The NBA season tips off on Tuesday and there are a handful of NBA win totals to bet on before the season starts. Feel free to shop around these win totals to find the best odds, but the number listed will be the best available price.
NBA Win Total Futures Picks To Bet Before Season Starts
I’m mostly an NFL and college football writer for Lineups, but I love placing some win totals bets on the NBA every year. This season, there are some great options in the win totals markets, and I have three overs and three unders to bring to the table here. The NBA season tips off very soon, and I can’t wait to get into what should be a very exciting season. Without further ado, these are my favorite win total bets for this season.
Philadelphia 76ers –
The last couple of seasons have been rough for the 76ers as they’ve worked through the Ben Simmons situation, dealt with injuries to Joel Embiid, and had two straight disappointing endings in the playoffs. However, those factors are all leading to this team being undervalued in the current market, and this might be the best roster Embiid has ever been surrounded by.
It starts with James Harden, who the world is down on after a disappointing playoff campaign. However, Embiid and Harden outscored opponents by 15.5 points per 100 possessions in the 21 games they were on the floor together, and the partnership is perfect between two players whose games mesh perfectly. Harden will benefit from the time off following an injury-ailed 2021 season.
James Harden 🥵 pic.twitter.com/uR31n2Qkll
— B24 Dunk (@B24Dunk) October 6, 2022
Along with that elite duo, Tyrese Maxey had a breakout season as he scored 17.5 points per game on 48.5-42.7-86.6% shooting splits at just 21 years old. He averaged 20.8 points per game in the playoffs, and he has an elite untapped ceiling that he will continue to unearth. The additions of P.J. Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, Montrezl Harrell, and Danuel House Jr. help supply much-needed depth, and this should be an elite defensive team with Embiid, Tucker, Melton, and Matisse Thybulle.
I still have significant questions about the Sixers’ ability to compete in the playoffs due to the injury-prone nature of Embiid and Harden as well as Doc Rivers’ questionable postseason history. However, those concerns are less prevalent in the regular season where Rivers has won 48 games per season on average. The Sixers have a verified MVP candidate, an elite backcourt tandem, and plenty of depth to round out the roster. I believe this team is in for a big bounceback year.
Best Bet: over 50.5 wins and bet to have the best record in the NBA at +1000 or better
Boston Celtics –
The Celtics are in the midst of a preseason from hell, and I’m surprised the betting markets haven’t responded more strongly. Danilo Gallinari was brought in to be a key forward off the bench, and he’s now out for the season. Meanwhile, Robert Williams had arthroscopic surgery that will keep him out for 8-12 weeks. Those two injuries put a ton of pressure on a 36-year-old Al Horford as the depth behind him is very limited.
In addition, the Celtics are dealing with the Ime Udoka situation which has become a major distraction and is far from over. At the team’s media day, Marcus Smart said the last week had been “hell,” and as more information comes out, it won’t be fun for the Celtics players to deal with. There’s no reason to immediately doubt Joe Mazzulla, but Ime Udoka was a huge catalyst for the team’s success last season, and Mazzulla is handed much more difficult circumstances to work under.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 6, 2022
So much went right for the Celtics in 2021, and they still only won 51 games. The market is pricing in a three-game improvement despite everything we know about the Ime Udoka situation. The team’s biggest offseason addition, Malcolm Brogdon, hasn’t played over 56 games in a regular season since 2018, and injuries have always been a part of the equation for him. There’s a lot riding on the shoulders of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for over on this total to hit.
The flip side to all of this is that Tatum is clearly an ascending talent, and he should be fully recovered from the shoulder injury that clearly ailed him down the stretch of the playoffs. If you believe in this team’s chances, you should be betting on Tatum to win the MVP at +1200 odds or better. However, I believe the distractions and injuries provide more than enough reason to fade this team with the highest set win total in the NBA.
Best Bet: under 53.5 wins and consider a bet on Eastern Conference seeding over 2.5 or better at plus money
New Orleans Pelicans –
The Pelicans were one of the most exciting up-and-coming teams in the league last season as they went 36-46, fought their way to a playoff spot in the play-in games, and gave the Suns a real fight as they pushed that series to six games before bowing out. It’s hard to remember, but New Orleans actually started last year 1-12. However, the addition of C.J. McCollum was a stabilizing force for the team, and they went over .500 the rest of the way after that tough start.
