Okay, there's no other way to put it — if you're reading this in Houston, this NFL season has sucked so far. The Texans' main storylines right now have virtually nothing to do with upcoming opponents or debatable in-game decisions. They have to do with the greatest running back in franchise history shredding his Achilles, the coaching staff and front office teetering on DEFCON 1, and the backup quarterback's inability to find a shortcut to NRG Stadium after living here for over a year.
So there are several ways to cleanse the palette from this Texans disaster. Many involve alcohol and/or heavy drugs, and it's only Tuesday, so we can't do that. One alternative way, though, is to find a different sport to watch, and guess what? Conveniently enough, the NBA regular season gets underway tonight! The Rockets' 2015-2016 season gets underway TOMORROW night!
The NBA is here to save the day!
As always, I like to give you a few long-term investments. For those of you that like the smooth draw of gambling without the helter-skelter feel of doing it on a nightly basis, thankfully, we have season win total futures bets! Here are my five favorite bets for the upcoming season.
Denver Nuggets UNDER 27.5 wins
To give you an idea of where the Denver Nuggets are as a franchise, all you need to do is see what they saw as a reasonable package for Ty Lawson (granted, with the specter of all of Lawson's off the court peccadilloes hanging over the team, he wasn't super easy to move) — Pablo Prigioni, Nick Johnson, Joey Dorsey, Kostas Papanikolaou, and a protected draft pick. There's getting 75 cents on the dollar, there's getting 50 cents on the dollar, then there's getting food stamps on the dollar. The Nuggets got food stamps for Lawson. Their best player is Danilo Gallinari who might be using artificial legs at this point.
Orlando Magic OVER 34.5 wins
At some point, some of these lower level Eastern Conference teams are going to make a run into the magical world of "slightly over .500". Milwaukee is one of those teams, but Vegas caught up to them this year. They haven't, however, caught up to the frisky Orlando Magic! They have a new head coach in Scott Skiles, and Skiles specialty is being a huge asshole, but it's the kind of asshole who pumps a team up to make a massive turnaround for a couple years before they sour on him, and want to kill him by, say, the third or fourth season. So let's take advantage of the "good asshole" portion of Skiles' Magic coaching tenure, right?
Dallas Mavericks UNDER 37.5 wins
Oh, this one is going to feel so good to hit SEND on (assuming that gambling on the internet were legal). The torpedo punctured the side of this once proud franchise during the playoffs, when Rajon Rondo basically quit on the team. Then came Chandler Parsons microfracture surgery on his knee. Then came the DeAndre Jordan Fiasco during free agency, when Jordan spurned the Mavs after giving a verbal agreement to sign there. The Mavs chased that by signing Wes Matthews, who is recovering from a torn Achilles — not just signing him, but bumping his salary up after Jordan decided to stay in LA. A loyalty bonus for a guy who's never played a minute for your franchise! Yeah, good times in Big D. This is where all of Houston points at Dallas and gives them a ….
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Sacramento Kings OVER 34.5 wins
Hey, speaking of Rondo, you remember like five sentences ago, when I pointed out his triggering the downward spiral on the Mavericks 2015 postseason and overall future? Well, he's in Sacramento now, where George Karl (who has a Skiles-ian shelf life wherever he goes) is the head coach and he's passive aggressively feuding with the team's best player, center DeMarcus Cousins. But dammit — Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli, Willie Cauley-Stein playing a Rudy Gobert-ian type role. I'll say it... I like this team! At the very least, it'll be a blast watching them all want to kill each other by February. I think this whole thing is so crazy it just might work (for at least 35 wins).
Charlotte Hornets OVER 32.5 wins
I think trading Lance Stephenson alone might get them five or six more wins, and they should have better injury luck with Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker, although losing Michael Kidd-Gilcrest is going to hurt. I like the pickups of Frank Kaminsky (lottery pick), Jeremy Lin (yeah, you heard me), Nic Batum, and Jeremy Lamb.
OTHER SEASON WIN TOTALS
Atlanta Hawks UNDER 49.5
Boston Celtics OVER 42.5
Brooklyn Nets UNDER 28.5
Chicago Bulls OVER 49.5
Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 56.5
Detroit Pistons OVER 34.5
Golden State Warriors UNDER 60.5
Houston Rockets OVER 54.5
Indiana Pacers OVER 41.5
Los Angeles Clippers UNDER 56.5
Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 29.5
Memphis Grizzlies UNDER 50.5
Miami Heat OVER 45.5
Milwaukee Bucks UNDER 44.5
Minnesota Timberwolves UNDER 26.5
New Orleans Pelicans OVER 47.5
New York Knicks UNDER 30.5
Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 56.5
Philadelphia 76ers OVER 21.5
Phoenix Suns UNDER 36.5
Portland Blazers OVER 26.5
San Antonio Spurs UNDER 58.5
Toronto Raptors UNDER 45.5
Utah Jazz OVER 41.5
Washington Wizards OVER 45.5
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.