Moore: Ranking Every NBA Season Win Total Bet for the 2018-19 Season
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Looking to bet on 2018-19 NBA season win totals? You've come to the right place.
- Action Network NBA guru Matt Moore makes his over/under picks for all 30 teams below and gives his confidence in each selection.
The NBA is back. It’s been a long, boring offseason … just kidding.
With free agency, superstar trades and general pettiness, the offseason winds up being just as — if not way more — entertaining than the regular season.
But basketball is back — training camps officially opened Monday, and preseason begins Friday. Which means betting on basketball is back.
And as we all know, the most fun way to look ahead to the season is to examine the win totals.
I’ve picked all 30 win totals and ranked them in terms of confidence (starting with the ones I’m least confident in and ending with my favorites).
I evaluated historical data, rosters, performance last season both in actual wins and Pythagorean expected wins based on statistical performance, and all the other factors I could.
There are a lot of win totals I’m terrified of. There are some I’m interested in.
There are 30 I’m fascinated by.
Basketball’s back. Let’s dive in.
All odds via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Go directly to your team: ATL | BOS | BKN | CHA | CHI | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GSW | HOU | IND | LAC | LAL | MEM | MIA | MIL | MIN | NOP | NYK | OKC | ORL | PHI | PHX | POR | SAC | SAS | TOR | UTA | WAS
NO SIR, NOT TODAY, SATAN
30. Houston Rockets
- The pick: Under 56 wins
- Confidence: 0 out of 10
The case for the under: It’s not just the loss of that defensive personnel, it’s the disruption of chemistry, continuity and the additions (Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams whoo boy is that a duo of names) that may act as negatives.
The continuity factor looms largest. Last season’s Rockets team was a genuinely great team, it had a special combination. The Rockets disrupted that, in pursuit of taking longer shots at finding a formula to get past Golden State.
That approach may prove prescient, but it also opens up a wider range of outcomes. Had Houston returned the same core, 60 wins would seem a near-lock; that’s how incredible last season’s team was.
But you need defenders who can cover for James Harden. Going back and watching the instances where Houston struggled, it was often when teammates were unaware of lapses by Harden, who remains a solid-on-ball defender.
The replacements for Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute will only exacerbate those issues. The Rockets also lost defensive coordinator Jeff Bdzelik, who retired this week. That’s a huge blow to a team that needs to be middle of the pack defensively to get where it wants to go.
Finally, teams that know how good they are tend to prove it one year and then take their foot off the gas the next. Houston knows it has a formula to challenge Golden State if executed properly. Will the Rockets have the energy to push for homecourt again? The variance means this is too close for comfort.
The case for the over: This was a lot easier at the open of 54.5. The argument comes down to this very simple formula: Chris Paul plus James Harden plus Clint Capela plus Mike D’Antoni equals 57 wins … Read more here
29. Los Angeles Lakers
- The pick: Under 48.5 wins
- Confidence: 1 out of 10
The case for the under: Beyond the Island of Misfit Toys they picked up in the offseason and the general good-not-great perspective on the kiddos, there’s a looming factor here for the under: the schedule.
As outlined here, the Lakers have the second-most games with rest disadvantage, the third-least with rest advantage, and eight of their initial 11 games are vs. playoff teams from last season. Throw in the difficult nature of the West, and it sure seems like the lean goes for the under.
I don’t know if I can bet against LeBron in a non-Warriors environment. Can you?
28. Philadelphia 76ers
- The pick: Under 54.5
- Confidence: 2 out of 10
The case for the under: The Sixers rode a 16-game winning streak to finish third last in the East last season, buoyed by unsustainable shooting from Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli, both of whom were unlikely candidates to spark such a surge and both of whom have left the Sixers in free agency.
If we balance out that winning streak a bit, even having the Sixers finish 12-4, that tracks them back to 48 wins. Internal improvement probably gets them back to 52-53, but under the 54.5 even in an optimistic result.
The Embiid factor makes this incredibly difficult. The Sixers were 40-22 when Embiid played more than 10 minutes last season. That’s a 52-win pace, which is right where they finished.
So even if you think Embiid is healthy all season, they’d have to match that mark, and then exceed it by three wins to hit the over.
Could internal improvement do that?
The case for the over: They won 52 games last season and the young guys will be better. That’s about it … Read more here