NBA

FiveThirtyEight gives Philadelphia 76ers highest odds to win the NBA Finals

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Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons [NBA Getty Images]

FiveThirtyEight has released its first version of their "Way-Too-Early" 2019-20 NBA season predictions.

The prediction model - for the first time - is based off of two "forecast systems" to analyze the players on each team and give a percentage result to make the Playoffs, The Finals and win The Finals, as well as a projected record.

In years past, FiveThirtyEight used what they call a CARMELO forecast system, which "uses comparable players from NBA history to predict a player's future career arc." This year, they've incorporated the DRAYMOND forecast system, which is a "new defensive metric that better accounts for a player's shot defense, in addition to the existing metrics that look at a player's impact on team defense while on the court."

The pairing should give their prediction model the highest level of accuracy yet, now accounting for defence as well as a player's potential career arc.

With all that being said, according to the prediction model the Philadelphia 76ers have the best odds to win the NBA Finals.

The roster has gone through a bit of turnover but remains one of the strongest in the NBA. They resigned Tobias Harris, signed Al Horford and sign-and-traded Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat for Josh Richardson.

The Sixers 59-23 record is projected to be the best in the NBA with their 55% chance of reaching The Finals and 27% chance of winning The Finals ranks at the very top of the league as well.

After Philly, the best odds to win the title belongs the Houston Rockets (24%) and Los Angeles Lakers (13%).

Below you can find the projected playoff teams, sorted by conference, according to the model.

FiveThirtyEight Predicted 2019-20 Eastern Conference Standings
Team Projected Record Chance of Making Playoffs Chance of Making Finals Chance of Winning Finals
76ers 59-23 >99% 55% 27%
Bucks 54-28 >99% 26% 10%
Celtics 46-36 91% 6% 2%
Raptors 45-37 89% 4% 1%
Heat 44-38 86% 4% <1%
Magic 42-40 76% 1% <1%
Pacers 39-43 64% 1% <1%
Nets 38-44 58% <1% <1%

FiveThirtyEight Predicted 2019-20 Western Conference Standings
Team Projected Record Chance of Making Playoffs Chance of Making Finals Chance of Winning Finals
Rockets 58-24 99% 36% 24%
Nuggets 51-31 89% 7% 3%
Lakers 51-31 87% 21% 13%
Warriors 50-32 84% 16% 10%
Jazz 49-33 83% 4% 2%
Clippers 48-34 78% 10% 5%
Mavericks 44-38 55% 1% <1%
Pelicans* 43-39 50% 2% <1%
Timberwolves* 43-39 38% <1% <1%

*Pelicans and Timberwolves projected to finish with the same record.

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