LAS VEGAS -- The 2016-2017 NBA regular season concluded Wednesday night, and all fans are looking forward to the playoffs.
But first let's recap the season from a betting perspective, primarily the bets that have already been paid off: division winners and a rundown of how each of the association's 30 teams fared against their over/under season win total.
The division winners are easy to recap as favorites won five of six divisions: The Boston Celtics were 10-11 to win the Atlantic; the Cleveland Cavaliers were 1-10 to win the Central; the San Antonio Spurs were 1-8 to win the Southwest; the Utah Jazz were a lukewarm 19-10 to win the Northwest; the Golden State Warriors were 1-50 to win the Pacific. The only upset was the Washington Wizards winning the Southeast as the 9-5 second choice to the Atlanta Hawks at 7-4.
Here's a team-by-team look at the over/under results.
All odds above and below are from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of the final odds sheets of Oct. 24, 2016, the day before the regular season started.
Over/under season win total: 52
Record: 53-29 (over by 1 game)
Heading into the season, the Celtics were seen as one of the biggest threats to the Cavaliers in the East (and given the second-highest over/under season win total in the conference), but most people still expected Cleveland to hold home-court advantage in the playoffs. However, Isaiah Thomas really emerged as a go-to superstar while the supporting cast filled their roles. Even so, the Celtics didn't cover over their total of 52 until the season-ending 112-94 win over the Bucks on Wednesday night.
Record: 51-31 (over by 0.5 games)
The Raptors experienced a wild season, starting 7-2 and looking like a top contender. After Kyle Lowry missed 21 games post-All Star break with a wrist injury, DeMar DeRozan took up a lot of the slack, and Toronto added more frontline strength, including Serge Ibaka. With Lowry returning down the stretch, the team needed to see if all the new parts could mesh together. It looks like they have, as the Raptors closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak, going over 50.5 wins in the season finale at Cleveland on Wednesday night.
Record: 31-51 (under by 9.5 games)
The Knicks were 16-13 before Christmas and looking like a possible playoff team, but then lost nine of their next 10 games and the season spiraled downward from there both on and off the court. Carmelo Anthony trade rumors (even though he has a no-trade clause in his contract) didn't instill confidence in players or fans, and the soap opera exploded when Charles Oakley was escorted from his seat at Madison Square Garden. Any playoff hopes were long gone as the Knicks never threatened .500.
Record: 28-54 (over by 3.5 games)
The 76ers had the second-lowest win total and started 0-7, but I noticed at that time that they were 4-3 ATS and much more competitive than people were giving them credit for. I started playing them, mostly as home underdogs, and they were the main reason I had a profitable season. I wish had played them more, as they ended up with the best ATS record in the league at 49-33 (59.8 percent) -- and that's even after cooling off down the stretch (they lost their last eight games and were 2-6 ATS). The 76ers were also good to their season win total backers as they clinched their over all the way back on March 17.
Record: 20-62 (under by 2.5 games)
The Nets had the NBA's lowest over/under season win total of 22.5 and still easily finished under. Their 16-game losing streak from Jan. 21 through the end of February pretty much sealed the deal, even though they tried to make it interesting by going 7-10 in the month of March.
Record: 51-31 (under by 6 games)
The defending champions jumped out to a 6-0 start (and 9-1 and 13-2), so it looked like LeBron James & Co. would cruise to the No. 1 seed in the East. However, the Cavaliers' defense let them down often during the season, and they underachieved at 36-43-3 ATS (45.6 percent) as well. They ended the regular season on a four-game losing streak, although it was clear in early March that they wouldn't get to 57 wins.
Record: 42-40 (under by 3.5 games)
The Pacers won their last five games of the regular season, clinching a playoff spot with their 104-86 win over the Hawks on Wednesday night, but they still fell 3.5 games short of their over/under season win total.
