Bookmaker – Did the NBA Preseason Mean Anything?

The NBA regular season begins on Tuesday and that means the games on the board at the bookmaker actually mean something.

The preseason is over and the best players will be on the court.  As you consider the odds at the online bookmaker there is a question to ask.  Did the preseason mean anything in terms of what might happen in the regular season?

Great Preseason Records
For the most part you can throw out the preseason results but there is one area where you can’t. Going back to the 2001-2002 season we find that there were 17 teams that had just one loss or less in the preseason. That means they were killing it in the preseason against the online bookmaker odds.  16 of those teams ended up making the playoffs after their great preseason.  The average number of wins the teams had that season was 49.  The 2004 Utah Jazz were the only team to have a great preseason record and miss the playoffs.

Orlando, Memphis and Utah
There are three teams that are unbeaten heading into the last day of the preseason on Friday.  The Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz are 7-0.  Each of those teams plays on Friday so it is possible we will have a team or teams that finish the preseason with a perfect record.  The Boston Celtics finished the preseason at 7-1 so they need to be in this discussion as well. In the past nine years there have been just three teams that went unbeaten in the preseason.  They were last year’s Orlando Magic, the 2002-2003 Detroit Pistons, and the 2008-2009 New Orleans Hornets.  Those teams won 59, 50 and 49 games respectively.  You better be paying close attention at Sbg to Orlando, Memphis and Utah if they finish the preseason unbeaten.

Bad Preseason
What about a team that was terrible in the preseason?  Does it matter?  Since 2001-2002, seven teams went 1-7 or worse in the preseason and none made the playoffs.  The Los Angeles Clippers finished 1-7 in the preseason so you probably don’t want to be wagering very often on the Clippers this season at the bookmaker. New Orleans would finish 1-7 if they lose their last preseason game so keep an eye on that one if you intend to bet on the Hornets this season.