By: Scott Brock-Wilson and Justin Lynch
Nikola Jokic over 12.5 points per game (-120)
Jokic is smooth, and averaged 16.5 points per 36 minutes last season. He will play much closer to 36 minutes per night than the 22 he played last season. Nurkic isn’t much of a scorer, and we are still waiting on Mudiay to score more. Gallinari is on the trade block and always an injury risk. Jokic should be able to average 14-15 points per game.
Klay Thompson over 41.5% three point shooting (-120)
The Warriors will be producing an absurd amount of open looks, and Klay Thompson will likely be the biggest beneficiary. Assuming he doesn’t jack up shots as a result of less touches, Klay will far surpass the 41.5% mark for the fourth straight year.
Jabari Parker over 16.5 points per game (-120)
With Middleton out Parker will get a chance to prove himself. He averaged 14 points per game last season, but if the Bucks have any hope, he will need to be around 18-20. Parker finally started to break out at the end of last season when Giannis went to point guard, and I expect more of the same this season.
Goran Dragic over 17.5 points per game (-120)
With Wade gone Dragic will have the reins. He averaged over 20 points per game in 2013-14, and over 16 in 2014-15, before falling to 14 per night last year. Dragic has something to prove and, with Bosh gone as well, the Heat need someone to step up. That someone will be Dragic, who should get back to 20 points per night.
Kris Dunn under 5.5 assists per game (-120)
He averaged 6.2 assists last year year in college, with the ball in his hand every possession. Now, he is playing behind Rubio and fighting for the ball with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. As a rookie, I don’t trust Dunn early in the season to make smart plays with the ball, and bad shot may land him in Thibs’ doghouse. I’ll take the under on 5.5 assists.
Anthony Davis over 10 rebounds per game (-120)
He’s been over 10 the last three years, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll slip. Davis has been the subject of much criticism over the last 12 months, and I imagine he has a chip on his shoulder to prove once again he’s among the league’s elite. 10 rebounds is nothing for Davis, and he should surpass the mark once again.
Russell Westbrook under 8.5 rebounds per game (-120)
Westbrook will be going full-tilt every game, but 8.5 is a ton of rebounds for a guard. He put up a career-high of 7.8 last year, and will certainly be going after triple doubles every night. But Westbrook still has to fight with Kanter and Adams for boards. 8.5 is too big of a number for my liking.
Eric Bledsoe over 6 assists per game (-120)
Bledsoe has been over six assists the last two seasons, and now has more reliable weapons in Brandon Knight, Devin Booker, and Jared Dudley. The Suns need Bledsoe to run the show and that means all eyes will be on him, opening opportunities for open shooters on the perimeter. Bledsoe shouldn’t have trouble passing the six assists per game mark.
Devin Booker under 20 points per game (-120)
Booker averaged under 14 points per game last season. Six points in one year is a huge jump, especially with Knight and Bledsoe back in the fold. Booker will be solid, no doubt, but over 20 points is asking too much of the second year player.
Dwight Howard under 16 points per game (-120)
Howard hasn’t averaged 16 points per game for two seasons now, finishing last season a shade under 14 points per game. He will have to compete with Millsap, Korver, Bazemore and Schroder among the starters for points. He may think he will be a focal point offensively, but coach Bud is too smart for that.
Isaiah Thomas over 6 assists per game (-120)
With Horford as a key star addition, I expect Thomas’ assist numbers to improve off of his 6.2 per game mark last season. The only hesitation would be the possible desire of the team to have Rozier and Smart possible gain some more minutes handling the ball with Thomas playing off-ball. Even so, Thomas is the only true creator offensively, so with a better surrounding cast, his numbers should improve.
Kemba Walker under 5.5 assists per game (-120)
As much as it pains me to say this the Hornets seemed to have everything fall their way last year. This year they will be worse offensively without Jefferson to bump it in down low, Lee being the three point threat, and even Lin providing points off the bench. Yes, Kidd-Gilchrist is back and that is huge defensively, but certainly doesn’t help Kemba with his assists. Batum should regress a little this year after a strong bounce back year last season. With all of this being said, Kemba, who has averaged under 5.5 assists the last two years, won’t reach that number this year.
Chris Paul over 10 assists per game (-120)
Paul has had double digits assist for 3 years in a row now, with his lowest coming last year at exactly 10. There has been a downward sloping trend through those years, but I expect Paul (and the Clippers) to put up good regular season numbers this year with a seemingly weakened West in terms of depth.
DeAndre Jordan over 12.5 points per game (-120)
This isn’t Clipper love, this is just the pure fact that his points per game has increased every single year since he entered the League. He finished last season with 12.7 points per game.
Evan Turner under 10.5 points per game (-120)
I don’t love his fit with the Blazer. Turner play a point-forward role for the Celtics last season on their second unit. He needed the ball in his hands to be successful. The issue is that the Blazers usually need one of Lillard and McCollum on the court at all times. They are great shooters and therefore able to play off the ball, but how much do you want the ball out of the hands of your top two players and playmakers? Turner will have a much more limited role on the Blazers.
Russell Westbrook under 10 assists per game (-120)
He averaged a career high last season with 10.4 assists per game. Now he comes into this season without a top three player in the NBA by his side cashing in on some of his dimes. More importantly, with OKC’s ability to offensive rebound with Kanter and Adams up front, his missed shots will be more like assists.
Jahlil Okafor gets traded during the 2016-17 regular season (+150)
Okafor’s value will just keep going down the longer he stays on the 76ers. Neither side wants him in Philly anymore, but the issue is no one really wants him. Eventually the 76ers will be forced to ship him off for pennies on the dollar. Some team that needs an interior scorer off the bench will throw an offer Philly’s way and get a bargain.