-40 last season. They were very good against the spread going 44-36-2 for (+440 profit).

18DALLAS MAVERICKS 33-49 | 2020 Projection: 39.7 Wins
Win 50% of Neutral Court Simulations

If healthy on a neutral court they have a better power ranking (#16 in the league). Their 0.1% chance is #18 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 100/1, 1%. Our projection is leaning on them to win under 41 games. The Mavericks are averaging 39.7 wins per sim. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #9 in the West. They went 33-49 last season. They were very good against the spread going 45-35-2 for (+650 profit).

19NEW ORLEANS PELICANS 33-49 | 2020 Projection: 38 Wins
Win 48% of Neutral Court Simulations

Adding Zion Williamson had a massive impact on their projected win total. Before the draft they were projected for just 25 wins. But even a 9 win improvement only improved them from 14th best in the conference to 13th. By adding one of the best pure shooters in the league in JJ Redick they jumped 4 more wins. It comes down to Zion Williamson. If he is a 18 pt, 9 reb "very good" rookie they win 38. But if he is an instant 23 pt, 10 reb, all defense player as a rookie they could definitely be in the playoffs. They win the championship in less than 0.1% of simulations. Current Odds are 100/1, 1%. Our projection is leaning on them to win under 39 games. The Pelicans are averaging 38 wins per sim. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #10 in the West. They went 33-49 last season. They were not good against the spread going 38-43-1 (-930 loss).

20OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 49-33 | 2020 Projection: 35.4 Wins
Win 45% of Neutral Court Simulations

They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Thunder are averaging 35.4 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 31.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #11 in the West. They were expected to win 62% of their games last season so their 49-33 met expectations.

21SACRAMENTO KINGS 39-43 | 2020 Projection: 34.6 Wins
Win 44% of Neutral Court Simulations

If Harrison Barnes was able to make wide open shots in clutch situations the Warriors would have never lost to the Cavaliers and probably would not have signed KD and who knows how the world would look today. The Kings were projected to win more game without Barnes. They do not win the championship in any simulations. Current Odds are 200/1, 0.5%. The Kings are averaging 34.6 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 38 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #12 in the West. They went 39-43 last season. They were very good against the spread going 45-35-2 for (+650 profit).

22WASHINGTON WIZARDS 32-50 | 2020 Projection: 30.8 Wins
Win 38% of Neutral Court Simulations

They do not win the championship in any simulations. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Wizards are averaging 30.8 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 27.5 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #11 in the East. They went 32-50 last season. They were not good against the spread going 38-44 (-1040 loss). They are worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #24 in the league.

23ATLANTA HAWKS 29-53 | 2020 Projection: 32.3 Wins
Win 40% of Neutral Court Simulations

De'Andre Hunter is a perfect fit for the Hawks and they are projected to make a significant +5 to 7 win improvement from last season. They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 300/1, 0.3%. Our projection is leaning on them to win under 33.5 games. The Hawks are averaging 32.3 wins per sim. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #10 in the East. Their 29-53 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. Their game-by-game odds gave them a projected record of 25.6-56.4.

24NEW YORK KNICKS 17-65 | 2020 Projection: 26.4 Wins
Win 34% of Neutral Court Simulations

RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Bobby Portis are all individually talented forwards and who wouldn't want to be rich, young and in New York City? They also added Taj Gibson and at the end of the day the Knicks improved a ton (from 18 to 26 wins) but are still an afterthought. They do not win the championship in any simulations. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Knicks are averaging 26.4 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 28 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #13 in the East. They went 17-65 last season. They were not good against the spread going 32-47-3 (-1970 loss).

25CHARLOTTE HORNETS 39-43 | 2020 Projection: 26.7 Wins
Win 34% of Neutral Court Simulations

They do not win the championship in any simulations. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Hornets are averaging 26.7 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 23 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #12 in the East. They went 39-43 last season. They were not good against the spread going 39-41-2 (-610 loss).

26MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 33-49 | 2020 Projection: 28.7 Wins
Win 39% of Neutral Court Simulations

They are much better in our neutral power ranking. Their sim win percentage vs every other team on a neutral court has them as the #23 team in the league. They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Grizzlies are averaging 28.7 wins per sim which makes them a solid bet to win over 27 games. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #13 in the West. They went 33-49 last season. They were not good against the spread going 39-42-1 (-720 loss).

27MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES 36-46 | 2020 Projection: 27.9 Wins
Win 37% of Neutral Court Simulations

If healthy on a neutral court they have a better power ranking (#25 in the league). If Andrew Wiggins was not anointed as the "next LeBron" in high school would he even be in the league given his lack of shooting and meager stats outside of points per game. If he is your second best player you are not a playoff team. They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Timberwolves are averaging 27.9 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 35.5 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #14 in the West. They went 36-46 last season. They were not good against the spread going 40-42 (-620 loss).

28PHOENIX SUNS 19-63 | 2020 Projection: 24.9 Wins
Win 33% of Neutral Court Simulations

Ricky Rubio is a fine defender and a great passer but not a person thought Utah's great defense or inconsistent offense would be any worse when it was clear they were moving on from Ricky Rubio. It is one thing to shoot 31% from three point range. That is bad, but when it comes on wide open looks that average guards would make 42% of the time it's even worse. The Suns did improve after dumping Josh Jackson. They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. The Suns are averaging 24.9 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 29.5 wins. In simulations they finish last in the West based on projected wins. They went 19-63 last season. They were not good against the spread going 36-46 (-1460 loss).

29CHICAGO BULLS 22-60 | 2020 Projection: 24.7 Wins
Win 32% of Neutral Court Simulations

While still projected to be one of the worst teams in the league they did improve their projected win total with Satoransky and Thaddeus Young. But other bottom ranked teams, namely the Knicks, improved enough to keep the Bulls at #15 in the East. They have no chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 200/1, 0.5%. The Bulls are averaging 24.7 wins per sim so we recommend betting them to come under 33 wins. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #14 in the East. They went 22-60 last season. They were not good against the spread going 35-46-1 (-1560 loss).

30CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 19-63 | 2020 Projection: 24 Wins
Win 32% of Neutral Court Simulations

While not a playoff contender their projected win total did improve by nearly 3 wins from before and after the draft. In a shooters' league they drafted quality shooting. They do not win the championship in any simulations. Current Odds are 1000/1, 0.1%. Our projection is leaning on them to win under 24.5 games. The Cavaliers are averaging 24 wins per sim. In simulations they finish last in the East based on projected wins. They went 19-63 last season. They were not good against the spread going 38-43-1 (-930 loss).