The Pelicans had several young players emerge including Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy, and Jaxson Hayes, and all of those guys should continue to improve this season. They also drafted Dyson Daniels, a rookie who should be a perfect fit with his playmaking and defensive versatility. Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas provide stability in the scoring lineup, but let’s get to the real meat of the argument.
This is the year of Zion Williamson. Williamson missed all of last season, but in the 2020-21 season, Williamson was the second-most efficient halfcourt player with 1.155 points per possession behind only Steph Curry (min. 1,000 possessions). NBA Twitter was set ablaze by Williamson looking incredibly cut at the media day, and it’s real – he seems to be in great shape and ready to make an All-Star push this year. Still just 22 years old, he’s on a clear upward trajectory as one of the most exciting prospects in recent memory.
Zion Williamson really did this to 250-lb Isaiah Stewart pic.twitter.com/USVzHlLoG6
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) October 8, 2022
With Williamson ready to play this season, and perhaps in the best shape of his career, you’re asking for him to be worth a 9-win bump in the standings. Along with the continued improvement of young talent on this team, that feels like an underestimation, and I believe the Pelicans can push to win their division with the Grizzlies and Mavericks being significant regression candidates.
Best Bet: over 44.5 wins and bet to win the Southwest Division at +400 or better
Denver Nuggets –
The Nuggets won 48 games last year despite Jamal Murray missing the entire season and Michael Porter Jr. playing in just nine games. Nikola Jokic won MVP last year on the back of 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game, and he led the NBA in PER, win shares, box plus-minus, and value over replacement in what was a dominant year across the board. This season, with the return of Murray and Porter Jr., Jokic is receiving significant reinforcements.
Prior to tearing his ACL, Jamal Murray had been one of the most exciting ascending talents at point guard with a career-high 21.2 points per game in the 2020-21 season. In the 2020 playoffs, he averaged 26.5 points per game on an elite 53.7-45.3-89.7% shooting split. Michael Porter Jr. has struggled to stay healthy, and his back injuries have been a consistent part of his career. However, if MPJ can give Denver even 54 starts of 19 points per game scoring like he did in 2020, it would be a massive boon to the team.
In addition to the return to health of the star players, Denver quietly made some great moves to bolster the depth of this roster. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a consummate professional who has shot over 38% from 3 over the last three seasons, and he’s an outstanding perimeter defender. The same can be said for Bruce Brown. Finally, keep an eye on Bones Hyland as a dark horse Sixth Man of the Year candidate – he averaged 12.8 points per game off the bench after the All Star break in his rookie season.
To further bolster this team’s chances, Jokic has played in 72+ games in every year of his career. Along with his consistent durability, he simply loves playing basketball and laughs at the idea of any kind of load management. Michael Malone is an awesome head coach, one of the best in the NBA, and the Nuggets have one of the best home court advantages in the league thanks to their raucous fans and playing at altitude. I’m all over their win total, and I love their odds to have the best record in the league.
Best Bet: over 50.5 wins and bet to have the best record in the NBA at +1000 or better
Memphis Grizzlies – 49.5 Wins
Sorry, Drew. Our Lineups lead NBA writer won’t be thrilled that I’m fading the Grizzlies, but I have serious questions about their ability to replicate last season’s success. It starts with Jaren Jackson Jr., one of the best young big men in the league, who will miss the beginning of the season and could be out until the start of 2023. Even when he returns, it might take some time for him to return to 100% health. As a First-Team All-Defense player who averaged 16.3 points per game last year, his absence will hurt.
Memphis also quietly had a couple of major offseason departures that they didn’t really replace. Kyle Anderson was an important glue player who averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 assists, and 8.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. De’Anthony Melton had a career year with 10.8 points and 2.7 assists per game, and his success helped the team overcome Ja Morant missing 25 games. Memphis went 20-5 in those games without Morant, and we should expect regression there.
The Grizzlies will expect young players like Ziaire Williams, Santi Aldama, John Konchar, and Jake LaRavia to step up to help fill the void, but I have significant questions about the viability of that strategy. Taylor Jenkins has proven to be an excellent coach in terms of development of young players, and we’re past the point of needing to fully question Memphis’s against-the-grain draft decision-making, but they’re still highly reliant on young and inexperienced players, nonetheless.
