One of the weirdly accurate models in sports are the win totals predicted by Las Vegas each season. Vegas is the capital of sports betting, (and well, betting in general) so a decent amount of time goes into predicting how teams and players will do each upcoming season. Oddly enough, they haven’t been good at predicting how good or bad the Charlotte Hornets will be.
That said, Vegas predicts the Hornets will win 42.5 games this season. It would leave them 7th best in the East, matching them with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2017-18 NBA reg season wins updated— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) August 30, 2017
Its easy to write off any prediction. We scoffed at last season’s figure, but they accurately predicted the Hornets taking a step back.
But beyond last season, Vegas hasn’t been accurate. They were significantly off in 2015-16, when they pegged Charlotte at just 32.5 wins, who instead went on to win 48.
In 2014-15, they predicted 45 wins, and the Hornets won just 33.
And before the 2013-14 season? Vegas predicted 26 wins. The Bobcats won 43.
Last season’s prediction was the closest Vegas has been in years. Part of this is due to how unpredictable the Hornets have been the past 3-4 seasons.
But what about this season? 42.5 wins seems fair on first glance. The additions of Dwight Howard and Malik Monk should improve the team. Plus, the Hornets got better by virtue of a weakened Eastern Conference. Predicting a 6.5 win increase is significant, but feels about right.
The Hornets are certainly capable of finishing higher of course. Of the six teams ahead of them, I’m least sold on the Miami Heat, who are pegged to finish just ahead of Charlotte with 43.5 wins.
But beyond predicting win totals, these odds provide a glimpse into what the betting world thinks of the Hornets. Whether you agree with 42.5 wins, it suggests Vegas feels better about the team than a season ago. Take that for what its worth.
Is 42.5 wins a good prediction for the Hornets this season?
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Uhhh, it’s literally impossible to win 42.5 games.