2018 NBA Season Win Totals Predictions with Odds and Expert Picks
The 2018-19 NBA season should be one of the best in recent memory. Golden State is once again the defending champion, and the Lakers are relevant again thanks to LeBron James. The Spurs and Raptors made a blockbuster trade that sent shockwaves throughout the NBA, and the rookie draft class could be something special. Also, teams like the Celtics, 76ers, and Rockets all feel like they can get to the NBA Finals. With the NBA season win totals just released, let's see how each team stacks up.
Atlanta Hawks "Over/Under" 23.5 - I'm no NBA scout, but I would have kept Luka Donic instead of trading him for Trae Young. I really hope the Hawks know what they are doing, because with a win total this low another lottery pick is in the cards for next year's draft. My prediction for this team is "under" the posted total.
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Boston Celtics "Over/Under" 57.5 - Cross our fingers that we get to see a Celtics team that features a healthy Gordon Hayward and a healthy Kyrie Irving. The C's also have solid pieces around them with the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown. With a total of 57.5, this makes the Celtics favorite in the East and deservedly so. Take the "over".
Brooklyn Nets "Over/Under" 32.5 - The Nets finished last year with a record of 28-54. How did they all of a sudden get five games better? Sure, they'll have a full season of D'Angelo Russell running the point and Kenneth Faried on the interior, but the East collectively got better. Can't see the improvement here. Take the "under".
Charlotte Hornets "Over/Under" 35.5 - I'm big on Charlotte this year. Kemba Walker is a stud, and they got rid of Dwight Howard. Thank god. Miles Bridges and Malik Monk are the perfect compliment of players to play off Walker, and even the bench has depth. I'm big on the "over".
Chicago Bulls "Over/Under" 27.5 - The Bulls were essentially an afterthought last season, but this season figures to be a little different. I'm not saying they are a playoff-type team, but they have a few good pieces in place to avoid being the worst team in the league. Hitting 28 wins is going to be tough, and it's not happen until the last few games, but I believe the Bulls get to the mark. Take the "over."
Cleveland Cavaliers "Over/Under" 30.5 - What more can be said about the Cavaliers that hasn't already been said? LeBron left, and now the roster is in shambles. Kevin Love signed an extension (not sure why), but the Cavs essentially have nobody good on the roster anymore. They went from NBA Finals to a projected three games better than the Bulls. See what I'm getting at? Take the "under."
Dallas Mavericks "Over/Under" 34.5 - The Mavericks struck gold when they got Atlanta to trade them Luka Donic. Donic is going to be a bonafide star in the NBA, and the addition of DeAndre Jordon will help them on both sides of the ball. I understand the West is stacked, but the Mavericks are much better than a 35-win team. Take the "over".
Denver Nuggets "Over/Under" 47.5 - Denver owns one of the most exciting young teams in the entire NBA with the likes of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic. Last season, the Nuggets finished outside of the playoff picture by one game. I expect them to flip the script and get into the postseason this year at the expense of the Timberwolves. Take the "over".
Detroit Pistons "Over/Under" 37.5 - Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond should be enough to will Detroit to 38 wins. However, the problem with the Pistons is that they are just so inconsistent. They have a few nice pieces on the roster, but it's hard to trust them throughout the course of an 82-game season. I'd lean over, but I'd be sweating this out.
Golden State Warriors "Over/Under" 62.5 - It's been a common theme in the NBA that the regular season doesn't matter. The best teams will make the playoffs, and then from there the competition ramps up. The Golden State Warriors season is all about staying healthy and rested for another postseason run. They are far and away the best team in the league and could win 60 games in their sleep. However, I think they prioritize defending their title over another 70+ win season. Lean "under".
Houston Rockets "Over/Under" 54.5 - With LeBron joining the Lakers and the Warriors still dominating, has Houston's championship window closed? They have a great team and can score the ball at will, but it's always been a struggle defensively for this team. Getting to the postseason with as much home-court advantage as you can get is a priority, so I see the Rockets going all out this season and topping the 55-win mark.
Indiana Pacers "Over/Under" 47.5 - It'll be interesting to see what the Pacers do for an encore after coming within one game of sending Cleveland packing in round one. They lost Lance Stephenson but added Tyreke Evans and Doug McDermott. With a core roster already in place, they certainly didn't get any worse than last season's 48-34 record. Take the "over".
Los Angeles Clippers "Over/Under" 35.5 - The "other" LA team might struggle this year. They don't have many good pieces to play with, and their draft pick, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, might be a year or two away from being a legitimate pro. That's tough to swallow for a team that had the 11th pick and no real superstar already on the roster. I'd lean "under".
Los Angeles Lakers "Over/Under" 48.5 - Are we sure the Lakers are going to be a good team this year? I mean, yeah, they have LeBron James, but and we've seen him do wonders with less, but are we sure that the Lakers are 49-wins good? I'm not buying it. The West is still stacked, and I don't see how one man can take down an entire conference on his own. Take the "under".
Memphis Grizzlies "Over/Under" 34.5 - The Grizzlies finished last season with a 22-60 record. How on earth are they supposed to win 15 more games this year? I am a fan of taking Jaren Jackson Jr in this year's draft, but I don't think he's ready to compliment Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol enough to get them to 35 wins in a stacked West. Take the "under".