Memphis will also struggle as the rest of the Western Conference will improve with the returns of stars like Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, and Damian Lillard. Wins will be harder to come by, and with no teams overlooking Memphis this year, they will become the hunted rather than the hunter. I liked this play more when it was at 51.5 wins rather than 49.5, but the market is moving against the Grizzlies, and I still see value in this number for an injury-prone team with regression likelihood.
Best Bet: under 49.5 wins
Phoenix Suns –
The vibes are bad in Phoenix. Jae Crowder was excused from media day as the Suns explore potential trades for their suddenly embattled wing player. Crowder may not seem like a needle-moving talent, but it underscores the surprising lack of depth that Phoenix is currently dealing with. While they were busy pursuing Kevin Durant over the offseason, the Suns forgot to add to this roster, and they’re still incredibly light in terms of depth across the board.
To make matters worse, the situation with star center DeAndre Ayton is deteriorating by the day. After attempting to trade Ayton to the Nets as part of the Durant deal, the Suns were forced the match the Pacers’ offer sheet at risk of losing him for nothing. At the team’s media day, Ayton was asked how he and Monty Williams’ relationship has been repaired since last year’s playoffs, and he said he hasn’t talked to him “at all” since.
Deandre Ayton seems thrilled to be back in Phoenix pic.twitter.com/Mn4Lkh6pP5
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 26, 2022
The Suns bowed out of last year’s playoffs in ignominious fashion despite their championship aspirations as they blew a 2-0 series lead and lost Game 7 to the Mavericks by a final score of 113-86. That type of soul-crushing loss can’t be good for this team’s momentum entering the new season, and the situations for Crowder and Ayton further underscore the dysfunctional nature of the team. While the jokes about the Suns’ loss to the Adelaide 36ers write themselves, that game showed that this team is off right now.
Don’t forget, the Robert Sarver investigation and ensuing suspended is still hanging over this team and will serve as a significant distraction. In all, you’re looking at a Suns team with disgruntled key players, a concerning lack of depth, a 37-year-old Chris Paul, and a dark cloud hanging over them due to the Sarver situation. In a rapidly improving Western Conference, it’s difficult to see the Suns coming close to replicating last year’s regular season success.
Best Bet: under 52.5 wins
Los Angeles Clippers –
If you’ve been following my content for a while, you know I am a huge Clippers fan. Last season was incredible as the team won 42 games despite Kawhi Leonard missing the entire season and Paul George only playing 31 games. With all of the injuries they faced, it was an incredible result. Now, Leonard and George are fully healthy and ready to make a run. Leonard has added serious lower-body muscle this offseason, making him more capable of playing in the post as a true power forward this season.
Kawhi Leonard’s midrange game is so unguardable. The Klaw is back. pic.twitter.com/y0RQoK8IpG
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) October 3, 2022
The Clippers also have an incredible amount of versatility in their lineups. John Wall looks reinvigorated and ready to push Reggie Jackson for the starting point guard spot. Norman Powell is a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate. With Leonard, George, Powell, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, and Nicolas Batum, the Clippers have an embarrassment of riches at the wing spots. Ivica Zubac is still underrated as a starting center, and the small-ball lineups have a ton of juice.
Tyronn Lue has proven to be perhaps the best head coach in the NBA with his in-series adjustments and motivational leadership for a team that almost made the playoffs despite all of the tumult they faced. With so much talent to sift through, Lue will take full advantage of the opportunity to test out different rotations and substitution patterns, and I have full faith in his ability to maximize this team’s potential.
John Wall goes behind his back & scores in his first start with the Clippers. Steve Ballmer was loving it!
20 PTS, 3 AST in 20 MINS pic.twitter.com/0CBvQdLkgz
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 10, 2022
You might have concerns over “load management” situations for Leonard and George, but the Clippers have enough depth to win games against most of the NBA even without their stars – they proved as much last season, and they have a better roster outside of their stars now than they did last year. I believe this team can push for 60 games, and I’m heavily invested in their futures markets across the board.
Best Bet: over 52.5 wins and bet to win the Pacific Division (+150 or better) and to win the NBA Championship (+600 or better)
NBA season-end injury plot. Games missed by injured players and health protocols versus team wins. Bubble size represents cumulative quality of players lost for games (Lost-ws metric) https://t.co/VLK3KJpeS6 pic.twitter.com/ye0f0gtSxm
— Man Games Lost NBA (@ManGamesLostNBA) April 17, 2022