Rankings & Stats vs. The Money: A Comparative Analysis of the Atlantic Division

Let's look at the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference and try to come up with a few season predictions for the Toronto Raptors based on early 2017-18 Power-Rankings, statistics, and of course, the betting odds set by Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks; it would be unwise to make any assessments without considering and following the money.

Upon analyzing the Atlantic, the first thing I noticed is that it is one of the weaker divisions in the NBA this year. It's a two-horse race between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.

Power-Rankins and Probabilities in Atlantic  
1. Boston #6 in NBA with 51 predicted wins, 91.8% Chance of making the playoffs and 56% chance of winning the division.
2. Toronto #10 in NBA with 47 predicted wins, 84,4% chance of making the playoffs and 34.2% chance of winning the division.
3. Sixers #18 in NBA with 37 predicted wins, 45.9% chance of making the playoffs and 7.3% chance of winning the division.
4. Knicks #25 in NBA with 29 predicted wins, 18.7% chance of making the playoffs and 1.5% chance of winning the division.
5. Nets #29 in NBA with 27 predicted wins, 10.1% chance of making the playoffs and 0.4% chance of winning the division.

Even before getting any deeper, things are already looking pretty good for the Celtics and Raptors franchises and their 2017-18 campaigns. Mathematically speaking, with the top-8 from each conference getting a playoff berth, it's looking like it would take some seriously disappointing extenuating circumstances to keep the Boston and Toronto out of the playoffs ... and at a relatively good seed as well; one or two-seed for the Celtics and three or four-seed for the Raps.

When we compare this to numbers found in Vegas and offshore, everything seems to line right up with our previously stated rankings: The Celtics are hovering around -400 win the Atlantic followed by the Raps at +550, the Sixers at +750, the Knicks at +5,000 and the Nets way, way back at +10,000. Before placing action on games or season futures, review bookmaker for odds.

Follow the Money!
Digging deeper, we find more and more congruency: The Celtics have been lined out at a healthy 53.5 regular season wins. This is two games better than my favorite ranking system's number. The Raptors are lined out at 47.5 regular season wins ... which is right on the button. The 76ers are at 38.5 regular season wins, just a win more of love from the strip. The Kicks at 30.5 regular season wins is also getting one game more of love. And finally, the Nets are lined out at 26.5 regular season wins, which is just a half game of shade.  

The line for the Raptors to go OVER 47.5 (meaning win 48 games or more) is juiced up to -130, which means the Raptors are favored to break that season wins number by about twenty cents on the dollar. On the other hand, the Celtics at 53.5 is at -110/-110, which lets me know that they really feel confident that the Celtics win exactly 53 or 54 games.

By comparing team rankings and statistical probabilities against the Money, we are able to decipher with astonishing accuracy, seasonal NBA outcomes without even having to spend the extra time breaking down players and scheduled matchups --the statisticians in Vegas already did that work for us!

My 2017-18 Predictions for the Raptors:
49 wins and a #4 seeded playoff berth

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