Record: 37-45 (under by 7.5 games)
It was a roller coaster of a season in Detroit. The Pistons started slow with Reggie Jackson injured on the sidelines. But they went 12-6 in February and early March to get to 33-33 on March 11 and looked like a potential playoff team. However, they closed the season on a 4-12 skid.
Record: 41-41 (over by 0.5 games)
The Bulls' 112-79 victory over the Nets on Wednesday night not only earned them the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs at 41-41, but also cashed for their over backers. The Bulls showed promise at times (including a 4-0 record against Cleveland) but also had losing streaks of three games or more on six different occasions.
Record: 42-40 (over by 6 games) The Bucks weren't expected to be a playoff team this year, but the versatile Giannis Antetokounmpo made a name for himself, and they cruised over their projected win total all the way back on March 24.
Record: 43-29 (under by 0.5 games)
The Hawks were a short fave to win the Southeast Division, and it looked like a slam dunk as they started 9-2 while their main competitor, the Wizards, broke slowly from the gate at 3-9. However, a seven-game losing streak in late November/early December and a six-game skid in March knocked them out of the division race and down to the No. 5 seed in the East. They came up half a game short of their season win total, losing the season finale 104-86 to Indiana on Wednesday night.
Record: 49-33 (over by 6 games)
The Wizards started 1-5 and 3-9, but then righted the ship behind John Wall to go an Eastern Conference-best 24-9 over their next 33 games to get right in the mix of the playoff race. That also propelled them to pull off the upset in winning the Southeast Division and go over their win total of 43 all the way back on March 24 (with 10 games to spare).
Record: 36-46 (under by 5.5 games)
The Hornets were projected to be right around .500 and a potential playoff team, with the eighth-highest season win total in the Eastern Conference. They started 6-1 and were still four games over .500 on Jan. 4, but lost five straight and 17 of their next 21 to seal their under fate.
Record: 29-53 (under by 7.5 games)
The Magic were 3-3 after their first six games, but never looked like an over team the rest of the season. Orlando was also a bad bet in individual games at an NBA-worst 32-48-2 ATS (40 percent), the only team covering 40 percent of its games or less.
Record: 41-41 (over by 6.5 games)
The Heat are a shadow of the Big Three era and had an over/under win total of 34.5. That looked reasonable when they started 2-8, but they overachieved the rest of the season to go over their total all the way back on March 21 -- and finished at .500 to just miss the playoffs. Miami was also good to bettors on an individual game basis at 48-33-1 ATS (59.3 percent).
San Antonio Spurs
Record: 61-21 (over by 4.5 games)
The Spurs started the season 14-3 and never really cooled off. They challenged the Warriors for the best record in the league before struggling (by their lofty standards) down the stretch. Even so, they put up the second-best record in the league and exceeded their season win total by an impressive 4.5 games, going over with their March 31 win at Oklahoma City.
Record: 55-27 (over by 10.5 games)
No team exceeded expectations more than the Rockets, led by MVP candidate James Harden running Mike D'Antonio's offense and a supporting cast that has proved greater than the sum of its parts. They didn't win their division (due to the unfortunate alignment of being in the same division as the Spurs), but they not only had the third-best record in the Western Conference but in all of the NBA. They also went over their projected season win total by a league-best 10.5 games.
Record: 43-39 (over by 0.5 games)
The Grizzlies were mostly right around .500 all season, starting 4-5 and then going on a six-game winning streak to get back on track. They exceeded their win total of 42.5 last Friday with two games to spare.
Record: 33-49 (under by 6 games)
The Mavericks were projected to be under .500 with a season win total of just 39, but they lost their first five games and then after winning two in a row, went on another eight-game losing streak. They were never a threat to go over after that.
Record: 34-48 (under by 1.5 games)
The Pelicans were another team with a relatively low win total that opened slowly with an eight-game losing streak. There was renewed hope with the acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins at the All-Star break, but the Pelicans dropped their first three games out of the break, and even a 10-6 run (if you call that a run) wasn't enough to get them to their win total, as they lost five in a row before winning their season finale.