Miami Heat "Over/Under" 41.5 - The Heat will return the exact same roster that got them to sixth in the East last year. I'm not saying that's a bad thing as they do have some solid players, especially Goran Dragic, but I don't think they got much better in relation to the rest of the conference. Someone has to regress, and I think it'll be the Heat. Take the "under" 41.5.
Milwaukee Bucks "Over/Under" 46.5 -
The Bucks finished last year with 44 wins, and they did nothing to get
worse. Instead, they upgraded the head coaching position. And with the core
in place, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks figure to be on the rise
in the East. The addition of Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova and first-round
pick, Donte DiVincenzo, gives the Bucks the perimeter shooters they lacked
last year. Fear the Deer and take the "over".
Minnesota Timberwolves "Over/Under" 44.5 - The Timberwolves were supposed to take the next step last year but failed to do so. Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler couldn't co-exist, and Karl-Anthony Towns was the only bright spot of the team. In the West, where the teams below them got better, the T-Wolves may find themselves as the team that slides down the standings. If things don't go their way early, Wiggins or Butler could be traded, and that would affect this total. Take the "under".
New Orleans Pelicans "Over/Under" 45.5 - The Pelicans lost one half of their front court this offseason when DeMarcus Cousins left and joined the Golden State Warriors. To be honest, that move doesn't worry me. The Pelicans are Anthony Davis' team, and he has carried them since he's been in the league. The Pels have good depth, and that gives them playoff potential once again. Take the "over".
New York Knicks "Over/Under" 29.5 - Another draft, another disgruntled Knicks fan base. The Knicks chose Kevin Knox with the ninth pick in hopes he can complement Kristaps Porzingis on the inside. The Knicks do have some nice pieces in place, but they can never seem to get out of their own way. Lean "under".
Oklahoma City Thunder "Over/Under" 50.5 - Once again, this is Russell Westbrook's team, and the departure of Carmelo Anthony will only help the Thunder's chances of getting to where they want to go. The fact that PG3 re-upped with the Thunder speaks volumes about where this franchise is headed. It's not going to be a down year in OKC. Take the "over".
Orland Magic "Over/Under" 31.5 - The Magic bring back much of the same roster from last year with the addition of rookie Mo Bamba. Bamba will form a formidable teammate with Aaron Gordon on the interior, but the rest of the pieces just don't have that flare to get the job done. It's going to be another down season for the Magic. "Under" 31.5
Philadelphia 76'ers "Over/Under" 54.5 -
The "Process" somewhat paid off last year as the 76ers took the league by
storm, asserting their dominance and finishing with a 52-30 record. Ben
Simmons was as advertised, and Joel Embiid was superb. Now they might have
a healthy Markelle Fultz in the lineup, so this team is on the rise in the
East. Side with the "over".
Phoenix Suns "Over/Under" 28.5 - Phoenix has been a doormat for the last handful of seasons, but with the emergence of Devin Booker as a bonafide scorer and the addition of first-overall pick DeAndre Ayton, the Suns have a young core that can only get better. With Ayton protecting the rim and Booker dropping 25 a night, the Suns might surprise some teams this year. However, the majority of the season will be spent suffering growing pains, and a sub-30 win season is likely forthcoming. Take the "under".
Portland Trailblazers "Over/Under" 41.5 - The disrespect in Portland is real. They were a playoff team last season, and now this season win total wouldn't even be good enough for 9th in the West. I understand that the entire bench left town, but with Lillard, McCollum and Nurkic, the Blazers still have the talent to sneak into a playoff spot. I'd take the "over".
Sacramento Kings "Over/Under" 25.5 - On Paper, the Kings look like they could have a slew of talent at their disposal. Marvin Bagley III, Harry Giles, De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield make up the nucleus of this team. However, this team screams "no defense," and you can't win in the NBA by playing no defense. You might be better off taking the "over" on a game-to-game basis than betting the Kings to win 26 games.
San Antonio Spurs "Over/Under" 43.5 - The Spurs are in a weird spot right now. Sure, they traded Kawhi Leonard for DeMar DeRozan, and that should help the offensive side of things, but defensively is where they are going to struggle. They still have LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray, but in a crowded and much more competitive Western Conference 44 wins is going to be hard to come by. Chalk this one up as a growing pains season.
Toronto Raptors "Over/Under" 54.5 - The Raptors sent shockwaves through the NBA this offseason, trading their franchise player, DeRozan, for an oft-injured Leonard. If Leonard is healthy and gives maximum effort, the Raptors immediately got better on the defensive side of the ball. If not, the Raps lost the trade. The Raps have several promising young players to build another solid core with and contend in the East. Side with the "over".
Utah Jazz "Over/Under" 48.5 - The Utah Jazz are seemingly on the rise thanks to the emergence of Donovan Mitchell. As a rookie, along with Rudy Gobert, he led the team to the second round of the playoffs, which shocked most of the NBA. The Jazz did not get any worse this offseason, and their key players are more mature and experienced heading into this season. The total looks like it's right where it should be, so this could go either way. I'd lean "over".
Washington Wizards "Over/Under" 44.5 - Nothing against Dwight Howard personally, but I don't see how he helps this Wizards team achieve what they want to achieve. The Wizards now have three divas if you include Wall and Beal, so if things go off the rails early then this team may never recover. Sure, the East may be a weak conference outside the top few teams, but 45 wins is essentially is almost enough for home-court advantage. That's omething I do not see happening. Take the "under".
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