This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
As we enter February, the narrative of the NBA season has started to take form, and it is very much in favor of the Golden State Warriors gunning for 70 wins. Somehow, 70 wins is being understated and possibly undervalued.
Some perspective: Steve Kerr has a 181-31 head coaching record over his 2.5 seasons. It took Doc Rivers 4.5 seasons to eclipse that total, and those wins included two years of Tracy McGrady leading the league in scoring.
I discussed the over/under win totals for each team at the beginning of the season on my platform with TYTSports and a handful of teams stood out. Let's quickly take a look at how they have been performing:
Warriors 66.5 (41-7 season record) - on pace for 70 wins.
76ers 27.5 (18-29)
Trail Blazers 46.5 (22-28)
So far, it is apparent the Trail Blazers were overvalued with 46.5 wins, as their frontcourt's lack of defensive ability has led to a salvageable playoff seed for the year but far from the expectations that came into the season behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum back court.
The Warriors are on pace to beat the record highest win total in Vegas' preseason history, while the Sixers hungry for the Playoffs, which goes hand in hand with surpassing their over.
Last Week: 0-2 (18-17-1 on the season)
On to this week:
Bucks at Jazz (-8)
This one goes out to the LeaguePass owners. At what point do we throw "Giannis" on the back of Giannis Antetokounmpo's jersey? This is an art mastered by soccer players globally and it is supremely effective. His name is fun to say, we get it – move on so the world can stop using google copy/paste to write out his name.
Milwaukee has not beaten the spread on the road over their last five contests, but the eight points is too much to lay. Derrick Favors is out, and the Jazz will likely ride Alec Burks nice stretch of five games (13.0 points per game on 60.5 percent shooting) into a lengthy, young, fast and athletic Bucks team.
The Pick: Bucks +8