6 Season Win Totals to Bet on for the 2018 NBA
Published on August 17, 2018
The NBA dominated the sports world this past summer. That’s pretty impressive considering the FIFA World Cup was all kinds of awesome and Justify gave us just the 13th winner ever of the Triple Crown.
Despite those events going down the way they did, LeBron James taking his talents to La La Land and the NBA Draft spewing fresh talent onto the hardwood took center stage.
What does that tell us? That whether everyone chooses to believe it or not, pro basketball has taken over as the most compelling professional sport.
Even if you’d argue that that’s not the case, you can’t downplay how interesting the league has become.
I know, the Golden State Warriors just defended their title and have claimed three of the last four NBA championships. However, with King James exiting the normally predictable Eastern Conference, this thing could blow wide open.
More specifically, nobody can know for sure how things will go down in the east, and James could help the Lakers rise up in the west. Just how big of an impact his move has could also play into team win totals.
There are quite a few worth a look over at MyBookie already. Here are some of my favorites that I think you can exploit for easy cash this year.
You can go against the defending champs if you’d like (-130), but I’ll bite. Not only is this pretty nice value for the most stacked team in the entire league, but the Dubs easily topped this total in three of their last four runs.
Injuries created a few hiccups for Golden State last year, yet they still won 58 games, locked up the #2 seed out west, and won the league title.
Everyone is hoping they break down or begin a decline, but after adding stud big man DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, that’s pretty unlikely.
Would-be threats like the Rockets and Spurs took hard hits in free agency, and talk of the Lakers being a serious title threat feels laughable. Considering how talented they are and how many wins they normally get, Golden State to get 64 wins at +100 is worth a shot.
While I think the Dubs have what it takes to get back to winning 63+ games, I don’t think the Houston Rockets will be too far behind.
James Harden and Chris Paul formed quite the nasty duo last year, and that led to the Rockets melting everyone’s faces off with an explosive three-point barrage on a nightly basis.
Houston may not push for the NBA-leading 65 wins they put up during the 2017-18 regular season, but all they really lost were defensive pieces in Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza.
Melo at least in theory can replace them on the offensive end, so a stacked Rockets team getting over 55 wins seems rather viable.
I’ve mentioned the Lake Show a few times, so I might as well touch on their season win total over at MyBookie. It seems rather high at first glance, and it feels like Vegas is giving LeBron James a bit too much credit.
Let’s keep in mind a few things.
If James barely got the Cavs to that 50-win mark in the significantly worse Eastern Conference, bettors should consider hitting the pause button here.
I know the guy is a living legend, and if anyone can lift the Lakers to new heights, it’s him. However, the Lakers barely got to 35 wins a year ago, and the Western Conference remains loaded.
Teams like Minnesota, Denver, Dallas, and the Clippers should all be better. Memphis will at least be healthy. The Suns got the top pick in this summer’s draft.
That’s just the teams that were fringe playoff threats or didn’t come close to sniffing 50 wins.
Others like the Jazz, Blazers, Spurs, Pelicans, and Thunder all arguably start in a better place than Los Angeles, and even they didn’t hit the 50-win mark a year ago.
With Golden State and Houston dominating the conference, there’s nothing guaranteeing any other team will join them in the 50-win club this year, either.
I’m certainly not laying big money on one of those teams being the Lakers.
I really like how the Jazz have rebuilt themselves on the fly. They put together a strong roster that played team offense and defended at a high level. Then Gordon Hayward bolted for Boston, and they had to do it all over again.
Fortunately, trading for Ricky Rubio has worked out nicely, and Donovan Mitchell returned value on their first-round investment immediately.
Just like that, Utah is a real playoff threat, and I’m sure they have big goals for as early as next year. After all, they did oust the Thunder in the first round last year and got to test themselves against the Houston Rockets in round two.
The problem is that they probably over-achieved, if only slightly. Vegas is propping them up a bit too much here, as they’ll need to notch 50 wins to convert this bet.
Utah did just that two years ago, but the Western Conference is getting stronger, and I’m not sure they’re a lock. Considering no teams were able to do it last year outside of the power-two, that’s not an outlandish take.
While you can go either way on some of the better teams that are vying for big win totals, it’s important not to forget about the bottom feeders.
One team I think you can attack is the Knicks, who will be without stud big man Kristaps Porzingis for at least half of the year – if not longer.
New York wasn’t consistently good even with Zinger on hand, and without him, they’re relegated to a poorly-constructed collage of veterans and prospects.
There is obvious intrigue in Frank Ntilikina and rookie Kevin Knox, but since when has promising talent guaranteed wins? The Eastern Conference is more wide open with the departure of King James, but it also brings in Kawhi Leonard.
New York doesn’t stand a chance even in the east these days. After winning just 29 games a year ago, I don’t love their odds to top 30 this year.
Back to the land of the winning we go. I think?
Cleveland was left for dead with James bolting (again), but they actually might have enough solid pieces to make a run at a playoff spot in this conference.
I do respect the top of the Eastern Conference. The Celtics, 76ers, and Raptors are the cream of the crop and will be very tough to knock off. Cleveland has no chance against them, but versus the likes of the Heat, Wizards, and others, it’s not impossible to craft out a reality where they’re not awful.
Kevin Love is still in town, for one.
Guys like George Hill, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and Tristan Thompson could eventually be moved in deals to open up salary, or they could be properly utilized for the first time in a while.
Love as the centerpiece is intriguing. It doesn’t keep Cleveland in title contention in the least, but he can shoulder enough of the scoring load to win some games and maybe sniff the playoffs.
He won’t have to do it all alone. Larry Nance, Jordan Clarkson, and Rodney Hood (assuming he re-signs) all offer upside, while Cedi Osman and Sam Dekker round out a surprisingly decent supporting cast.
Rookie first-round pick Collin Sexton may be the icing on the cake, especially if he demands a starting job right out of the gates.
I’m not confusing the Cavs with some playoff lock, but they’re a little better as they stand than the top NBA betting sites seem to be giving them credit for.
Barring injuries or a slew of crazy trades, the Over feels like the right play, and you actually get it at a nice price.
You might not agree with me when it comes to these NBA win totals. That’s actually fine, and I will readily admit that there are even more wagers to consider.
The point, beyond me hopefully nailing these seemingly awesome values, is to try gauging where teams stand after all they did this summer.
Does James make the Lakers title contenders? Is LA even a playoff contender? That’s actually a very important (and layered) question you probably need to answer before the season starts.
Those types of multi-pronged questions exist for virtually all 30 NBA teams. I like the aforementioned NBA wagers the most, but there are 24 more out there for you to place a bet on, if you so choose.
Wagering on NBA team win totals is really just the start, though.
From here, you can start talking about NBA division races, who makes the playoffs, and ultimately, whether anyone other than the Dubs can win the Finals. The betting opportunities in the NBA are endless.
I’d slow-play it for now, of course. The 2018-19 NBA season doesn’t roll around until October 16th, after all.