NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite 2019 Win Total Bets
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9), Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30), Hawks guard Trae Young (11).
- The 2019-20 NBA season will kick tomorrow, October 22.
- Our crew makes their picks for the win total bets they like most this season, including the Knicks, Hawks and Warriors.
Ahhh the preseason. It’s that wonderful time when fans can convince themselves their team will absolutely go over its projected total.
The NBA is much more balanced after a wild summer of free agency and trades. But balance doesn’t always equate to better, especially at the bottom.
Below, our NBA staff lists their favorite win total bets for the upcoming season.
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Staff Favorite Win Totals
Wob: Knicks Over 26.5
I am insulted. The Knicks’ roster is constructed of “dogs”, according to small forward Marcus Morris who in his first preseason game decided to back up his words by duffing Justin Anderson in the head with the ball.
A roster constructed by a bunch of guys who have been overlooked their entire careers combined with a plethora of young raw talent (the majority of those vets are on one year deals with a team option) means this team will play every single night like it’s Game 7 of the Finals.
That doesn’t mean they’re good, but effort alone in the NBA has proved to produce wins in bunches as the league’s elite elect for load management against the Eastern Conference’s basement.
They don’t have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant but they have grizzled veterans who signed knowing exactly what they signed up for. Go ahead and laugh, the Knicks will win 36 games. Put it on my damn tombstone.
Moore: Knicks Under 26.5 | Pistons Over 37.5
Wob is dumb, the Knicks are horrible. Also, you can read more on my way-too detailed over-under analysis here, and read why I love the Pistons over here.
Matt LaMarca: Hawks Over 33.5
I like the Hawks. They’re young, they’re frisky, and they were much better than expected last season. They were 33-26 against the spread starting on Dec. 1, making them one of the most profitable teams in basketball over that time frame.
Their improvement over the course of the season was almost directly correlated with the improvement of Trae Young. He was dreadful in the beginning of the year — which is to be expected for a rookie point guard — but he seemed to get better with each passing month. We should expect more improvement from him in his second full season.
The rest of their roster has some interesting pieces. Kevin Huerter — aka Red Velvet — can stroke it from deep. John Collins is tenacious on the glass.
Rookie first rounder De’Andre Hunter should help them defensively. Lloyd Pierce is an above average coach, so I like his chances of getting the most out of this roster. I think they can find five additional wins this season.
Mears: Warriors Under 48.5
On Friday, the Warriors announced they were waiving Alfonzo McKinnie in order to sign big man Marquese Chriss. Yes, that’s right: The Dubs waived their starting small forward, of which they had just one on the entire roster, to make room for another big.
That probably signals that things aren’t great with some of their big men; Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein are already dealing with injury problems. But man, did the worst bench in the NBA just get more terrible.
The under here was already enticing before the McKinnie news: They’re so shallow, and I don’t believe Klay Thompson is coming back this season. That means they’re incredibly vulnerable to a Steph Curry injury.
And this might seem like a hyperbole, but I promise it’s not: If Steph goes down for a couple weeks in a Western Conference swing, the Warriors may not win a single game.
That fact alone makes it hard to bet on a team to approach 50 wins, even with Steph’s likely brilliance.
And while it may seem silly, the McKinnie news is sneaky big. They have no true small forwards now; their replacements like Glenn Robinson III or Jacob Evans all are more shooting guards and are under 6’6″. Good luck matching up against the West’s best players, most of whom are at that small forward position.
That means Draymond Green is going to often be the only good defensive player on the floor, and the underrated storyline here is that with McKinnie gone, he’ll likely have to take more of an on-ball approach defensively.
McKinnie wasn’t an all-world defender by any means, but he had the size to at least keep up with the small forwards, and that allowed Dray to play off ball and help with rim protection and help defense. That luxury no longer exists, and it’s possible this defensive unit is one of the worst in the league.
They’ll take a step back offensively this year, too, although they’ll still be solid with Steph and D’Angelo Russell. But with a less dangerous offensive unit and what could be a terrible defensive one, I don’t see how this team gets to this number. I think they’re more likely to miss the playoffs than blow past 50 wins.
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