LAS VEGAS -- Unlike last season, this NBA season is starting on time, and we don't have to wait until the holiday season to open our presents.
The LVH -- Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly Hilton) -- posted its NBA over/under season win totals on Oct. 2, and the accompanying chart shows the opening numbers and the adjusted totals after the wiseguys here in Vegas took a crack at them.
While the numbers are obviously for the use of gamblers, they also provide regular NBA fans a peak into how the oddsmakers (who must be on top of all the teams or else they'll jeopardize their bottom line) and sharp bettors think each team will fare during the regular season.
In all sports, over/under win totals continue to gain in popularity. In the old days (before the turn of the century), if you wanted to bet on a team to do well, your main option was to bet them to win the championship. If you thought that team was going to be good but not that good, you might have been able to find a conference or division bet to suit your needs. But it's much easier to bet on a team by going over their win total and not worrying as much as other teams outperforming them in the standings.
In addition, you can now bet against a team, although it's rare for a sports book to offer yes/no props on teams to win the title (and the prices are often prohibitive). Now, you can just go under their total at a more manageable price.
So let's take a look at some of the teams that wiseguys were betting to exceed or fall short of expectations, as well as some marquee teams.