NBA Win Totals, Picks: Updated Bets for Western Conference Lottery Teams

NBA Win Totals, Picks: Updated Bets for Western Conference Lottery Teams article feature image

(Photo by David L. Nemec/NBAE via Getty Images). Pictured: Victor Wembanyama.

NBA Win Totals, Picks: Updated Bets for Western Conference Lottery Teams

It's an ideal time to check back in on the NBA futures market. I am diving back into regular-season win totals and will be going through every team over the next few days to determine the best plays on NBA win totals for the rest of the season.

This is also very important analysis for anyone with pending win total tickets. I highly encourage you to check the team you already bet and look for a possibility to either middle or double down.

The final batch of teams in this series will be the lottery bound teams from the Western Conference: the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. Let’s dive in.

Utah Jazz

  • Preseason Win Total: 35.5 (-115o / -105u)
  • Current Record: 26-30
  • Win Total Pace: 38-44
  • Current Odds: 37.5 (+115o / -140u)
  • Strength of Schedule: 4th

Plan of Action: Consider the neighboring teams

The Jazz are right on the bubble of the Western Conference play-in tournament. Depending on the day, they are bouncing around between the ninth and 11th seed, sitting at 11 currently after the Warriors and Lakers went on a little run before the All-Star break.

The Jazz have offloaded Kelly Olynyk, Simone Fontecchio and Ochai Agbaji, and will rely heavily on some of their promising young talent in Keyonte George and Walker Kessler. I expect the Jazz to float around the same area of the standings, so a bet on the Jazz is just as much a reflection of the other teams.

Are you interested in fading the Lakers or Warriors? If so, look at odds for the Jazz to make the play-in or for the California teams to outright miss the playoffs.

Houston Rockets

  • Preseason Win Total: 31.5 (-120o / +100u)
  • Current Record: 24-30
  • Win Total Pace: 36-46
  • Current Odds: 36.5 (-120o / -105u)
  • Strength of Schedule: 18th

Plan of Action: Small over

The Rockets will not go quietly into the night. Considering they don't own their own picks, they have no incentive to lose games down the stretch.

Houston is trying to turn the corner by relying on veterans to support its young stars. The Rockets are a great home team and a miserable road team, but I expect the road struggles to improve as the season goes on and the players gel further.

There were a lot of Rockets backers early in the season (including me), and I will forego playing an Under to open the middle, and instead double down on Overs. Taking a small bet or small portion of an Over 31.5 expected profit and rolling it into Over 36.5 can escalate the payout on a surprisingly competitive Rockets team.

Memphis Grizzlies

  • Preseason Win Total: 45.5 (+100o / -120u)
  • Current Record: 20-36
  • Win Total Pace: 29-53
  • Current Odds: 26.5 (-150o / +130u)
  • Strength of Schedule: 26th

Plan of Action: Under bettors should open the middle

If you came into the season fading the Memphis Grizzlies — knowing Ja Morant was going to miss at least 25 games, knowing they had some injury-prone players and knowing they lacked guard depth — then you have been proven quite correct.

This Grizzlies team is far from expectations, not even close to the 2-seed in the West and a consistent 50-win team like we’ve seen in the past. But now would be the time to bet the Over. The current odds are 2.5 games below pace, and the young Grizzlies play with a ton of heart.

If I had no preexisting bet, I would skip this entirely. If I was an Under backer, I would open the massive middle. You can use 25% of the expected profit off the Under ticket that has a 99.9% chance to cash.

Portland Trail Blazers

  • Preseason Win Total: 28.5 (-105o / -115u)
  • Current Record: 15-39
  • Win Total Pace: 23-59
  • Current Odds: 22.5 (-115o / -105u)
  • Strength of Schedule: 6th

Plan of Action: Pass

The Trail Blazers were the biggest stay-away team in the NBA prior to the season because of the trade rumors swirling around Damian Lillard and then Jrue Holiday and Malcolm Brogdon. Portland slowly drained its team of top-end talent, progressively getting worse and taking in future picks. It was a smart move organizationally, but impossible to predict a win total for one season.

The Trail Blazers now have a difficult schedule upcoming and a front office that is prioritizing drafting and scouting. I would expect Portland still clearly in the bottom four to maintain that 14% chance of landing the No. 1 pick. Consequently, Unders are interesting, but it still feels like a reach. I am skipping this one.

San Antonio Spurs

  • Preseason Win Total: 29.5 (+100o / -120u)
  • Current Record: 11-44
  • Win Total Pace: 16-66
  • Current Odds: 17.5 (+130o / -160u)
  • Strength of Schedule: 2nd

Plan of Action: Small over

The San Antonio Spurs started the season playing Jeremy Sochan at the point guard spot and running two bigs with Victor Wembanyama and Zach Collins. They have now abandoned that shipwreck, playing more point guard minutes with Tre Jones and allowing Wembanyama to play a true five spot. The impact is better spacing, better efficiency and closer contests.

With +130 odds on the Over — and draft order rules so they will be in the bottom four regardless — I expect the Spurs to outperform their current expectations.

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Rick Rockwell
Apr 19, 2024 UTC