NBA Win Totals: Should Bettors Expect Clippers to Meet Expectations?

NBA Win Totals: Should Bettors Expect Clippers to Meet Expectations? article feature image

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard

  • The Los Angeles Clippers' win total is 56.5 games after signing Kawhi Leonard and trading for Paul George.
  • LA's 2019 win total is 19.5 games higher than the team's 2018 over/under.
  • Using historical data we examine how teams that experience a big win total increase have performed for bettors.

The NBA offseason has been wild. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are now Clippers. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have teamed up in Brooklyn. The Lakers traded for Anthony Davis to pair with LeBron James. Other contenders made moves as well.

The Celtics signed Kemba Walker to replace Irving. Philly went big maxing Tobias Harris and giving Al Horford more than $100 million. The Jazz dealt for Mike Conley, Jimmy Butler took his talents to South Beach and Milwaukee brought back nearly every player from a 60-win team.

Free agency and trades have altered the NBA landscape and the expectations of oddsmakers for many teams around the league. Here is a look at the win totals for all 30 NBA teams and how they compare to the 2018-19 season.

At PointsBet, the Clippers have the highest win total in the NBA. Los Angeles’ over/under for the 2019-20 season is listed at 56.5 wins. LA’s win total last season was only 37 games. Signing Kawhi and trading for PG13 boosted the team’s over/under by 19.5 games — the biggest year-to-year gain from 2018-19.

The Clippers will be a popular over bet following their offseason moves and championship potential. But bettors should be cautious jumping on the over. History has shown that teams often underperform following large over/under increases.

From 2003 to 2018, 215 NBA teams have seen their season win total increase by at least one-half game from one season to the next according to data from SportsOddsHistory. Of those 215 teams, 105 (49.1%) went over the higher win total. The bigger the win total increase from season to season the less likely the over has been to hit.

Since 2003, only 25 teams have seen their win total increase by 15 or more games and 16 of those teams went under the total. The Clippers are just the seventh team in this time frame to enjoy a win total increase of at least 19 games. Each of the previous six teams went under the total.

There are a number of reasons why teams with increased expectations fail to go over the posted win total, but the simplest is that oddsmakers understand which squads the public wants to bet. The bookmakers will then inflate the over/unders for teams like the Clippers, making it more likely for the under to cash.

The Clippers won the NBA offseason and might very will lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy next summer, but history suggests gamblers who bet on LA to go over its season win total of 56.5 will be disappointed.

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