Record: 51-31 (over by 3 games)
With division winners no longer guaranteed a high seed, I'm sure a lot of fans are surprised to read that the Jazz won the Northwest Division (or that they were favored over Oklahoma City), but Utah did it about as quietly as possible in today's NBA. The Jazz racked up 51 wins, going over their projected win total by three, and did it as a team with no real marquee superstar. Gordon Hayward is regarded as the best player, but center Rudy Gobert has the better chance to be All-NBA and will probably be the most unsung star on any of the All-NBA teams.
Record: 47-35 (over by 1.5 games)
After the departure of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook dominated in every which way with his record 42 triple-doubles during the regular season. In the process, he also lifted the Thunder over their projected win total of 45.5 with the clinching victory coming Sunday in a 106-105 win at Denver.
Record: 41-41 (under by 4.5 games)
After knocking off a Clippers team (albeit a beat-up one) and playing well in losing to the Warriors in last year's playoffs, the Trail Blazers were supposed to be better this season, but they looked like a .500 team most of the year. Actually, they looked worse, as they needed a 9-2 run to get to 41 wins before losing to the Pelicans on Wednesday night to limp into the playoffs as the West's No. 8 seed.
Record: 31-51 (under by 11 games)
The Timberwolves were expected to be around .500 but underachieved again, losing their first two games and starting 1-5. In fact, they finished the season by staying the most games below their over/under season win total, after going 3-13 to end the season. They weren't much better on an individual game basis as they were among the worst ATS teams at 36-46 (43.9 percent).
Record: 40-42 (over by 2.5 games)
The Nuggets started 3-7, but they were about a .500 team the rest of the season (37-35) and went 5-2 in April to go over their win total last Friday night with a 122-106 win over New Orleans with three games to spare. They were also a good bet on an individual game basis at 46-36 ATS (56.1 percent).
Golden State Warriors
Record: 67-15 (over by 0.5 games)
The Warriors went over their projected season win total of 66.5 on the last day of the season with a 109-94 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday. It was mostly surprising that they accomplished that feat because despite having the best record in the league, they were mostly seen as underachievers all season after adding superstar Kevin Durant to a team that won a record 73 games last season. They were only right around .500 against the spread (39-39-4, give or take a game or two either way depending on you grade some of their games that landed right around the number) and fell seven wins short of a popular prop bet that asked if they would break their record with 74 or more wins this season.
Los Angeles Clippers
Record: 51-31 (under by 2.5 games)
Many people would say the Clippers had a successful regular season with the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference behind only the Warriors, Spurs and Rockets, but they still fell 2.5 games short of their projected win total. They couldn't even get there with a 10-1 start and actually only got as close as they did thanks to closing the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
Record: 32-50 (under by 1 game)
Bettors who took the over on the Kings' win total of 33 probably deserved better. While the Kings started just 4-9, they were certainly more competitive than that, and after winning their next two games (over the Raptors and Thunder), they were 6-9 SU and 9-6 ATS. After scuffling along the rest of the first half of the season, their best player, DeMarcus Cousins, was traded to New Orleans at the All-Star break. They won their first game after the break, but then proceeded to drop eight straight. Despite all that, the Kings still got within a game of their season win total.
Record: 24-58 (under by 6 games)
The Suns lost their first four games before winning games Nos. 5 and 6, but that was the last time they were anywhere near a pace to get more than 30 wins. They clinched the under on March 28 at Atlanta in the midst of a 13-game losing streak and ended up with the second-worst record in the league, ahead of only the lowly Nets.
Record: 26-56 (push)
The Lakers were actually 6-4 to start the season, but then resorted to playing like one of the worst teams in the league for most of the rest of the way. However, just when everyone was expecting them to be tanking, they ran off five straight wins to land on their over/under season win total of 26 wins before losing the season finale at Golden State.